I’ve been trying to find a way to write about the Deadwood movie since I saw it, and Deadwood in general, and David Milch’s Alzheimer’s diagnosis, which he talks about in this interview in the context of writing his memoir:
Singer: Would you pick up a new novel and read it now?
Milch: It’s not likely.
Singer: Is that because the hours in the day you’re able to focus are diminished?
Milch: To some extent. But more so I feel the constriction of possibility, what I’m able to undertake responsibly. I have only a certain amount of energy.
Singer: Do you feel like you’re in a race?
Singer: You’re racing to finish this memoir?
Milch: More so a larger enterprise, of which this is just a part.
Singer: Can you be more specific?
Milch: I’m trying to make work, the undertaking in general, coherent. To restore a dignity to the way that I proceed, and it’s a demanding process. You’re tempted to . . . toss it in. Just to quit.
Singer: Before this, were you someone who had preoccupying fears?
Singer: And now what is it you’re afraid of, if you could identify it?
Milch: I intuit the presence of a coherence in my life which I haven’t given expression to in an honorable fashion.
Singer: So this is an opportunity. Is that what you’re saying?
Singer: The rush to get to work, that inner necessity to make something. You still have that? Do you wake up every day with that?
Good God. And if there’s a parallel in Deadwood, which has always cast an unflinching gaze on both human suffering (the filth and the language) and human grace (the filth and the language as well), other than the above video, it’s this:
- Sol Star: I’m guessing you’ve done things today you wish you could amend.
- Seth Bullock: What kind of man have I become, Sol?
- Sol Star: I don’t know. The day ain’t fucking over.
- Al Swearengen: Every fuckin’ beatin’ I’m grateful for. Every fuckin’ one of them. Get all the trust beat outta you. And you know what the fuckin’ world is.
There’s a moment in the movie (which if you’ve been putting off watching it because you loved the show and don’t want it “ruined” get thee to a TV, not only will it not ruin it, it will redeem the parts you didn’t like) that absolutely took me to church, baptized me in the waters and wrote my name in the holy book.