Good friends of mine know I love the Mendonoma Coast and subscribe to the paper of record up there called the Independent Coast Observer. There’s a little column, tucked in there with the “Mark Your Calendar” listings, called “Mr. Smee’s Video Picks.” Now, it is a function of the genial and bucolic nature of the area that I cannot link you to the latest “Mr. Smee’s” that I reference, and that the most current version of the ICO on their website is a scanned bit of the actual printed paper from the first week in January. Just the nature of the homespun news up there… that recently even just swapped over to digital production. Seems not even two years ago I was seeing statted photographs bordered by hairline tape in the sports section…
…but I do not ridicule; not in the slightest. If anything, I admire the staving off of the digital, immediate, age with the North Coast application of craft and toil. I even admire (the same way I even now call CDs “albums” still, or even “records”) how Mr. Smee still calls his movie picks “videos.” And even though the pseudonymous Smee highlights what was just playing at the Point Arena Theatre or current releases at the rental store, every once in a while he throws one in there I have never heard of. Which is impressive, because I keep track of these sorts of things.
His latest gem was The Last Rites of Ransom Pride. Came out in 2010, directed by documentary filmmaker Tiller Russell. Stars Lizzy Caplan as Clint Eastwood, by way of Six String Samurai and Shaolin Soccer. I do not know how I had not heard of this flick before, which stars Kris Kristofferson, Peter Dinklage, Dwight Yoakum, Scott Speedman, and that girl from NCIS as a bruja. I mean, this is the sort of thing I think I should have heard of, what with it being my kind of thing, and all.
Lizzy Caplan with a gun:
It’s on Netflix, and you should watch it. Here are some buzzwords to convince you. Lizzy Caplan… with a gun. Stylized revenge Western. Gothic jump cuts. Sepia tone. Sledgehammer flashbacks. Dead priests. Brother-swapping. Non sequiturs. Opium-addled Siamese twins in thrall to Peter Dinklage. Sun-bleached bones. Ass-kicking. A loyalty tale… RIDDLED WITH BULLETS…
…and Lizzy Caplan as a badass. Did i say that already? This thing is like if EJ Feddes wrote a Vertigo graphic novel without editorial interference.