I saw it and immediately went out to buy the book (to read and then add to
my extensive shelf of Twaints) and discovered that Jeff Nichols had written
the film --there's no book. Damn!
The Twain motifs and metaphors are abundant but a little muddled (yes,
that's a pun) with no particular character in the film carrying along a
particular theme long enough to parallel Twain's works too closely. There
may be loads of postmodern formalist metatextuality in the film, but I don't
know what those words mean any more than those who use them, so I missed it
if there was any. Don't expect it to be an updated HF set in our time. But
that doesn't matter since the periodic nods to incidents and characters in
TS and HF are effective just as they are. There's no "I'll go to Hell"
moment although the scene where Mud takes the snakebitten kid to the ER
might qualify. There's also no Tom Sawyer character playing off a Huck Finn
character, or vice versa, and there's no Jim. Yes, Mud's situation parallels
Jim's superficially, but they are very different characters except for Mud's
somewhat paternal attitiude toward the boys. No evasion chapters, so to
speak, but none needed. They *were* needed in HF to highlight postwar
treatment of blacks after slavery "ended"-- just in case there are any
"evasion-whiners" listening. I thought the movie ended just right, but won't
spoil that for those who have not seen it.
If we have any movie buffs on the list I'd invite them to informally treat
us all to a full-dress review of this flick, connecting all of the dots.
Heck, I might go see it again...
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----- Original Message -----
From: "Larry Howe" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Tuesday, January 07, 2014 11:39 AM
Subject: Mud--homage to Twain
> I'm wondering if anyone else has seen the film _Mud_ (2013) one of the =
> latest films in the recuperation of Matthew McConaughey's career. I =
> mention it here because it bears multiple Twain connections.=20
> Namely, it features a couple of boys (not too far removed from Huck and =
> Tom) who befriend a fugitive on an island in the Mississippi near =
> Arkansas. The fugitive, the eponymous Mud (McConaughey), subscribes to =
> all kinds of superstitious beliefs including warding off evil sprits =
> with a cross in his boot heel. Like Twain's Jim, Mud spouts lore about =
> snakebites and near the climax risks his own exposure to the authorities =
> to save one of the wounded boys, who, like Huck in the =
> Grangerford-Shepherdson sequence, served as Mud's go-between to the =
> woman he loves. If these correspondences weren't sufficient, the Twain =
> connection is clinched by the introduction of a loner character named =
> Tom Blankenship (Sam Shepard). =20
> I'd seen a few reviews of this film, none of which mentioned the =
> connections to _HF_. Anyone else seen it or know anymore about it?
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