Friday, May 19, 2006

Scarecrow

I don't remember if I recommended this film yet. I absolutely love it. It is a character peice and who better to play characters than Pacino and Hackman. They work very well together and it reminded me how good they both can be. Pacino's acting style has evolved greatly from his earlier days. This film is an argument that it hasn't evolved for the better. Hackman plays Max who has been in the slammer and Pacino plays Lionel who has been away at sea. Max has been sending his prison wages back to a savings and loan in Pittsburgh, and Lionel has been sending his to a wife in Detroit and a child he's never seen. They hitch up on the Coast and hit the road with a dream of their own car wash. What they discover about each other is really the heart of the film because the plot doesn't really take you anywhere. The portrayal of Max and Lionel has much in common with Martin Sheen's portrayal of Charles Starkwether in Badlands. These characters are not admirable or courageous and yet they are likeable and interesting. Also they are familiar and yet they are unpredictable. The film was directed by Jerry Shatzberg who also directed The panic in needle park which I am curious to see but is having DVD distribution problems. The directing style has a lot in common with Hopper's Easy Rider, or a Bob Rafelson movie particularly five easy pieces. Scarecrow feels very improvised and free. Even though many of the same themes are present, I think it plays much better today, than Easy Rider or five easy pieces does.

2 Comments:

Blogger Seth Kawasaki said...

I have never heard of this movie but I like Gene Hackman and I like Pacino when he was young, and if is better than Easy Rider I am interested.

9:02 AM  
Blogger Bryan Summers said...

I've been meaning to see Scarecrow for sometime. I'll check it out.

I watched Easy Rider last night. I liked every scene with Jack Nicholson. When he wasn't on screen, I was sort of bored, sort of entertained. (spoilers) And I gotta admit that I laughed pretty hard during the last scene, when the rednecks shooting the bikers. Where did that come from?
Maybe it was less funny in the sixties,I don't know. It reminded me of that old cartoon Bambi vs. Godzilla, where Bambi peacefully grazes untill he's stomped by Godzilla.
I'm glad I finally saw it though, since it's a pretty important film - film historywise.

10:37 PM  

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