Sunday, July 27, 2008

Meditations in an Emergency

Mad Men, season two opened tonight. The first season was set in 1960, leading up to the 1960 US national elections (which are eerily similar to this year's). Tonight's cycle begins early in 1962. JFK is President, Jackie O conducts a tour of the White House for TV.

There's new technology in the office: a photocopy machine! Everybody smokes and drinks and no one seems to have any idea of what's really coming down the pike. Of course, these reflections and the meditations of lead character, the always brooding marketing genius Don Draper (Jon Hamm) are what gives the show kick -- that and meticulous attention to period details.

On the truly ridiculous side of things, other period romps worth checking out in background (their actual plots are so ludicrous, they're hardly worth keeping track of): Bandidas (2006), starring two stunning beauties of our times -- Salma Hayek and Penélope Cruz, with goofy supporting roles by Dwight Yoakam and Steve Zahn.

And: Viva Maria! (1965), Louis Malle's movie showcasing Brigitte Bardot and Jeanne Moreau.

Hayek, Cruz, Bardot and Moreau are memorable icons, but I have yet to see a true masterpiece film revolving around the Mexican Revolution (1910-1920). In all truth, only Sergio Leone's quirky Giù la testa / A Fistful of Dynamite / Quando Explode a Vingança / Duck, You Sucker (1971, with James Coburn and Rod Steiger) seems to get anywhere close to the gravity and complexity of Mexico's upheaval -- scenes with mass shooting of prisoners by opposing sides is particularly dead on and most certainly relevant in 2008. But trains, at least, make an appearance in every single film made about the Mexican Revolution . . . . .

Today's Rune: Wholeness.


Charles Gramlich said...

Was 2 mules for sister sara set in the Mexican revolution?

Erik Donald France said...

Charles, that's a fun one. Set during the 1860s, during the "French adventure" of Napoleon III.

Lana Gramlich said...

*LOL* All things considered, I think I'll pass on these & go watch our bird "kids" for a while (in an emergency.)

MacGuffin said...

There are times when I wished we all still dressed in that 50's/6o's style. They all looked so sharp! Course, these are above average looking people to begin with but still.