This is the blog of Ian Rosales Casocot. Filipino writer. Sometime academic. Former backpacker. Twink bait. Hamster lover.
Don't Tell Anyone:
With Shakira Andrea Sison
Pride Press / Anvil Publishing, 2017
Cupful of Anger,
Bottle Full of Smoke:
The Stories of
Jose V. Montebon Jr.
Silliman Writers Series, 2017
First Sight of Snow
and Other Stories
Encounters Chapbook Series
Et Al Books, 2014
Celebration: An Anthology to Commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Silliman University National Writers Workshop
Sands and Coral, 2011-2013
Silliman University, 2013
Handulantaw: Celebrating 50 Years of Culture and the Arts in Silliman
Tao Foundation and Silliman University Cultural Affairs Committee, 2013
Inday Goes About Her Day
Locsin Books, 2012
Beautiful Accidents: Stories
University of the Philippines Press, 2011
Heartbreak & Magic: Stories of Fantasy and Horror
Old Movies and Other Stories
National Commission for Culture
and the Arts, 2006
FutureShock Prose: An Anthology of Young Writers and New Literatures
Sands and Coral, 2003
Nominated for Best Anthology
2004 National Book Awards
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IAN ROSALES CASOCOT
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
2:10 AM |
A Girl and Cowboy Story
There are three types of film stories I always hesitate to screen: torture porn, westerns, and boxing films. It's just a matter of my preferences/biases, although I know I sometimes surprise myself for liking a few titles from these genres. (Clint Eastwood's Million Dollar Baby
would be perfect examples just from one director.) Well, for the past two days, I've watched the latter two types in the name of being conversant with what are being flouted around to be last year's best of cinema. I've seen David O. Russell's The Fighter
, which was all right, but I saw it more as a dysfunctional family movie rather than a boxing one. Tonight, I watched Joel and Ethan Coen's True Grit
, and I came away with no more love for the western than a resurgent admiration for the cinematography of Roger Deakins.
Because this is essentially a film about sumptuous photography, and that is that. I've always had a fondness for the stylistic quirks of the Coens' brand of filmmaking, but that is largely absent here. None of the ballet of violence, the startling fancy of storytelling. In fact, Roger Ebert praises the film as an exercise of form and genre for the brothers, a departure for them. And so be it. I couldn't bring myself to care for the story though, and that may be due to the fact that Hailee Steinfield, who plays a girl in the Wild West who hires a man with "true grit" to bring in for some justice the fiend who murdered her father, somehow rubs me off the wrong way. She is supposed to be plucky and feisty as Mattie Ross, and she does exactly that with acceptable professionalism others might mistake as genius. But there is no emotional resonance to her performance at all. She does it with a mechanical connect-the-dots effort that may be charming for some, but proves ultimately irritating for me. Oh, look she's trying to be grown-up precocious. Oh, look, how adorable the way she speaks with withering grown-up sense.
But it didn't work for me.
And so I settle instead with an admiration for the way Roger Deakins captures the wild lands out west with such beauty. And this is a beautiful film, no doubt. And perhaps that is enough.
 This is Where You Bite the Sandwich
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