Saturday, February 13, 2010

Still on the subject of the Coen brother's remake of the wonderful movie True Grit, based on the novel by Charles Portis: The thing I find especially interesting about this is that I have always had a deep suspicion that the Coens were major Charles Portis fans. Their movie Raising Arizona is extremely similar in tone (particularly Nicolas Cage's narration) to my favorite Charles Portis book, The Dog of the South. In fact, I always thought The Dog of the South would be a perfect sequel to Raising Arizona. But I was never absolutely certain they had read the book...until now. I mean, for them to be making True Grit is pretty ample evidence that they are familiar with the work of Charles Portis. It's about time they gave the guy his due. I was watching the special features on a DVD of True Grit recently, and it pissed me off how everybody kept harping on John Wayne, as if John Wayne was what made that movie great. Sure, John Wayne was really good, but he was so good because the character of Rooster Cogburn is so damn good--and that's all Charles Portis. Is Charles Portis even still alive? The last thing I read by him was the great little novel Gringos, over ten years ago I think. And also an incredibly funny parody of travel writing he did for The Atlantic, called Nights Can Be Cool in Viborra. If he's still around, he's one of my idols, and I really hope he's writing something new.


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