Saturday, August 7, 2010

FIVE EASY PIECES at the Trylon

Going into Five Easy Pieces, I was skeptical. I saw the film in 1989 in Kansas City at the the ripe old age of 19. It was made out to be a big deal—unavailable on VHS and a purported iconic symbol of American cinema. I came out of the film underwhelmed and disappointed. Bobby Duprea struck me as no more that a selfish jackass who just couldn't pull it together. That's an easy judgment to make at 19.

Seeing it again last night, 21 years later was a totally different experience. Bobby's character is contained in his solitary silent moments, not in the smart-ass remarks about chicken salad sandwiches. His frustration and anger is fueled by the social constraints defined by an ambiguous class system build around his family and his subsequent lifestyle. There is a complexity to Bobby that I certainly didn't see before, and a rigorous beauty to the film and its various landscapes. I was also floored by Helena Kallianiotes brief appearance as a hitchhiker who delivers a non-stop hilarious monologue.

See it this weekend at the Trylon. There are four screenings left with a new 35mm print with lots of Tammy Wynette: Saturday 7 and 9pm, and Sunday 5 and 7pm.

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