Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Testosterone Poison: Hell on Wheels + Philip Kerr's Bernie Gunther series + Hatari!

Hell On Wheels, season 2, concludes with with hoary cliche:  Girl Kisses Guy; Girl Dies.So the blonde widow and our anti-hero Protagonist on his way to Redemption, after hot-eyeing each other for most of two seasons, get it on.  More, they are in love! She's killed by a religious nutwinger -- a Lutheran Swede, no less, who also hoped to be Angel of Death for the Souix as a White Indian.  She was killed because she was evil slut -- or really, to punish Our Protagonist whose wife and children were killed in the Waw by Union soldiers -- or, more likely, just because he wanted to, because he's a crazy Swede on the prairie.Actually, the love interest was fridged* to keep Protagonist free of those pesky inconvenient to plot attachments (particularly if attachment be female, because, as you know bhob, We Have No Idea What To Do With A Female except to make her be evile, holy, pregnant and / or a whore) and to provide yet another round of Hunt For Evile Bastards Who Killed My Wife - Mistress - Love of My Life, i.e. story = quest-movement.  How non-creative and lazy writing is that?  Plus Hell on Wheels bites continually from Deadwood in every way, including the music -- not original at all.Starting with the confederate anti-hero protagonist, with whom we're to identify.This whole set-up is so manufactured as opposed to growing out real history. And even worse, the characters are always leaving and then they're back!  Again!  And again!  And yet again!  How much failure of imagination can you have in a room of writers?Though I don't find a lot of good in Hell on Wheels, it does have magnificent landscape shots, some of which are as poetical as anything Terrence Malick did in Days of Heaven. I always get a jolt of delight from scene in which the horses are left to themselves in the lush (Canadian) prairie grass,  while their riders posture and bluster at each other, and plunge ear deep into the delicious stuff, biting and chewing, tails swishing, the very picture of contented equines. And -- it is a western. I do like a good western.Last couple of weeks my workouts have been accomplished to the audio accompaniment of  Philip Kerr's first Bernie Gunther novel, March Violets (1989), set in 1936 Berlin. Under cover of cynicism (which is certainly a plausible characteristic of a Berliner with a brain during those eras) Bernie despises everyone, particularly gay people and women, interrupted by brief hiatuses when his dick runs him, and when it is over he humiliates the gorgeous female too, because she deserves it.As well, these attitudes come through as the author's deliberate choices,rather than rising organically from the narrative. Instead they rise organically out of the author's sense of superiority as self-identified with his first person protagonist narrator.A naked demonstration of plot as men waving their dicks in each others' faces for no reason at all, is the Howard Hawks - John Wayne movie, Hatari, big game trappers.  In the course of the opening scenes, they beat down a rhino in their jeep, followed by a new guy entering a room, and all the men within seconds insult each other and start swinging.  And the girl? What else can writers do with a girl in a John Wayne movie, even if she's Elsa Martinelli? Testosterone poisoning!  Like Hell On Wheels (and so many more such as the relentlessly ugly masculine grey Boss), the Bernie Gunther Berliner private dick series, this movie is suffocating in the Sea of Testosterone -- and the writers have no idea what to do with women if they aren't being f&cked, f&cked up, f&cked over, or killed---------------------* Or could it have been the actress, tired of having nothing to do on this series except quiver posture weakly, decided to move on?

Testosterone Poison: Hell on Wheels + Philip Kerr's Bernie Gunther series + Hatari! Images

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