Sunday, February 3, 2013

"Like the fool I am and I'll always be, I've got a dream. I've got a dream. I know I could share it if you want me too. If you're going my way, I'll go with you. Moving me down the highway, moving me down the highway. Moving ahead so life won't pass me by."*

   A week ago I saw Django Unchained with my buddy, Joslyn. 

   I wasn't expecting to like it. 

   Quentin Tarantino usually manages to annoy the shit out of me somewhere between minute 113 and minute 157 (why, why do his movies have to be so long?) or anytime he chooses to "act" in one of his films (which is ALL THE TIME). And it's a shame, too, because usually those first 106 minutes are EXCELLENT. I enjoy the shoot-outs, and I've come to expect the blood and guts so it's not really about violence at this point, it's more about getting to the gist, if you know what I mean. By minute 113, (I'm speaking for the world at large, now) we're all ready to leave the theatre (you hear me, Scorsese?) because our butts are achy and we just really don't know how to climb over 6 people elegantly in order to use the can and then repeat the action in 4 more minutes. And so it's hard to concentrate on the point the director seems to feel he or she still hasn't made. And if you can't make a point in 120 minutes, you're a fucking idiot. To filmmakers everywhere I say: keep it under 2 hours. For the love of god, keep it under two hours! 

   But this wasn't supposed to be what this post was about. So I'm guilty of Tarantino-ing this blog post and I apologize.

   Bang-bang (picture a huge spray of blood and guts all over the page). 

   I want to talk about Jim Croce.

   So, Django was a pretty fucking great movie, in my opinion (despite the scenes I would have cut out in the last half-hour). But the moment that really did it for me was somewhere in the first half-hour. 

   Without (I hope) giving anything away, let me say that there is one of the world's best montage sequences in this movie. And it's played out over the song "I Got a Name."

   I was so moved by this montage sequence (and I am a sucker for a montage--a theme that will most certainly come up in another blog post this week), that I immediately ran home to look up this song. I'd heard the song before but forgotten it somehow...I don't know. But when I went on iTunes to find it I realized that I LOVE JIM CROCE. I just didn't know it. "Bad, Bad Leroy Brown," "I'll Have to Say I Love You in a Song," "You Don't Mess Around with Jim"...this man has been the love of my life for years and I had no idea. I'm such a bone-head. 

   And he had one of the greatest mustaches of all time.

Jim Croce pictured with guitar and 'stache. (Photo.)
   So I've been playing "I Got a Name" pretty much incessantly as I drive, clean, think,'s just so great.

   So, thank you Quentin Tarantino for putting random, anachronistic songs in your movies and, you know what else? Thank you for letting people laugh even while they're watching stuff from history that doesn't feel so good. I'd way rather watch your Holocaust movie 6 times in a row than ever see Schindler's List EVER AGAIN. Cuz, see, when it's funny, we don't feel like dying the whole time. And when we don't feel like dying, we can really pay attention. Brilliant, yes?

   And thank you Jim Croce for rocking so hard. I'm really sad that you died when you were 30**, since that seems INCREDIBLY YOUNG, but way to make it happen while you were with us. Well done, sir.

   "And I'm gonna go there free..."

*Jim Croce's "I Got a Name" written by Norman Gimbel and Charles Fox (1973).

**I just discovered via my usual source--and yours, too!-- the Interwebs, that Jim Croce died in a plane crash in 1973 alongside his songwriting partner Maury Muehleisen. Dang.

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