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Nomadland with Frances McDormand

Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by hybrid_77, Feb 11, 2021.

  1. fspringer

    fspringer Forum Resident

    Location:
    New York City
    And I just watched the whole thing. I thought it was very good. Great cinematography, interesting characters for an "off the grid" concept extended into old age. From what I know of the road, and friends who have lived on it for weeks or months at a time (mostly in bands, but some guys working seasonal jobs), you would run into a lot more people with mental problems and come across more situations of potential violence, but I understand injecting themes like that into a movie like this would have defeated the more contemplative purpose. As I noted above, taking to the road at this point in one's life is a health risk, which was touched on tangentially in the movie but not indicative of how these situations would play out in reality. (David Strathairn's character having surgery for diverticulitis (which could have been headed off by a routine colonoscopy and antibiotics) would have been an expensive week in the hospital and a slow recovery period. Thus, it made sense for him to "stay home" with his relatives afterwards, although his choice wasn't positioned as such.

    But I don't want to nullify the movie's intent with medical conjecture! It made sense, especially with the virus going on, finding purpose in menial tasks and routine, more than searching for big meanings in life, when the big meaning is to keep moving - in this case, literally. It's a long way from Easy Rider!
     
    bpmd1962, Tim Lookingbill and twicks like this.
  2. Tim Lookingbill

    Tim Lookingbill Alfalfa Male

    Location:
    New Braunfels, TX
    Saw the movie at my local theater last Sunday night.

    It perfectly illustrated in as dull a tone possible that living in a van down by the river and old age retirement is not the great adventure one would think and certainly not an American dream one would reach for.

    I saw the movie as a big downer that makes getting old terrifying. It desperately needed some comic relief and it never showed up.
     
    fspringer likes this.
  3. Michael

    Michael I LOVE WIDE S-T-E-R-E-O!

    I have not seen this but I must as I am a fan of her! she rocks.
     
  4. Tim Lookingbill

    Tim Lookingbill Alfalfa Male

    Location:
    New Braunfels, TX
    You will not be disappointed in Frances McDormand's performance. She will make the situation VERY REAL AND BELIEVABLE as she always does!

    You'ld better have your happy place close by as the ending credits roll.
     
    Michael likes this.
  5. Michael

    Michael I LOVE WIDE S-T-E-R-E-O!

    yea that's my wife. ; ) looking forward to seeing this soon...thanks!
     
  6. Yawndave

    Yawndave Forum Resident

    Location:
    Santa Clara CA
    I'm not surprised to see the mixed reactions to the movie. On the one hand, people get caught up in the romance/fantasy of "living free" and traveling around to see the beauty spots of America. While there is a slice of the Nomad demographic affluent enough to enjoy that lifestyle, the reality for those surviving on tiny Social Security checks and gig labor is quite a bit different.
     
    Tim Lookingbill likes this.
  7. DVEric

    DVEric Satirical Intellectual

    Location:
    Vermont
    It's a superficial movement like any other. If people love the "nomadic" life, great -- but movements are for people looking for identities, a club to belong to, a fad to promote.
     
  8. Geithals

    Geithals Forum Resident

    Location:
    Reykjavik
    Movie v Reality
    The film is a made up story, the book tells a very different story about the 'Nomads',

    Even so, I 'enjoyed' the film and I'll watch it again soon.
     
  9. fspringer

    fspringer Forum Resident

    Location:
    New York City
    I spent nearly a week dumping in a bucket after Hurricane Sandy back in 2012. This provided all the incentive I need to not live in a van!

    I'm sure these folks see their lives as a trade-off. You can live with a much larger sense of freedom than those of us living in houses or apartments with more stressful/high-paying jobs. You see incredible sights and develop a loose web of traveling friends on the road. I can surely appreciate that loose feeling of untying yourself from so many things that weigh down the average American. You forfeit a larger sense of security (admittedly, much of which is an illusion), healthcare benefits (unless you're old enough for Medicare, and even then I would guess that's a challenge with life on the road), and most likely frayed family/friend relationships. (Of course, many younger people take to the road to evade these relationships.) Sometimes you have to work at crap jobs meant for high-school kids, with an understanding that it's a temporary means to an end. (Of course, millions of Americans now make do with such jobs, with or without the road.)

    What I got from the movie is it takes a leap of faith to live this way that most of us aren't willing to make, for reasons noted above. It's one thing to get in a camper van every summer and hit the road for a few weeks. It's another to lose your home, have family and friends dangle more secure options in front of you, but you'd rather live this way. I can see the appeal of making what most people perceive as an untenable way of life work. But you have to love life on the road, and all that implies.
     
    bholz, Tim Lookingbill and twicks like this.
  10. twicks

    twicks Forum Resident

    Location:
    Detroit
    Making the lifestyle a choice for McDormand's character is the most interesting thing about the film. Otherwise it's just a sad slice of life.
     
  11. Geithals

    Geithals Forum Resident

    Location:
    Reykjavik
    That's all fine, but you were using the material from the fictitious film to inform yourself about the lifestyle choices of real Nomads.
    In the made up story, Frances interjects a story into the film which is based on a decades old random fantasy of hers, leaving it all behind and hitting the road. The film becomes something else about a different theme.
    The book gives account to Linda a real Nomad (also a character in the film). Linda's lifestyle choice was to leave her job of sorts at a depot after she suffered from the excruciating effects from a repetitive strain injury caused and maintained by using the bar code scanner. She ended up surf couching in an apartment already overcrowded with unemployed and chronically sick children. She made another lifestyle choice to leave that situation, rebuilt a wreck of a trailer to live in and traveled (with cracked balding tires, no spare) to find work at an Amazon holiday camp for crappy lowest paid gig economy wages.
     
  12. Houseplants

    Houseplants Forum Resident

    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Its like Into the Wild for Senior Citizens.

    I liked it a lot but wasn't really the uplifting film I needed last to night to celebrate my 42 bday.
     
  13. twicks

    twicks Forum Resident

    Location:
    Detroit
    Yeah, I wasn't reviewing the lifestyle, just sharing what I liked about the film.
     
  14. Tim Lookingbill

    Tim Lookingbill Alfalfa Male

    Location:
    New Braunfels, TX
    So are you saying the book (being a representation of reality) is mainly about the nomadic existence of a gig economy amplified by working at Amazon specifically? Or traveling journeyman type working environments, lifestyles and the issues of living without a permanent address?
     
  15. Tim Lookingbill

    Tim Lookingbill Alfalfa Male

    Location:
    New Braunfels, TX
    I was hoping this movie showed some good ideas on how to travel on the cheap in as small a vehicle as possible to reduce costs which is what a lot of retired folks who are living on an SSA check less than $1200/month are forced to do. The movie does illustrate this somewhat including the support communities that aren't run by crazy cult like personalities like a Burning Man hippy cabal.

    Youtube has many tutorials on how to do this including the ups and downs of living this way...



    But there's even more than van conversion tuts that also address issues of finding a safe place to park to lay your head which is really why we choose to not live this way. IOW it can get dangerous in so many ways not anticipated. Find these searching on "Stealth Camping".
     
  16. Chris DeVoe

    Chris DeVoe 3 months since last false death report!

    I helped a friend build an RV out of a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, so I became fairly familiar with all the issues of building an RV. The most interesting things I've read about the stealth camping though, have been with people actually living in fairly tiny cars, like a Toyota Prius. The fascinating thing about those is that the air conditioning system is incredibly efficient running off the battery - that they only have to run the engine for a few minutes every couple of hours.

    They're an excellent "stealth" vehicle because no one would suspect that someone is actually trying to live in a Prius.
     
  17. Houseplants

    Houseplants Forum Resident

    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    I’m waiting for all those Amazon vans to get on the used lot
     

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