|Bruce Dern as Woody Grant in "Nebraska"|
Is there anything more mind-numbingly boring than having to listen to someone's detailed summary of a film you haven't seen? Many times, I have found myself in that situation as a silent voice inside me starts to yell, "For Christ's sake - shut up!". It is at such moments that I have come to really understand the term "bored to tears".
This morning I painted our bedroom door - in "natural calico" of course, then stripped off my painting togs, dressed into stylish un-splattered gear and marched down to the local bus stop. I was going to the "early doors" screening of "Nebraska" directed by Alexander Payne - at "The Showroom" cinema in Sheffield's city centre.
I could summarise this film in tedious detail but if you're looking for that kind of thing you can find it elsewhere on the net - for example here. Let me just say that I enjoyed "Nebraska" enormously. Filmed in black and white yet supported by "Paramount", it's about several things - ageing, love, memory, family relations and hope against an endless monochrome backdrop of middle America's vastness.
Bruce Dern, as the cantankerous old anti-hero Woody Grant, played his part superbly and the tender soundtrack by Mark Orton enhanced the sense of melancholy mingled with dilapidation that emanates from the screen. There was much black humour - not least when Woody's wife Kate - played by June Squibb - lifts her skirt at an old boyfriend's windswept grave and says "Take a look at what you missed!".
"Nebraska" is my kind of film. It shows the kind of America that Hollywood has always had a habit of ignoring or heavily disguising - the real America. It has many facets and speaks to us truly of the human condition. In production there was great attention to detail and this adds to the film's believability. In its mood and atmosphere it reminded me greatly of "The Last Picture Show" (1971) - directed by Peter Bogdanovich - coincidentally also filmed in black and white.
I recommend "Nebraska" to you and hope this blogpost hasn't bored you to tears!