Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Today, being under the weather and unable to go anywhere, I watched a film I've borrowed - Inside Llewyn Davis, a Coen Brothers film about a sixties folk singer.
Now I was a haunter of folk clubs in the sixties, so this was something of a nostalgia trip for me. I knew pretty much all the songs, though sometimes with slightly different lyrics, and I sang along with as much gusto as my weakening vocal chords would allow.
The main character, Llewyn Davis is supposed to be based on Dave Van Ronk, an influential figure in Greenwich Village, New York, USA, in the early sixties. If D.V.R. was anything like Llewyn D. then he was an objectionable twat. I hope that's not the case. D.V.R. was a Wobbly, an IWW, for some part of his existence, and passed through a selection of the 57 varieties of Marxist groupuscules in his time.
One of the characters in the film, Roland Turner, is played by John Goodman, a Coen regular. His parts seem to get weirder and weirder in the Coen stories and Brother Turner is a doozy. I have to say I was left wondering about the fate of Roland and his chauffeur/nurse, Johnny Five, whom Davis deserted in fraught circumstances on the road from New York to Chicago. But then he tends to desert everybody after sponging off them for a while.
After watching the film my interest in its place and time was awakened. I went online to try and obtain a copy of the late Suze Rotolo's memoir, but it seems to be available only in download form or in expensive second-hand. Sod that!
I have some D.V.R. stuff and must admit that there are better interpreters of the material, but he was a father figure and tutor(?) to more famous people, so he has his place in history. Apparently he too published a memoir. I'll see if it's available and in my price range.

Addendum, 22.8.14: something I noticed in the film credits and forgot to mention. At the very end where they do the "No animals were hurt ..."etc, there was a little seal bearing the words, "Kosher for Passover" - a Coen joke?
Mention of animals reminds me of a funny quote involving a poor cat Llewyn D. was looking after for someone, "Where's his Scrotum Llewyn? Where's his scrotum?"

No comments: