The Counselor: A Screenplay

This topic contains 42 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by  Richard L. 4 years, 2 months ago.

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  • 23 Oct 2013 at 11:04 am #4219

    Candy Minx
    Member

    Ken thanks that is hilarious!


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    23 Oct 2013 at 11:07 am #4220

    Candy Minx
    Member

    P.s there was only one thing I was curious about in a big way regarding the bootleg and the published version…. Something very small detail…as soon as I had the published version I looked for it…..to see if it was there… Can you guess?


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    23 Oct 2013 at 11:26 am #4222

    Ken
    Member

    Candy: I read about that years ago, but I don’t remember the source. The closest I could quickly find is this UK Telegraph obituary:

    In 1973 Ballard’s obsession with car accidents came to fruition with the publication of Crash. The book put forward the unusual theory that only through intimate contact with a car (in the form of accidents) can humans achieve true eroticism. Ballard’s accounts of “the mysterious eroticism of wounds: the perverse logic of blood-soaked instrument panels and sun visors lined with brain tissue” did not suit all tastes. The publisher’s reader who first saw the manuscript described Ballard as being “beyond psychiatric help”. Ballard took her comment as a compliment.


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    23 Oct 2013 at 11:33 am #4223

    Glass
    Member

    Candy: Rowena?

    Planning on seeing The Counselor movie late Friday night on the day it comes out.


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    • This reply was modified 4 years, 3 months ago by  Glass.
    24 Oct 2013 at 10:14 am #4243

    Martin
    Member

    “In 1973 Ballard’s obsession with car accidents came to fruition with the publication of Crash. The book put forward the unusual theory that only through intimate contact with a car (in the form of accidents) can humans achieve true eroticism. Ballard’s accounts of “the mysterious eroticism of wounds: the perverse logic of blood-soaked instrument panels and sun visors lined with brain tissue” did not suit all tastes. The publisher’s reader who first saw the manuscript described Ballard as being “beyond psychiatric help”. Ballard took her comment as a compliment.”

    In total, I have been involved in 30+ car accidents – the vast majority with no personal injury, but two that could have, and probably should have, included fatalities. There was nothing erotic about the experience.

    However, after being behind the wheel of a Datsun 210 (remember them? the second smallest car on US roads in their day) that took on a Dodge Club Cruiser pickup (largest pickup on US roads at the time) in a headon collision (combined speed of impact 140 mph), I did experience what I now recognize as a phowa (transfer of consciousness, or out of body for westerners) experience, which can follow a severe blow to the head (parts of the bone structure in my face were literally blown away by the windshield glass).

    But, nothing erotic. I feel fairly confident in saying this because I was bleeding so profusely that I’m sure I lacked the blood pressure to spring one. And recollection of the experience and two-year recovery doesn’t even get a twitch.


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    24 Oct 2013 at 10:22 am #4244

    Martin
    Member

    I actually stopped by to post a comment about The Counselor.

    My son, Ben, and I have looked forward to this for some time. In addition to being a fairly accomplished actor himself, we have our own movie club and we soooo wanted this to be a “good” movie.

    But, just as the lackluster reviews for The Road reflected a lackluster production, so I see a similar relationship between The Counselor and its reviews. Ben actually was the first to express reservations when the first previews were released. We’ve canceled plans to see it together.

    He will see it with a friend who is an aspiring playright. I’ve seen the friend’s writing, and it is impressive, especially for one so young. But one thing to keep in mind about this friend is his affinity for lousy movies, including grinders such as Hobo with a Gun. These two have stayed up until sunrise watching stinker, after stinker.

    I will spend the evening in front of a fire with Eleanore Catton’s The Illuminaries. Hubba, hubba.


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    24 Oct 2013 at 11:14 am #4247

    Richard L.
    Member

    Not having seen the film yet, I’m still musing on the text.

    A McCarthy’s TO HAVE AND HAVE NOT script. I don’t think it is going to be a commercial success. The reviews suggest that the whole on film is too action-oriented to be high brow and too wordy to be low-brow. The beauty of the cast and the landscape, they say, do not redeem it.

    Fortunately for the producers of TO HAVE AND HAVE NOT, and for the careers of the actors involved, Hawks made a script of the first chapter only, changed the political landscape from revolutionary Cuba to the Vici French Martineque in World War II, borrowed sentiment from CASABLANCA, and changed the ending from noir to happy ever after.

    Also Hawks changed the feel of Hemingway’s left-wing protagonist. Boat captains are not really blue collar, even when broke. They’re middle class–small businessmen. Nonetheless, Hemingway gave his protagonist the feeling of being oppressed, of thinking that way. You can do a marxist reading of TO HAVE AND HAVE NOT, but you cannot do a marxist reading of THE COUNSOLER.

    THE COUNSOLER is white-collar noir, but it seems to me that it doesn’t rebel against the system. There is no blue-collar Moss in the middle to make choices.


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    24 Oct 2013 at 1:48 pm #4254

    Candy Minx
    Member

    Nice musing here Richard….should be a lot of fun to see how the movie deals with the script.

    Peter, I knew you’d guess!!! I looked right in the bookstore to see if Rowena was still there. I totally take it personally ha ha ha! I not so secretly believe he thought….I’ll send those crazy kids a bone….I’ll slip in a little something something only they would notice….like the wife’s name of their fearless leader.


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    24 Oct 2013 at 4:33 pm #4262

    Richard L.
    Member

    Sticking to the screenplay, we have to say that the underlying theme of this work is, as many have alluded to upthread, addiction as a form of death-in-life, mindlessness. The reason for the centrality of the device decapitating people is, that this movie is about the mind/body divide that Plato pointed out ages ago.

    The question is, did McCarthy write about this divide between mindfulness and animalistic addiction well here?

    Robert Penn Warren’s ALL THE KING’S MEN was also on one level about death-in-life, addicted people swallowed up in their addictions, what Jack Burden refers to as the Great Sleep. Here is Warren’s opening:

    To get there you follow Highway 58, going northeast out of the city, and it is a good highway and new. Or was new, that day we went up it. You look up the highway and it is straight for miles, coming at you, with the black line down the center coming at and at you , black and slick and tarry-shining against the white of the slab so that only the black line is clear, coming at you with the whine of the tires, and if you don’t quit staring at that line and don’t take a few deep breaths and slap yourself hard on the back of the neck you’ll hypnotize yourself and you’ll come to just at the moment when the right front wheel hooks over into the black dirt shoulder off the slab, and you’ll try to jerk her back on but you can’t because the slab is high like a curb, and maybe you’ll try to reach to turn off the ignition just as she starts the dive.

    But you won’t make it, of course. Then a nigger chopping cotton a mile away, he’ll look up and see the little column of black smoke standing up above the vitriolic, arsencial green of the cotton rows, and up against the violent, metallic, throbbing blue of the sky, and he’ll say, “Lawd God, hit’s a-nudder one done done hit!” And the next nigger down the next row, he’ll say, “Lawd God,” and the first nigger will giggle, and the hoe will lift again and the blade will flash in the sun like a heliograph. Then a few days later the boys from the Highway Department will mark the spot with a little metal square on a metal rod stuck in the black dirt off the shoulder, the metal square painted white and on it in black a skull and crossbones. Later on love vine will climb up it, out of the weeds.

    The driver–whom the narrator says is you, or everyman–becomes hypnotized on The Road, and, the narrator warns, if you don’t wake up, you will crash. This is the metaphor that sets up the novel. The climax of the novel is not, as most people think, the assassination of Willie Stark, but rather the scene when Jack Burden decides not to continue the cycle of vengeance. He has an epiphany that finally lets him wake up and love unconditionally. This is what that novel is about, the underlying theme of the novel, although few see it.

    As a work of art, ALL THE KING’S MEN, the novel, is light years ahead of either movie made from it.

    The counsoler in McCarthy’s screenplay is not much of a counsoler, as Dianne and others here have pointed out upthread. However what is the screenplay of THE COUNSOLER itself but a cautionary tale, that counsoles against ego, against a sense of exceptionalism and entitlement, against addictions.


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    24 Oct 2013 at 9:26 pm #4275

    Glass
    Member

    Dianne: Not really close at all. Marfa, Texas, is about 450 miles south of Las Vegas, New Mexico.


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