I've seen this film about 4 times this week and it's probably my new favourite film ever. I have never even felt a directorial film orgasm before this film and the beauty of this film is so insane that it's just like WOW ORGASM the entire movie. In a completely non-sexual way.
The photography and directing is so amazing and beautiful. From the scenic visions of the Texan country side, to the beautiful scans of the New York city lights at night.
The film features Jon Voight as a runaway cow boy named Joe Buck who has left his Texan ranch to pursue a hustling life style in New York City. He soon meets Dustin Hoffman's character, Ratso and together they form a tight companionship with Ratso taking position has Joe's Pimp.
However New York City hustlin' life turns out to be disastrously unlike Joe's preconceived fantastical notions and what begins as a prosperous partnership between the pair, soon turns out to be tragically horrible. Unable to get any hustling jobs and without any home, Joe begins to rely more and more on Ratso who is equally as desperate. Their relationship is formed out of hardship, loneliness and a need for dependence on one another. Despite this, they are hopelessly hopeless and frequently seek solace in allusions to their futures of success in Florida.
The use of non-diegetic and diegetic music is so wonderfully incorporated in this film. Joe's hand-held radio follows him throughout the film and when he becomes so desperate for money and he sells the radio to a pawn-shop AND WHEN THE PAWN-SHOP MAN TURNS OFF THE RADIO MUSIC. It's just like wow, heartbreak.
The film also features the iconic and improvised "HEY I'M WALKIN' HERE" scene from the great Dustin Hoffman.
It's use of fast-cut and flash-backs that allude to Joe's previous lover back in Texas throughout his prostitution jobs are heart-wrenching. The film also frequently interchanges between black and white photography and extremely vivid images to convey emotion, time and speed. When I first saw the way the film also features black and white photography I almost fell out my seat. IT'S SO AWESOME. Cleverly alluding to the time in 60s film history where film makers were transitioning from B & W photography to technicolour.
The film also features a warhol-esque party scene, which for me definitely makes the film.
The film ends on a melancholic note, much like Dustin Hoffman's The Graduate where the characters reside in the back-seat of a bus and you get this strange feeling that you are with the characters, painfully empathizing with their predicament.
Great film GREAT SOUNDTRACK... even if Hoffman's accent is a little annoying