The Straight Story, with music by Animat at the Komedia

Off to the Komedia to see David Lynch’s Straight Story. I have to declare an interest: Lynch is a big hero of mine.

This film is an absolutely wonderful and touching portrayal of Alvin Straight, a frail old WW2 veteran. Unable to drive due to bad eyes and legs, Alvin sets off on an epic journey on a tiny tractor across America to visit his sick brother to make amends for having fallen out ten years ago. A wonderful film, beautifully shot and acted.

The visual enjoyment of it was hampered at the Komedia by a lousy picture, with double imaging all the way through. You’d think someone would have sorted this out seeing as it was a screening.

Much, much worse than the awful visuals was the stone-eared, heavy-handed, noodling, clownish tripe served up by Animat as a soundtrack. I’m sure these guys are great musicians but a soundtrack is all about a dialogue with the visuals, not some monologue in a darkened bedroom. The result was a mixture of the blindingly obvious, putting jokey noises onto subtly humorous scenes and destroying them, or way off the dartboard sampling, such as Marvin Gaye’s sublime What’s Going On, or simply drowning out the dialogue. What were they thinking?

It’s a tribute to this beautiful film that I was still moved to tears at the end of it, despite the God awful picture quality, and the inept soundtrack.