Black Snake Moan

Last week I watched The View (must see for me, especially the first 15-20 minutes when they just talk amongst themselves) when Samuel L Jackson and Christina Ricci were on discussing their latest film, Black Snake Moan.

Jackson plays an old man (Laz), a former blues artist, who meets up with Ricci’s character (Rae).

Rae was sexually abused as a child and is now a nymphomaniac. Ricci says her character was so sexually abused, exploited for so long, she knows no other way. So when Rae’s true love, Ronnie, leaves for the military, Rae plunges into wild excess and becomes the sexual target of every man in the (small) town.

Beaten and left for dead, she’s found by Laz. From his point of view, a very religious man, the only reference he can make is that she’s possessed by the devil or some evil — so he chains her to the radiator in his home as an act of fierce commitment to redeeming her soul.

This film looks to be one of the few releases I plan to leave my house for to see it in the theater rather than saving for a rental.

Who doesn’t love/admire Jackson? And Ricci is beyond words to me. Really a gifted young woman with an old soul — and lovely to look at as well, despite her confessions of insecurities.

Ricci, a self-described “prude,” said she had to become that comfortable with herself for the roll.

From day one of the shoot, she wore only her underwear around the set and by the end of filming, she could talk to the crew members while topless and no one even paid attention. This apparently affected her at home/personally as well.

The storyline has me captivated, and the photos as well.

The vulnerability of a woman in panties & chained… It’s not (just) the eroticism I speak of, but more emotional that words can be of much use for. It’s powerful imagery — used sometimes to the point of kitsch in so many horror films — but in this case it evokes more than a cheap scream-fest. The fact that Ricci isn’t chained in bits of lace or leather, has a dirty unkempt wildness, this photo convinces me I’ll be seeing a real film with soul.

Other film notes:

The film also stars Justin Timberlake and both Jackson and Ricci were impressed that Timberlake would take on such a role when he could have easily done a vanity film instead.

Jackson performs and has 6 songs on the film’s CD soundtrack. (The bit shown was excellent.)

Keep your fingers crossed that I get to see the film this weekend.

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