Thursday, July 05, 2007



Black Snake Moan
is a very powerful picture.

It's a blues musical, the second (Hustle & Flow, a hip-hop/rap musical, was the first) in a series of films by Craig Brewer that may redesign, redefine, and revolutionize the movie-musical.

Don't take it literally. It's not a sexual exploitation or a race relations film. It's a fable or a fairy tale or a metaphor or a provocation or a love story. It sits right on the edge of a cliff... of disaster, tragedy, sorrow, human shame, guilt... or redemption.

(I've always kind of wondered what it means when someone says some project is -- or should be -- edgy. This film is the embodiment of edgy.)

The acting, by Samuel L. Jackson, Christina Ricci, and Justin Timberlake is terrific. And the music is excellent: it's a blues musical. The extra features on the DVD are very interesting.

"Black Snake Moan" is the name of a song by Blind Lemon Jefferson, one of the great, legendary blues singers. But it's fair to read other meanings into the title.

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