old joy

“Despair is just worn-out joy.” This is a realization of one of the characters in the film Old Joy that I watched last night. I never want this blog to turn into a book, movie, or music recommendation site (even though I probably have a few thousand of these that I could mention), but once in awhile you may catch me putting a plug in for something out of the ordinary that catches me off guard. This film is slight, both in its aspirations and its running time (72 minutes, give or take), but it is a fine example of what I would call a “feeling film.” That is, after watching it you’re not left with any Big Ideas, but you do feel as though you’ve followed these two characters, Kurt and Mark, on their hike into the Cascades of Oregon to find a hot spring and to rekindle a lost friendship. The music in the film is provided by Yo La Tengo, and is a perfect companion to the lush, rainsoaked Pacific Northwest scenery. This is a gentle film, but touches on issues of male friendship and alienation. (That’s my Film 101 jargon surfacing). See this film if you’ve ever felt a distance between you and someone you thought you knew. It may also make you want to take a walk in the woods to search for a hidden hot spring.

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