Sunday, June 14, 2009

If You're Ever in Texas

The Whole Shootin' Match (1978)
directed by Eagle Pennell
rating: 5 out of 5 cravats
on DVD from Syl

It’s easy to think of The Whole Shootin’ Match as testament to something: to faces, in light of Lou Perryman’s pointless death this spring; to friendship, apropos Eagle Pennell’s debilitating addictions; to movies, for being the medium that gives us hours like these. But nothing in this film was intended to burden, or impose, or slow down those who watch it. Great movies are over before you know it, and we talk about them, and write about them, when what we want to do most is watch them again. The precarious salvation of a lone surviving print makes The Whole Shootin’ Match something rarer than it should be; my argument is not in favor of its uncommonness, but against too much eulogizing. A personal movie as fragile and warmhearted as this one is small enough without any undue burdens, so it’s enough that you can get it on Netflix, three pages away.