“Let’s go”*

by chuckofish

Some of you movie fans may recognize the title of today’s post as a quote from the movie The Wild Bunch (1969). William Holden says it throughout the movie in a screenwriter’s attempt to bind a wandering plot together, sort of like John Wayne saying “We’re burning daylight” or “That’ll be the day”. However, whereas this device worked in John Wayne movies, it does not in this movie–probably because it is never clear where the bunch is going.

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Do not confuse these guys with The Professionals, who may look similar, but are like night and day.

They are going to hell, I guess. The movie sure does. What a mess, especially the director’s cut, which I made the mistake of watching this weekend. The cast is good, but they have no idea what is happening either. I felt sorry for them.

This movie is frequently hailed as a landmark, a brilliant western which re-defined the genre, blah, blah, blah.  It is just another story of old guys who are out of sink with their time. Their “code of honor” is at odds with society in 1913–but it is a made up code of honor, not unlike the code in Sons of Anarchy. It doesn’t work, it will never work. Once again, the violence is unremitting and boring. Maybe in 1969 it was shocking. Sadly it is shocking no more. Repetitive and bestial, yes. I get it, men–even children–are beasts.

Oh well, I did watch a good  movie this weekend–Mr. Holmes (2015) starring Ian McKellen as the aging Sherlock.

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Set in 1947, this movie is about an aged Sherlock Holmes, retired now to the English coast, who is trying to remember his last case and deal with the onset of memory loss and senility. It is a marvelous, low-key story about an old man who, unlike the guys in the wild bunch, is ultimately not afraid to change.  Ian McKellen is wonderful as is Milo Parker as Roger, the smart little boy who is the son of Sherlock’s housekeeper. I highly recommend you find this movie and watch it–a rarity among this year’s deluge of super heroes and sci fi extravaganzas. No sex, no violence, no vulgarity–only intelligence and subtlety and love. How rare.

In other news, the OM and I went out on a beautiful, balmy Saturday and bought our two Christmas trees. We wrestled the small tree into its stand when we got home after the OM hacked off a good chunk of the lower trunk in order to make it fit. The poor thing has a bit of a Charlie Brown aura about it now, but who cares? It is lovely all decked out in its finery.

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I wrapped quite a lot of presents and have my out-of-town packages ready to go. I worked on my Christmas cards. I capped off the weekend with Lessons & Carols at church where we sang all the great Advent hymns.

All in all, a productive and not-too-hectic weekend!

So now let’s go

…and look East. The time is near

of the crowning of the year.

Make your house fair as you are able,

set the hearth, and set the table.

People, look East, and sing today:

Love, the guest is on the way**

*Pike Bishop (William Holden) in The Wild Bunch (1969)

**Craig Philips, Advent Carol