22 March 2012

22 Mar- "I do not call myself subject to much at all"

The Last of the Mohicans (1992)
dir. Michael Mann (Heat, 1995)

Daniel Day-Lewis (There Will Be Blood, 2007)
Madeleine Stowe (Bad Girls, 1994)
Russell Means (Pocahontas (voice), 1995)
Wes Studi (Dances With Wolves, 1995)
Steven Waddington (Sleepy Hollow, 1999)
Jodhi May (The Scarlet Letter (voice), 1995)
Eric Schweig (The Scarlet Letter, 1995)
Pete Postlethwaite (James and the Giant Peach, 1996)
Terry Kinney (Save the Last Dance, 2001)
Patrice Chereau (Time of the Wolf, 2003)
Dylan Baker (Love Potion No. 9, 1992)
Mark Joy (Pecker, 1998)
Tim Hopper (School of Rock, 2003)
Jared Harris (Far and Away, 1992)
Sebastian Roche (Beowulf, 2007)
Colm Meaney (Law Abiding Citizen, 2009)
David Schofield (An American Werewolf in London, 1981)

The Last of the Mohicans is easily one of my top ten favorites movies. Unfortunately, it's hard to make other people believe how awesome it is because the first twenty minutes are notoriously slow and usually folks get bored before they become enthralled in the awesomeness. Here are the reasons why I like this movie:
1) Chingachgook's awesome war club
2) Daniel Day Lewis placing emphasis on unusual syllables (he's "beholden to none")
3) Wes Studi as Magua, probably one of the best characters in film history
4) The score, by Trevor Jones

I've also read the book, but James Fenimore Cooper. I'm always interested in how books are adapted into screenplays, what stays in, what gets cut, what's changed, how the perspective moves from first person to third person. In the book, for example, the heroine Cora doesn't pair off with Hawkeye, Daniel Day-Lewis's character, she marries Duncan, the English captain she arrived in the colonies with. But in the movie Duncan sacrifices himself to save Hawkeye, Cora and Alice, which is good, because from a modern perspective Hawkeye's character is way hotter and deserves makeouts.

I've always liked Wes Studi. Magua, as a character, is one of the best. Magua first appears as an Iroquois scout for the English, but after he betrays Duncan's unit it's revealed that he was actually a Huron captive who was adopted by the Iroquois. His anger at having lost his Huron family due to the actions of Colonel Monroe have set him on a vendetta to avenge himself. He says that he wants to kill Colonel Monroe's daughters in front of him, "so that he knows his seed as been wiped out forever" and then cut out and eat Monroe's heart. But at the end, when Alice is preparing to leap off a cliff instead of going as Magua's captive, he tries to stop her. And it's not that I think it's odd that he had a change of heart, but that I think that's a very human response. It's different, when you're at war and filled with anger and murdering is almost normal, and afterwards, when the fighting is done and the resolution has been made and someone's about to die is very needless and tragic. Nobody wants that to happen. Magua: he's kind of a tragic character.

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