Sunday, June 20, 2010


Biking at 8:15, not quite as humid, but still got an earache and sore throat after 1/2 hour, so pollen must be bad. Finally went north, Van Meter to Redd to Old Frankfort to Browns Mill to Leestown to Weizenberger Mill (pic) to Payne's Depot to Pisgah and back in Military Pike. 29 miles, 2h20m, 1 stop. After cooldown and shower, in to Louisville for jambalaya at Joe's OK Bayou and then swimming with Uncle Bruce.

On Payne's Depot, saw some young turkey buzzards. Young because:

  1. They let me get within 10 ft of them, and then they hopped off of the fence instead of flying away. Closest I've ever gotten to a turkey buzzard.
  2. They were .60-.75 of the size of an adult turkey buzzard.
  3. They still had pinfeathers on their heads, they weren't completely bald.
They're not as ugly as adult buzzards, but, they're getting there.

So on to the movie review. We saw "Winter's Bone" at the Kentucky Friday night. This was apparently the indie darling of Sundance, and, given that it's about crank cookers in the Ozarks of southern Missouri, one wonders why.

So the plot is, the unstoppable 17 YO heroine, who is taking care of her two younger siblings and her mostly catatonic mother, must find her crank-cooking father because he has used the family homestead as bond and if he misses his court date, they will lose it all -- and he appears to have gone missing.

So what is it about this movie? The acting is great -- the actress playing the 17 YO heroine is from Louisville, and she is unstoppable. And apparently, you don't have to have been in Eastern KY or the rural poverty center of your choice for it to have affected you, so here's my theory.

*** Spoiler Alert ***
This story is completely mythic. It could have been a Greek myth, a Norse myth, or a Grimm Brothers fairy tale. The young girl searches for her missing father to save her family. And the clannish, tribal nature of life out in in the Ozark hollers is completely wired into our lizard brains.

When the heroine gets beat up to discourage her from trying to talk to the pater familias of the head clan, the women do the damage. No man touches her, because that would require the men of her clan to seek retribution.

And when she finally gets to see the grandpa of the rival clan, he comes out, 70 YO, 6 ft tall, still barrel-chested, wearing a giant cowboy hat and a vest completely covered with badges, emblems and tokens!!! He is the tribal headman/shaman, completely channeling Odin the All-Father or Jehovah the Murderer of Children. I've got to see that scene again.

The poster for the movie in the lobby showed people in a boat. So it's getting towards the end of the movie, I'm wondering, where's the boat? But, of course, they save the crossing of the River Styx for the last.

This is The Old Ways. This is the clans of Scotland 500 years ago, or Scandinavia 1000 years ago, or the savannahs of Africa 100,000 years ago.

I really wonder if the writer and director realized they were tapping into such primal stuff, or if they were just telling the story as it came. I think the latter, but to me, they subconsciously must have opened a huge vein directly into the deep archetypes of our species. C.G. Jung would be proud! So, Joe Bob sez, check it out! I will second the 5 star rating it got in the Herald-Leader.

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