The film has a really excellent opening shot, the harrowing music and OVERTURE written in big stone letters informs us this will be an epic, and the stark image of a stone wall holding in water pans to reveal a hole where the water escapes. It gets you thinking what will this movie be about!? It’s presented in uber widescreen cinemascope color and the music changes to a peaceful picturesque tune. The movie is based on the John Steinbeck novel, East of Eden.
We open up on a very handsome James Dean, I mean I’m not gay but I would love to just fucking caress his face and run my hands thru his hair and just jump on him, in fact I would pay money to blow him. He is like that guy from Paul Morrissey’s Flesh, like a model. Dean follows a rich wretched bourgeoisie cunt to her house on a hill, it seems he is the abandoned orphaned son. But the guy from Stanley Kubrick’s films comes out and roughs him up (Timothy Carey, also directed a 1962 movie scored by Frank Zappa).
Dean’s character is named Cal, short for Caleb, a biblical name along with his brother Aaron, and his father Adam. Cal is such a mysterious ruffian, it really gets me going. He’s a loner with an attitude problem, I’d love for him to look at me with that low hard glance, makes my asshole widen and quiver. Cal is estranged from his father – an entrepreneur interested in refrigeration. His brother gets along fine with his father and is married to a girl named Abra (Cadabra), played by Julie Harris who is intriguingly ugly, in a sort of Julie Binoche with down’s syndrome way. The brothers are twins.
Cal is the spiteful son of a rich man who destroys his father’s property (blocks of ice) for no apparent reason. Cal is an interesting character because he does what he wants, unlike an obedient sheep. This makes him an exciting character. After his transgressions, he is forced to read the bible, but he keeps on reading the verse numbers and this gets his father mad. Cal doesn’t share his father’s apollonian Christianity, he’s a daemonic devil man, a spiteful brat doomed to wander as an outcast.
He goes looking for his own identity in his long lost Mother, tracing his steps back to the Garden of Eden. Apparently she was a bad girl, full of hate just like him. Dean reminds me of Tony Perkins in certain lights. Both are fuckable. There is a great sequence when Timothy Carey is wrestling with Cal, the men are scuffling around on the floor in the dark shadows, it’s not well lit and you can’t make sense of the rustling. It’s a great way to film a fight.
Cal comes off so depressed and down in spirits, like he is in a hole of despair. One of the few male movie stars I would love to see naked. Actually, he kind of looks like Brad Pitt. An even more fuckable pair. His father owns a lettuce farm and is trying to invent freezing methods to ship large amounts across America. Once Cal finds out about his mother he straightens up and acts like a good boy. As it turns out Cal and Abra are more similar because she has problems with her father (or maybe she is just coming onto him?), she threw her ring in the river thinking he would love her for it. They’re both rebellious and histrionic. The flow of the movie is very similar to the overture, at first it’s all intense and then it goes all mellow.
He’s quite the ragamuffin bumpkin, like Tim Buckley. Honesty is something only the weak believe in. If you’re strong it is not advantageous to be honest. The train carrying all the lettuce gets stopped and the ice melts. The cabbage is ruined. Cal borrows money from his ‘mom’ in order to plant beans and raise money for his father. The photography is really nice and sumptuous, but for the most part it’s not that interesting. It’s almost like a bigger budget Sydney Lumet style of filmmaking. James Dean is a pretty natural actor, he’s always picking on something, or leaning on something. He asks him mom for $5000 for beans. It’s revealed that his mother shot and wounded his father because he wouldn’t let her run away. She felt like a possession, constantly under his control. She eventually gives Cal the money.
East of Eden is a great story, but I’m not sure how well it translates into a film. It comes off at times a little dry and constructed. Film is it’s own thing, it’s different from literature. You have to make your film cinematic, use the medium in interesting ways, and this movie doesn’t do enough of that. I think James Dean has ADHD. He’s a fidgeter and kind of shallow (maybe that’s what makes him so sexy?) Vincent Gallo is another one who reminds me. Aaron goes to war, Cal stays back and flirts with his girlfriend. He gets the money out of his bean share and gives it to his father as a present. Aaron and Abra get engaged as their present and this leaves Cal hurt. He’s fucking sexy. He looks like Lenny Bruce, or Brad Pitt, or Tony Perkins, or Vincent Gallo or something. I’d hit it about eight times. The male body is beautiful especially when it’s a chiselled sort, not like Arnold Swarzaneggar, but like the Greek type honed like an arrow SWOOSH. Woman it’s all about succulence and roundness and plumpness. Cal is tortured because he knows too much, he looks at the truth too much. That’ll do it.