[Marxism] Wendy and Lucy
lnp3 at panix.com
Sat Dec 6 10:01:04 MST 2008
Put simply, Kelly Reichardt's "Wendy and Lucy" is a "Grapes of Wrath"
for the contemporary era. In place of the Joads, we encounter a young
woman named Wendy (Michelle Williams) and her dog Lucy who are trying
to make their way to Alaska, a symbol of economic opportunity in the
way that California was for the Joads. Although "Wendy and Lucy" is
far less ambitious than John Ford's 1940 masterpiece, I regard as a
better film in some ways since it operates in the neorealist
tradition, a genre that corresponds to the lives of working people
much more than Ford/Steinbeck's melodrama.
Like so many neorealist movies, "Wendy and Lucy" revolves around a
seemingly mundane subject matter, in this case the young woman's
attempt to track down her dog, the only source of companionship in a
very lonely and economically deprived existence. If the bicycle in
"The Bicycle Thief" was a means to economic survival, the tawny mixed
Labrador breed serves to keep Wendy going emotionally in a heartless world.
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