2012 Film Challenge #24 - Field of Dreams

This one's misremembered and misquoted by everyone. How does it go?

If you build it, they will come.

Not even. It's actually:

If you build it, he will come.


But that wasn't even the finest, most memorable line in the film. I much preferred “What you grinning at, you ghost?”

But then, I would.

If I lived in America, I'd probably feel the same way about baseball as I do about cricket or rugby living in England. That's to say that, whilst I'd find it to be unbearably tedious, the lack of laddish, thuggish connotations would entail that I wouldn't be able to hate it as much as I do football.

Not living in America, though, baseball has a strange smoky quality about it. It tastes at once like creamy mint and like warm, sweaty hot dog meat. And nuts. Salty, salty nuts.

The words, names and phrases with which it's linked are wonderfully evocative of a sort of stoic romanticism.

That's why, despite being schmaltzy and, some might say, the embodiment of all that is morally dubious about conservative America, I found Field of Dreams to be captivating. Almost magical.

The whole film feels like summer. Specifically, a summer afternoon as dusk approaches and the shadows lengthen. It takes its time; nothing's rushed. Everything's measured, hazy, glowing.

I can understand completely why people would have problems with this film. But then, I can also understand completely why people would covet it so much.

I fall closer into the second category. But my appreciation's not rooted in a nostalgic reverence for baseball. Nor is it invested in empathy for Kevin Costner's daddy issues.

No. My appreciation's based wholly on the sounds, smells and tastes this film evokes. It's a crunchy, creamy, hazy, husky feast.

It can stay.

1 comment:

  1. You should see Badlands - it has the same wonderful amber colours and dusky vibe, alongside a wonderful bit of spree killing and a zonked out voice-over from Sissy Spacek.