Thursday, 30 July 2015

Mel Gibson Vs. Taylor Kitsch (The »guy« of the eighties/nineties and the modern »guy«.)

It's been raining for a week straight now, which, after the dog days, feels incredibly soothing, pleasant and welcomed. Just the tiny scrabbling sound of the rain on the street roofs which wakes me up every morning is an excellent start of the day. I am mostly indoors, having switched the doggywalks to the evenings, when it subsides a little, watching movies and playing Warcraft and thinking. I am editing a wedding shoot; it took me three days to get into the proper mental calibration for it and of course there is no way of knowing if the client will agree with what I think they want. They had a simple ceremony, but I’ve done enough of these to know everyone wants at least a little bit of glamour in their wedding photos. Though, granted, this time the couple was young and in love and seemed genuinely happy. It’s always easier to portray happiness when people are not just suffering though the procedures, waiting for the food and one of the newlyweds isn’t ecstatically thrilled and the other hating it every time the camera is pointed at them.
I’ve also been thinking about men and the times we are in. When I spend about 8 hours a day editing the shots, I watch a lot of movies and shows during and I’ve gone through some Mel Gibson dramas and the entire season 2 True detective I’ve missed. The fact that mum and I both like Mel Gibson a lot is one of the rarest things we have in common. I grew up having to watch Lethal Weapon A LOT. But no complaints there, there isn’t much not to like. In the nineties, the traumatized, handsome young war veteran with issues, brave but unstable, smart but cynical, as portrayed by Gibson in the first lethal weapon, was a cool, lonely, chatty, charismatic guy whose problems you really wanted to solve. He’s the kind of a guy who will never hesitate to die for someone else, inflict violence on assholes, even break the same laws he is sworn to uphold for the bigger picture. He’s really macho, beer-drinking, dog-loving, sleeping-naked bottom-feeder with an excellent back story and some militant credit he is actually proud of, even if it meant killing folk.
The Taylor Kitsch character in True Detective 2.0 fits almost the exact same description – he is a loner, traumatized, bottom-feeder, not the dumbest, but fairly locked-in in his own brain, a cop, upholding some moral standard, very pretty, he’s killed people in the war and he just wants to ride his bike and be left alone. The difference is, his trauma doesn’t come from missing his dead wife but from fucking guys, he doesn’t live with a dog in a trailer on a beach, he lives with his mom, he’s ashamed of his military skills and when he is partnered up (with another awesome male character, played by Colin Farrell, but let's go into him some time later, he's a whole other story, but avoid the character of Matthew McConaughey entirely, because even I can't explain that one), he lets everyone else does the work for him, he just tags along and feels miserable and wants to be left alone to ride his bike and not have sex with men or have to deal with his Munchhausen-by-proxy mum.

Dunno. Is it just me or has the world’s ‘tough guy with a sad story’ cliché really switched tracks lately? I think of Mel’s character in that movie and I really don’t want him to die. I think of Kitsch’s guy and it’s ‘oh, for the love of God, get the fuck over yourself already and stop being the loon!’