Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Deeply Superficial Blog-a-Thon: The Superficial Pleasures of The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford

Andrew Dominik's The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford was one of my favorite movies of last year, a long, langourous look at the weight of celebrity, the inevitability of tragedy and the perils of hero worship that couched all of these themes in a methodically paced revisionist Western. As fate would have it, the movie's full of deeply superficial pleasures too (it's just damn beautiful to look at), so it's a perfect week to revisit the film. Fortunately for you, the film, which was underseen in theaters but managed two Oscar nominations (for Casey Affleck's perfect performance as Robert Ford and Roger Deakins' striking cinematography), came to DVD today. Rent it, gather your friends, and talk about how Brad Pitt -- BRAD PITT!! -- has never been better.

Fellow Assassination fan Dustin Wellman has sent me these screencaps, so click through after the jump to revel in the film's beauty (click on each image to get a closer look). There are spoilers in some of them, but those spoilers are all in the overly literal title.

(That blurring around the edges is intentional. In the film, there are occasional passages where a narrator intones certain facts or theories about the life of Jesse James. These bits are filmed as if captured through the hazy gauze of memory.)

(Yes, that's Zooey Deschanel, who is, apparently, the Deeply Superficial Blog-a-Thon's official spokeswoman or something.)


Carrie said...

Those are stunning.

This film is next in my Netflix queue. After seeing these, I'm even more excited to watch it now. Too bad my TV sucks so I won't be able to fully appreciate the beauty.

Katie said...

I actually dozed off for a bit in the first third of this film, but it's STILL one of my favorites of the year. Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous.