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Watching Movies During The Apocalypse
The Last Picture Show, black and white and fully pretentious. Wearing its Hitchcock and Bergman obsessions on its sleeve. It is funny how much male genius is ultimately served fighting for the right to fuck teenage girls.
Scarface, aka Citizen Kane for Black people and aspiring drug dealers. A perfect De Palma movie because it’s half masterpiece, half complete turd. Amazingly it’s the gaudiness that’s aging best.
In The Cut deals with the politics and power dynamics of sex but from a woman’s point of view. It’s indicting and occasionally uncomfortable, especially along racial lines. Mark Ruffalo comes off creepy as hell here but still not as creepy as Bruce Banner Hulk in Avengers: Endgame. By the end, I’m not entirely certain straight sex ISN’T a mistake.
Crumb, we made too many dudes icons in the 80s and 90s, it was clearly a mistake.
Moneyball, Brad Pitt should’ve been like Samuel L. Jackson: born at 40. This is the movie role he was meant for. Beautiful but weathered, indignant and confident but the seams are there and they’re cracking. How is baseball and statistics so boring but a movie about statistics in baseball so brilliant.
The Godfather, when Al Pacino chews scenery, he makes it look delicious. The scenery feels savory, nourishing, scrumptious, the way he eats it. It’s simplistic to reduce his performance to overacting, it’s beyond acting. Part metamorphosis and part conductor of an unwieldy but magnanimous orchestra of violence, power, and immigration. The mafia tale is nowhere near as important as witnessing the mystique of a long expired Hollywood masculine glamour and a benchmark in film history.
Training Day, Denzel’s whole body dances and grooves like free jazz. What he does wit his hands is just as important at the gravity he brings to any line. It’s no Malcolm X but the idea that this performance was underserving of accolades is mistaken. Denzel is King Lear as a drug dealer, he’s operatic and bombastic, press mute and nothing changes, there’s a spirit moving all through his body and it won’t be denied.
Phantom Thread, good clothes is about the details. The stitching, the monogram imprinted on the buttons, the image placed on it and the position in which it is placed. Any little thing can sink it but it could also make it special in a way few can see. This movie, like it’s creator, is fixated on the details and those who obsess on them. Its also about relationships and the levels to which they can drive people crazy. And it will, but ultimately we want that, We’re all looking for the right crazy for us.
The Gambler, the Mark Wahlberg one, do you remember? Most probably don’t, including Mark Wahlberg. It’s always exciting to watch a degenerate try and make a debt go away but instead just make it worse. I am not sure Mark Wahlberg is capable of displaying real humanity however, he is instead just walking chiseled marble. A lonesome man who probably would rather be working out.
The Getaway, it’s dumb and problematic to be romantic about old Hollywood. It was a zoo, where the animals were immaculately dressed and really knew how to dangle a cigarette in their mouths. Steve McQueen and Ali McGraw are insanely cool and full of sexual energy that movies don’t want anymore and it is disappointing. It’s nice to pretend like we’re living in an Eve Babitz book. I wanna blame Disney but I think porn has ruined society just as much.