Pinhole Movie Reviews

Prince Avalanche by Thomas
August 14, 2013, 11:00 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , ,

In this low-key art house flick, Paul Rudd and Emile Hirsch are spending their summer in a burned out forest in West Texas, repainting the yellow lines on a service road.  Rudd plays a stiff, aging nerd; Hirsch is a goofball who doesn’t understand the appeal of doing manual labor or learning German from a cassette tape…which reminds me, it’s set in the 80s! This odd and sometimes hilarious movie moves slowly through its bleak and magical setting. Worth watching


Prince Avalanche


2 Comments so far
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Just watched , pretty good. What do you think the lady that only they can see symbolizes though?

Comment by Jaemskeray

Well, hmm: the main scene with that lady is the one where Paul Rudd discovers her sorting through the charred ruins of her house. She says she’s looking for her pilots license, but really what she’s looking for is some tangible proof of her own existence. Then Paul Rudd starts to pretend that he’s living in the house, pantomiming a domestic life that he wants with his absent girlfriend, despite the fact that she doesn’t seem to treat him well. So yeah, maybe the lady symbolizes his desire to have a real, solid, settled existence…which he lacks out in the woods?

There may be a sort of political subtext with the lady also. Wildfires are political these days; in California, for example, wildfires are growing bigger each season (thanks to climate change) and the cash strapped fire department tries to control them, but they end up also being asked to protect the private property of people who live way out in the woods, which is impossible in many cases. Apparently the ecological consensus is that if we were able to let wildfires burn as they naturally would, it would clear up all the dry leaves and dead trees that tend to catch fire in the first place….and so subsequent fires wouldn’t spread as much. (Meanwhile the ash from the fires contains nutrients that help maintain the soil.) But since more people are living out in what used to be the wilderness, it’s hard for the fire department (or park service or whatever) to do that. So in a way it’s kind of absurd for people to live out in the middle of the woods thinking that it should be the state’s responsibility to protect them from wildfire, which is a natural part of their surroundings.– and it’s kind of equally absurd for the lady to think that she might be able to find one piece of paper in the piles of ash.

Plus, in the movie the fire has ravaged the whole forest and the remedy is to send out goofballs to repaint lines on the road? It’s a ridiculously trivial task, the last thing that matters to anyone. Who even drives on the road? Perhaps the lady who has lost everything she owns (and perhaps also her own life, if she’s a ghost) serves to remind us of that, too!

Comment by Thomas

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