"Deadwood", in more ways than one.

Long lines, unavoidably try, yours and mine. As a result, I have always tried to anticipate such times to reduce the strain on this psyche of mine and have always made sure that there is a book, a New Yorker or an iphone somewhere in my gunnysack. As soon as it starts to form behind some imaginary line, I pull it out and wile away the time (sounds dirty too, how fine!). Thereupon, I came to realize that the unavoidable conclusion was that I relied too much on the iphone for such interneted diversions. On that account, I’ve decided to both read and absorb Deadwood and the New Yorker at the same time. I was skeptical at first that this here multi-task might better be left to womens, but to my great surprise, I was able to focus on both tasks, at, and for once. One draw back, to these exercises, is that I seem more prone to ignoring some of the finer lines gracing the King of Thai’s lovely, larb dispensing gals.

By Deadwood, I mean the HBO series of the same mind, not the lack of erectile. I had begun watching Deadwood a year or two ago but never made it passed the first couple times; despite the fact that I relished the screen writing, acting and cinematography, but more on that.

Anyway, as I was watching season one’s eight episode while reading the New Yorker review of “Michael Clayton’; I was struck by David Denby’s first pronouncements: ” It’s forever being drummed into us that movies are a visual medium. Screenwriters are chastised with this half-truth all the time”. And as I read this, here I was, relishing Deadwood’s language and wondering wether it was cut because it seems to rely so heavily on the characters’ great lines. May be it was the screenwriter’s aptitude at language which doomed it this time. Deadwood seems to rely almost entirely on the power of the written lines. No doubt the acting and the sets are finely tuned pieces of professional knack but it seems obvious that the whole series revolves around a writer’s finely tuned craft. Rising tides lift all crafts, taking the rest of the crew on this ride.

I think I became aware of this once I realized that most of the action takes place behind closed doors, whereas the landscape, universal staple of the American Western is relegated to the background, as if the entire series was shot with just one short focal eye. Hardly ever, does the camera wonder outside, giving us an acutely un-western sense of drama. The anguish and trauma of the camp, the single mindedness of these prospecting hands does not stop to take in the panorama. The whole series, at least what I’ve seen of it now, concentrates on its human characters’ enforced drama. Removing the sublime from their daily lives it reinforces the sub-prime and enforces claustrophobia. Not a bad way to eat pork larb, multi-task or wait in line.

In other news: You can now buy mangosteens in America. For some reason the Agriculture department had prevented their importation for a very long time. Fortunately, they are now gracing Chinatown’s fruit salad.