Walk The Line is an intimate biopic that delves deep into the life of charismatic rock and roll legend, Johnny Cash. From his humble beginnings living on a cotton farm to his pinnacle as a rock icon. A brutally honest depiction which celebrates Cash's heyday but pulls no punches when it comes to his darkest days.
Aside from being a dazzling movie promotion this image carries religious connotations, as well as a clever nod to the ring of fire. It is well documented that Cash was a god fearing man- a swift listen to any number of his songs affirms this. Another well known aspect of The Man In Black's life was his battle with his inner demons. These two facts make the imagery used in this poster a work of artistic genius.
The shining rays of light shooting from Cash's back are commonly found on stain glass paintings of Jesus Christ in churches. There is certainly an angelic aura surrounding him, an intelligent reference to his religion and use of it in his music.
With that being said, the light often walks hand in hand with the dark. The burning flames that engulf him are a visual metaphor to the stars troubled past. As the song goes "the devil haunts a hungry man", and Cash had quite the appetite for sin.
A lot of irony and sadness is also to be found in this image. A man who's songs brought so much joy to people's lives, but who himself frequently suffered at the hands of that joy. Cash often lyrically chastised himself, singing of the tribulations he endured due to his own volatile lifestyle. There seems to be an unwritten rule that the greatest rock stars must withstand the greatest sorrow. A poetic price to pay for their stardom perhaps.
We often romanticise the tragedies of rock stars. Cash once sung that no grave could hold his body down, he was mistaken.
A grave could hold his body down, but not his legacy.
Death ironically immortalised that.
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