Wednesday, January 21, 2009

"Bonneville" and the West

You can't really explain the West to those who have not experienced it. The West cannot be captured by language. It's simply too vast and larger-than-life.
I was recently surprised by a good film. It's called Bonneville and it's brilliantly shot. I felt the director actually 'got' the pace of the West and what it means to face the vastness of the landscape. So, next time someone asks me what the West is like, I will recommend that they see this film.

Well, this and the end of Matador. Its end credits do justice to Colorado, I find. But that's another post.

I have been lucky to have driven the same areas featured in Bonneville. I find that one doesn't really get to appreciate places like Idaho, Utah, Nevada, Oregon, and California if one hasn't actually experienced them on the road. And this film is a respectful homage to the gift that is the nature out West.

The film starts in Idaho with the main characters embarking on a long road trip. They start by going South in the direction of Salt Lake City at which point they decide to head south to California. The characters stop at places like Lake Powell, go boating in its shallow waters, get unstuck and then unstuck, and consequently reach Las Vegas. The characters' final destination is California which the film captures nicely as well.

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Anonymous said...

I agree. The West is to be experienced, not explained. I love it that you love it so! It's the kind of beauty that begs for acceptance, right?

Unknown said...

I heard about this movie. Indie, right?
The cast looks good. I take the West for granted at times and I really shouldn't. It is friggin' spectacular.
Ah, and this made me think of the Vegas trips.... That 5-hour vastness before you see the lights? So relaxing and insanely vast at the same time.

Unknown said...

And the end of Matador, is that the bit where The Killers sing 'I've got soul, but I'm not a soldier...'? Another film with the right ingredients to be liked, yes?

Anonymous said...

I didn't catch this film so I'm adding it to the list.
There's something truly expansive about the West which no other place shares, really.

Sra said...

I've put it on hold at the library, thanks for the recommendation. The west will always be my home. It is a special place to be sure, even if parts of it are a little ludicrous.

I was watching the post-inaugural parade yesterday, and heard some commentator say something about the North and the South, and I thought to myself, "you guys still don't consider the West part of this country, do you?"

Anonymous said...

Like you say, you either experience the West and then sort of 'get' it or you don't. You can't get it by reading about it. Nothing like the vastness of the drive... for sure!!

Anonymous said...

This is such a West movie. Not only when it comes to its geography but culture, too. I liked.

Anonymous said...

Oh, man. The Salt Flats bit was GREAT!!

Anonymous said...

So West, so good!

Anonymous said...

It looks like a good cast. But if it shows an example of a road trip a-la West, well, I'm sold then. :)