Monday, November 05, 2007

The Swanhilda Cast Off from the Docks at Port Costa

Fat City (1972)
directed by John Huston
rating: 5 out of 5 cravats
on DVD from Black Lodge Video

In the famous photographs of boxing rings, the bright lights are like humidifiers, suffusing the page with warmth and smells of the contest. The view is always a rejoinder to the weather outside, tropical from the cold of Lewiston in winter, or hotter still than the hot dry sun of Stockton, California. Robert De Niro's dominance over Raging Bull makes that most famous of boxing tales a tour-de-force two miles past too much. Fat City is clean and quiet, beautiful beyond the best evocations of rural California. Huston's eye for a bar or face could carry him further than it has to, and where are Tom Joad's pronouncements pithy enough to match these poorer splendors?