Monday, November 16, 2009

Interview with a giant

One of the most anticipated (by me) movie premiers in years is John Hillcoat's adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's The Road -- now set to debut on Nov. 25.

I'm going to assume that the book is widely enough known that I don't need to give a synopsis of the story line. The film has been in post-production/pre-release for a what seems like forever. I think it was originally supposed to be released last year at about this time.

In case you haven't seen it yet, here's the trailer which shows why this movie is sure to be the feel-good hit of the Christmas season:

Looks charming, no?

Anyway, McCarthy himself has the reputation of being a reclusive genius. So when Friday's Wall Street Journal interview with him popped up on my feed reader, I was eager to see what he had to say.

And he didn't disappoint.

I don't want to swagger jack the WSJ so I'll encourage you to go read the interview for yourself, especially if your a huge McCarthy fan. He did seem to have some tacit condemnation for the vast amount of what we call "user generated content." I don't know how aware McCarthy is of blogging and social media, but the quote below was in reference to the amount of content put out by Hollywood:
Well, I don't know what of our culture is going to survive, or if we survive. If you look at the Greek plays, they're really good. And there's just a handful of them. Well, how good would they be if there were 2,500 of them? But that's the future looking back at us. Anything you can think of, there's going to be millions of them. Just the sheer number of things will devalue them. I don't care whether it's art, literature, poetry or drama, whatever. The sheer volume of it will wash it out. I mean, if you had thousands of Greek plays to read, would they be that good? I don't think so.
And there's also this insight on the nature of mankind. It says a lot about the perspective from which a lot of his writing comes.
I don't think goodness is something that you learn. If you're left adrift in the world to learn goodness from it, you would be in trouble. But people tell me from time to time that my son John is just a wonderful kid. I tell people that he is so morally superior to me that I feel foolish correcting him about things, but I've got to do something--I'm his father. There's not much you can do to try to make a child into something that he's not. But whatever he is, you can sure destroy it. Just be mean and cruel and you can destroy the best person.
Like I said, there's lots more great stuff in the interview, so go check it out.

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  1. He's revealed more of himself since he's had a son than the rest of his career.

    ...and I'd whack a platoon of dwarfs to sit in at the Santa Fe Institute when they're talking apocalypse.

  2. That trailer isn't as dark as the one that was running before on the movie's website. It'll be interesting to see how it does.

    It's interesting to hear from the guy who writes stuff like "The Road" and "No Country for Old Men"

    Thanks for the post.

  3. Thanks for pointing this out.



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