Tuesday, January 25, 2011

On Boots, Suits and Being Bored: Fragments 4 and 5

Fragment 4
As Bronco Bullfrog unfolds Del meets Irene and they begin to go out together. There is a wonderful sequence where Del comes to Irene's block of flats on his motorbike to take her out for the evening. The early steps of this sequence are beautifully lit in a natural way and the frames are filled with sunlight. Del and Irene walk out of the shadows and into this light. Whilst I can make no claims for this very simple movement from darkness to light to be suggesting that something life-changing is about to happen but I do read it in terms of hope and optimism. If nothing else, this simple movement is at least suggestive of something positive. (There is also a connection between this movement and the white coat Irene is wearing, a garment that also hints at something possibly hopeful or hopefully possible. The coat is too plain to be glamorous and in any case glamorous would not be appropriate here. Nevertheless, its angled front pocket, large buttons and v-neck front mark the garment as something more than simply functional. It is a date after all).
Fragment 5
'Where we going?' Irene asks. 'Up the West End', Del replies. 'That your bike?' 'Yeah'. The dialogue here is simple but beautifully balanced, expressing the awkwardness of a first date capably within the limits of the actors' abilities whilst also sounding deliberately underwhelmed. The idea of being underwhelmed is significant here because it plays its part in the remarkable way in which the whole film manages to sustain and somehow celebrate this idea across its entire length. The lives of these characters are extremely underwhelming and as a consequence the film itself can appear to be similar. Yet, a form of cinema that celebrates the notmuchness of life is applauded elsewhere so why shouldn't this film be similarly lauded for exploring the boring and the unexciting. For most of us the world turns just too slowly and tightly and allows only simple glimpses of situations and circumstances instead of providing extended views of our own lives. Bronco Bullfrog is a simple glimpse in a similar way.