Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Hail! Hail! Warre'n Oates

Cockfighter
1974.  83 minutes. USA. Directed by Monte Hellman. Watchdate: 2/27/2011.
That's not Warren Oates, but yeah that guy is putting a live chicken's head in his mouth.
Oh - here is that hero of our regrets, that stoic of unfought battles past - Warren Oates, a man for his time in a movie of its time. When images capture the mood of a hungover people, we can breathe easy for there is no fabrication of anger, disappointment, inadequacy, even betrayal. There is a genuine worthiness in the expression of these sentiments. In the intimations of skill and sport in the insular world of cockfighting, one can read the thoughts of entire culture.

The time during which I held away the movie at arm's length has now passed and I am ready to fully embrace this perfect example of that certain 70s Americana feel, the sullen working class bourgeosie ready to be kicked in the knees for the next forty years, all of it encapsulated in the petty robberies, the money hidden amongst rooster corpses, the axe-wielding Ed Begley Jr., the quiet dignity that comes from abstaining from speech.

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