Drifting and striding, in Hollywood and elsewhere, with Geoff Nicholson - author of The Lost Art of Walking, and Walking in Ruins withcholson, author of Toff Nidrifting and stomping withcholson, author of The Lost Art of Walking, considers the narrower and wider shores of obsessive pedestrianism.

Monday, July 16, 2012

WALKING IN THE FUTURE REDUX


And speaking of walking in the future, as I was a few posts back, a reader pointed me in the direction of the movie The Book of Eli.  It was a movie I’d never really fancied, partly because it sounded a bit “spiritual” (which in fact it is) and because Denzel Washington, as Eli, looked so gosh darned noble in all the stills, (although of course I do know that Denzel has a lot of trouble NOT looking noble, whatever part he’s playing).



 But now I’ve seen it and I’m glad I did.  The movie is set in a future so bright that everybody has to wear shades whenever they step outside, because “the war tore a hole in the sky”.  This of course makes everybody look very cool, or very cool and noble in Denzel’s case.


And yes indeed, as ever, there is plenty of futuristic, over-dressed walking.  Eli has been walking west across America for 30 years, and when somebody asks, "How do you know you're walking the right way?" he replies "Faith."

If you’re especially alert to spoilers, this may tell you pretty early on that Eli is in fact blind, so presumably he doesn’t actually need the shades, and the blindness certainly doesn’t inhibit his fighting skills, though it may explain why it’s taken him so long to walk across America.  If you ask me, having blindness as a movie’s major plot twist is a bit of cheat, but I know some people think it’s a brilliant device.


Anyway, the walking gets a good deal more decorative when Eli has Mila Kunis as a fellow traveler.  And the movie kicks up to a whole other level whenever Gary Oldman appears on screen, playing Carnegie, a scenery-chewing villain and (as it happens) crazed bibliophile.  I think we've all been there and done that.


Now frankly I’d be happy to watch Gary Oldman chew scenery from now till the Rapture, and although he doesn’t do much walking in the movie, he looks very cool indeed on the occasions when he does.  In fact Gary Oldman looks very cool indeed, pretty much all the time.  Just how many people could get away with walking down a fashion runway dressed like this? And it's not even in the future.  



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