Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The Station Agent ~ Film Review

The Station Agent is an Indie drama.

these new
aw-aw-awkward movies have left me with
a whole lotta
hold your popcorn
vast indifference
to the characters and what they did
or didn't do
with their meaningless
no - wait a minute
possibly not completely pointless lives.

Every ten years or so a formula-of-sorts, a new style, makes an indelible imprint on the big screen. This is the decade of awkward silences and equally awkward moments;  never ending eclipses into the darkness of tortured souls who are so bored with their own lives and lack of... whatever, that they can't function. 

Awkward silences, yeah, they are like getting all interested in seeing a story unfold and then it all goes strobe-like and nothing is connected and it is all cartoonish and nothing makes sense, absent the panache of Fellini.
The Station Agent was a good film. I noticed it on a shelf in the library and thought in the indie section.  Michelle Williams?  I'd seen her in a few films and never liked or cared for any of the self-indulgent, self-pitying, center of the world look at me look at me weepy eyed characters she's played.  But I liked her in The Station Agent.
While it did have its share of awkward silences this time I didn't mind. Because they were a part of the story and because there was a context for them, through the characters, that were developed relatively early on in the story.

The actors were good. Without context the story would have been flat. And that's when I got why I don't like a lot of this new awkward silence formula, the nobody else gets this but me dealeos. Yeah without context, and more than just a line or two or miserable anguished or blank expression of desperate nothingness to describe their wretched existential alienation, it is just that. An exercise in existential alienation. And that's so


For the first time in awhile, I've seen an American film that developed its characters well enough for me to care about them. I dug the trains, the scenery, the closed spaces, the wide open spaces and everything along the right-of-way.

I highly recommend it.

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