Monday, April 29, 2013
My Movie Monday
Happy as a Big Sunflower has to be the worst title ever for a book, but its the true diary of Dolph Johnson who is Swedish. He is full of tales of living in the outback of Nebraska in the late 1870's as a farm boy and of course immigrant who's a bit of an outsider of the Danes who live in that part of the world. We get insight of a rural killing. Not only the news story of that time along with troubles with an oxen and other everyday adventures of survival, but we get the lowdown of the courting rituals of the time, as well. How did one travel by train in those days? The typical male usually traveled like a hobo back then. They had no money. And what were people really like?
Its a journal you'll find amusing. Although, true-life doesn't always make the best movies. Still this is a book you could definitely find character in.
Dolf (Bill Skarsgard) finds himself suddenly the schoolmaster after some sort of default. This was definitely a cold hard look at the school system of the time. With a school house full of boys, he ends up having to beat every one of them up, just to get their respect.
There is also his own little adventures of finding out what people might think if he showed up in town in one of sister's dresses and bonnet.
Yet, the best part of this book might be his unusual courting with the preacher's daughter (Troian Bellisario). She keeps sending him letters, as if she's several mystery girls. Of course, he knows it has to be her. Yet, they keep showing up at different events, and he learns she is quite weird in spite of being a preacher's daughter. Its inspiring to see how a young woman could make her freedom last as long as she could. Unfortunately, she isn't the one he ends up with.
I feel sure if his truths could be honed in of the quirky life of a pioneer, it could certainly be taking the ordinary to the extraordinary, and we might not ever look the same way of Little House on the Prairie.
I'd love to see more American period pieces in film. Especially, after the Civil War. How the war changed men even in the vast space of Americana. What was expected of them verses what they wanted. It could be a movie with lots of mysteries. From the killing nearby of a drifter turned imposter's last chance for a family that went wrong, mixed in with a young man trying his best to fit in, yet hoping to miss his calling there, only to want to find his own adventures. Still Dolf Johnson did go back to his roots and did what many immigrants did at that time.