Monday, 5 April 2010

The Driver (Walter Hill, 1978)

Did the reading of the Dinos brother’s Bangwallop (s)mash-up of Ballard’s Crash subliminally prompt me to buy this film?

It has one of the greatest soundtracks never written in the form of wailing cop car sirens during the first chase.

Isabelle Adjani’s big brown eyes are as seductive as chocolate (70 per cent cocoa). She delivers some of her lines so woodenly that I wonder if a deliberate somnambulistic state is being evoked. Are we somehow enticed into her dream?

The Driver has no name other than ‘The Driver’. He is as quick on the draw as Leone’s Man With No Name. Is this a spaghetti Western rewritten for the modern urban industrial landscape of wide open streets and factories?

The Driver speaks just 350 words, apparently. The Detective says a lot more. The Driver is silently hip, The Detective, mouthy and corrupt. Does this film argue the case for Zen-like wisdom over verbal excess?

The film both idolises mechanised machismo and revels in its destruction during the wrecking of the Merc in the underground car park.

Is The Driver also a machine? Is he an automaton...the movie idol reduced to no more than a name, a face without expression, a voice without emotion?

This is a film without heroes, without heart or soul.

Is this film as a mechanical process?

The Driver earns big money but instead of leading the high life inhabits seedy rooms with only country music on a transistor radio for entertainment. Perhaps the songs of love and loss say what he is incapable of expressing.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...