Friday, July 28, 2017

Chance's Corner: What is a "Good" Movie?

I get asked to recommend movies all the time here at the library, and while I enjoy doing it, sometimes it proves to be no easy task. Movies are a form of art, and the appreciation of art has always been based on opinion. So, for example, when people ask me to recommend me a good comedy, I have to wonder what they consider to be "good". Are they Adam Sandler and Melissa McCarthy types? Do they prefer dry, black, toilet, screwball, satire, or slapstick? It's usually easy to figure out once I ask them what they like. However, you also have the ones that ask me to recommend them just a "good" movie. Oh dear. There's all sorts of possibilities there. Should I walk them over to the classic section or pick out the 17th (ha) Transformers movie?

Luckily, whenever I'm put in that situation, I have some movies that I can fall back on. One of them is called The Straight Story. No, it's not called The Straight Story because it's one of David Lynch's most straight-forward films. Yes, I'm talking about the same David Lynch behind some of the most enigmatic, freaky and surreal films ever made. The Straight Story actually gets its title from the true story of Alvin Straight, and his 260 mile journey on a '66 John Deere lawnmower to see his ailing brother in "party-town" Wisconsin. The Straight Story is more or less a family film, not one of Lynch's eerie masterworks, but his trademarks are still all over the film, adding complexity and symbolism as only Lynch can. I do warn that the film is slowly paced, but overall it's a very touching story and worth the wait (and tears).

The Straight Story is available at the Franklin County Library.

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