Giant ★★★★

who ever thought a movie called GIANT would be so long?

Stevens is my kind of filmmaker. Liz Taylor shrouded in darkness during her pivotal tiff with Rock Hudson, the long-take of Jamws Dean climbing his newly bequeathed wind turbine, the wide shot of James Dean's final screen moment, broken and alone...

less interested in this as A BIG AMERICAN EPIC than i am in its sweep and pull (if THERE WILL BE BLOOD doesn't negate the former reading, it certainly refines and shades it)... how time is dragged forward and everyone is tugged along like on the other side of a yanked carpet, each decision intended vertically but stretched sideways. i suppose most multi-generational portraits do this, but GIANT is peerless in how submissive these characters feel to time, how time gets away from them, leaving only the smallest claims in its wake. the diner scene and the final one that follows work to squeeze this exterior western into the interiors in which it's most secure, but the diner brawl that gets it there and the clumsy race commentary that both sparks & follows it feels too shrill.

baby Dennis Hopper!