Abandon Text!

W. H. Auden once said: "Poems are not finished; they are abandoned." I have been abandoning writing projects for many years, since only the pressure of deadline and high expectations ever got me to finish, or even start, anything of merit. This blog is an attempt to create a more consistent, self-directed writing habit. Hopefully a direction and voice will emerge.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Walk the Line

We watched Walk the Line, the Johnny Cash / June Carter movie. Some thoughts:
  • The movie was bookended well. At the beginning of the movie, "the good son" Jack tells him he's studying the Bible because, "How can I help anyone, if I don't know the right stories to tell them?" And then, in the very last scene, Johnny's once-estranged father tells him, "I don't know what stories to tell 'em [the grandkids]-- you're the one with all the stories." That really was the point of the movie, after all: Johnny Cash learning "the right stories to tell," through his music.
  • The simplest test for a movie like this is, "Does it make me feel like going out and buying some Johnny Cash music?" And the answer is, Yes, it does.
  • Towards the end of the movie, Johnny Cash is lobbying with his lable to do a live record at Fulsom Prison, and his producer says, "Your fans are Christians, Johnny. They don't want to hear you playing for murderers and rapists trying to make them feel better." Now, anyone who knows their scripture must be busting at the seams at this point, because they know that Jesus explicitly said he was sent to hang out with the sinners. But (thank God) the movie shows admirable restraint. Johnny just says, "Well, they ain't Christians, then."
  • My favorite scene in the whole movie is the grilling he gets from Sam Phillips at his first audition. I couldn't do his spiel justice here, but it had the ring of hard authenticity. "Sing me something real, because that's the song people want to hear." It is always telling that the things that are most real and genuine are the things people are trying to hide . . . and that the very best comes out when people tell the truth.



Post a Comment

<< Home