I read in Metro magazine that dark princes of snarl-folk and gloomy-ambient, Nick Cave and Warren Ellis, have teamed up to paint the score for John Hillcoat's upcoming film adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's bleak and brilliant The Road. This really is something to look forward to. I was blown away by Hillcoat's last film, the Ray Winstone and Guy Pearce vehicle The Proposition (a sublime and gothic Aussie western); Cave and Ellis's soundtrack for this was subtle yet commanding.
I hope Hillcoat's film grabs the majesty and lyricism of McCarthy's novel and doesn't let it go. The fired flare falling on a grey sea, unexpected discoveries in empty houses, a grieving woman holding an executed crossbow-firing assassin, the father's constant support for his son, the son's pain over his father's death, the entrance of surrogate parents: all these moments need to be kept intact. It'll be most interesting to see how Cave and Ellis explore these vignettes if indeed they are in the film.
I think Viggo Mortensen is an excellent choice for 'The Man' in the film. His work in Eastern Promises and A History of Violence was absolutely captivating. Incidentally, my brother-in-law once, accidentally, had a drink with Viggo Mortensen in a bar in Melbourne. He said he was completely down-to-earth.
On another note, a few years ago I visited a desolate place of spinifex, ghost gums, silence and bustards, called Skull Hole, which is part of Bladensburg National Park in Western Queensland. Skull Hole was the site of an Aboriginal massacre last century. History's imprint made me feel uneasy when I was out there. It was in this area that Hillcoat filmed some of The Proposition.
LJ, February 27 2009.