Posted by Kate on March 18, 1999 at 21:31:30:
Firstly - many thanks for all the warm welcomes! It was really appreciated! It can be a bit daunting, being 'new girl'. Especially when you are attempting to join an obviously close knit clan. But your kind hearts and generous spirits made it easy. Thanks for your support!
I have a feeling some of that support may be about to go down the pan, though! Yes, Miss Marcia, you have put me in a spot, rather! And set me up nicely! All these nice folks asking about my favourite stars of LOTM! Well, what can I say?!
Simply, that I am not ashamed to 'say what I feel'!! And I really do not think my interpretation of 'THE MOST INCREDIBLE FILM' is unique!! I'm willing to bet my 'Gathering' airfare (well, perhaps not!!), that there are many, many big fans who feel just as I do - I just happen to be the first one to put our thoughts on paper!! So, I will use the first person singular, though I represent thousands, I'm sure!!
Firstly, did I enjoy the film? Is the Pope Catholic?! The film is great! I was absolutely enthralled by the whole ethos of the film, historical perspective, scenery, (most of the) storyline, and certainly those brilliant, brilliant actors! Heroes - it's got aplenty! But which particular actor(s), I hear you cry!! In whose camp do you dwell?! Well, this is how I see it!!
Is it DDL (alias Hawkeye), I hear you cry? Oh, he of the 'lean bod and chiselled profile?' (It was a short friendship, but I valued it highly, Miss Marcia) - but, get a grip! You mean he of the large proboscis - no, I think not!! Well, comes the cry - it must be ES's 'bronzed, god-like Uncas' - that tall, skinny runt? 'Not on your Nelly', to use the local vernacular!! Perhaps I flirted with the idea of joining forces with the Scot, Monroe (Maurice Roeves)? Monroe's advocate indeed! As I explained to Marcia - he was doing so well, got my sympathy vote and with two little words 'aye, so!', shot himself in the foot! In Mohican phraseology, 'he's a man of a few good qualities but taken as a whole, I was wrong to have thought so highly of him'. In modern Glaswegian - 'your mother wears army boots, pal! No LOTM Award for you'! Can you honestly believe I should give a 'gong' to someone who would take on such an uncompromising role? No way Jose! Magua, alias Wes Studi - now there was a warrior! But his acting was just too good! I seriously believed he was a 'baddie' and I just can't respect someone who would terrify me too much to be able to tell him to wipe his feet before coming into the 'lodge'!! As for Duncan - 'convention ridden'? - a 'Nancy boy' more like! As for acting - totally unbelievable! Name one guy you know who would beg to be burned at the stake in place of your partner/loved one! Exactly! I rest my case!!
Nope! For truly inspirational, believable acting, you have to look closer (very close indeed!) at the film (and perhaps it would help not to blink!) No, after due consideration (and many re-winds of the tape) the award for NO. 1 ACTOR OF LOTM must go to - Ta! Ta! - THE STUFFED ELK!! Now come on, guys, be fair!! See that nose dive into the ravine - pure poetry in motion! No messin' with stand-ins! Just dive right on in there! That is professionalism in its purest form! Puts Uncas's slide into his ravine into the shade! Sorry, but no contest!!
My NO. 2 ACTOR OF LOTM AWARD (picture the 'mopping up' scene after the ambush on the George Road) - without hesitation and without doubt must go to - THE HORSES!! After that smack on the rump by Uncas, those startled flinches and the great gallop for freedom - pure dead brilliant (as they say in Glasgow)!! Absolute naturals - actually made you believe they really were heading for home!!
NO. 3 DISTINGUISHED ACTOR(s)AWARD must go to (scene: Huron village - Sachem being led to seat) - DOG #1 AND DOG #2!! Many times I've read of ES's eloquence without words. The measure of the dogs' professionalism - they didn't even appear! But you knew they were there!! Their lines came out clearly and succinctly - (no 'corpsing' there!) and it was unlikely they needed umpteen 'takes' to get it right! And, I can only assume their Huron 'tongues' were absolutely 100% accurate! Well, you know how there is always someone ready to pounce on an actor's poor accent - I have yet to read of the dogs' accents being criticised by anyone!!
Unfortunately, the film was all downhill from there. However, MS (Cora) and JM (Alice) obviously realised that their acting skills were somewhat 'out of touch'. Recognising that the above 'characters' so obviously up-staged their human counterparts, they attempted a 'damage limitation' exercise. In their big scene under the waterfall, they proffer heads and wrists to Magua's band and plead that ropes be tied around them and they be lead like animals. Alice refuses to leave 'role' and continues North in like manner. Very innovative! Very brave! But too little, too late! No! No! NO! This poor attempt to attain the ultimate accolade of 'STAR OF LOTM' - simply didn't work! Rest of film? Simply filling in time and validating 'location' trip expenses by showing scenery!
At the risk of sounding unkind, and I am not one to say 'I told you so' - I wouldn't! Someone said it much better - never work with children - AND ANIMALS! But did you guys listen? All of you? You did not! So - yup! 'STARS OF LOTM' - my vote goes to: THE ELK, THE HORSES AND THE DOGS!! Whey Hey! Lets have a big hand for our heroes!!
Like I said to Marcia, I can't tell you how good it feels to have gotten that off my chest! While others prattled on about DDL and ES., about their smouldering good looks, hard lean bodies, ES's eloquence without words, DDL's big ... rifle, guys! Rifle! etc., I couldn't help thinking - 'They've missed the whole essence of the movie! It's the animals, guys! It's the animals!' I'm sorry but you can give me a 'real animal' any day!! As I explained to Miss Marcia - there is absolutely nothing wrong with a bit of 'rough' (ruff?) from time to time!! :0)
So, that is my opinion of the film - and I'm sticking to it! I do understand that these concepts may be fairly new to some of you and you may be thinking 'she is a breed apart and makes no sense'. All I can say to that is, 'One day you and I are going to have a big disagreement!' No - give it some time, give it some thought. I'm sure you will come around to my way of thinking!!
Just one more thing. Miss Marcia, as one of the organisers - any chance of getting to meet the Elk, the Horses or the Dogs at the Gathering? Well, I thought, no harm in asking!!!
I know, I know - I've either been up too long or been to the 'cuach' too often! So - time to go! Well, Anonna, I don't know about "...'walks'-at-dawn"! More like 'crawling' by then! BUT I LIKE IT!! So, until next time, happy hunting.
PS - What - tell my 'real' favourite hero? Oh, I can't do that! A woman has to keep some secrets, retain some auro of mystique - in other words, I plead the 5th Amendment!! And I don't care who knows it!!
('Who Am I' - Sung by Jean Valjean in 'Les Miserables' - West End musicals are another favourite of mine>)
Post a Followup