the cradle will suck?
(I just made a real resolution to be out of this job by the end of the year. Sounds pretty modest, but my life here is SO cushy it will be hard to give up. But after 2 years cushy just equals boring and boredom quickly turns to existential despair and unlike people like Spalding Gray or Morrisey, that is not something I enjoy.)
So Friday night was spent in my darkened apartment playing Driver: You Are The Wheelman, smoking cigarettes, and drinking Red Hook but only until my lady got off work. We hightailed it through the oddly empty LA streets to a small party. At first I was a bit dismayed to be at a soiree with only 20 or so people, all of whom I knew, but it turned out to be the best environment for my mood that night.
I liked everyone there and then after 4 or 5 drinks, LOVED everyone there. Someone was videotaping, and I just hope my First Moon of the Millennium was not captured on tape. Or my drunkenly chasing the "Millennium Cat" through the front yard. Despite how it sounds, I was just the perfect level of intoxicated to wake up the next morning (after having a designated driver take me home thankyouverymuch) sans headache! (Unlike last year, when at a party my woman and I were drunk enough to decide it would be a very good idea to lock ourselves in the hosts bedroom at 11:50pm and ring in the new year horizontally like I told you ladies, dont date me. Im warning you )
The rest of the weekend was spent drinking coffee, writing, and laying in bed reading and watching movies. I saw:
Limbo. Kick ass. Very interesting film. John Sayles rocks as usual. All three main actors did a fantastic job. Nice to see Mary Elizabeth Masteranwhatever back at work, though it would probably be a good idea if she never sang again. Loved the ending. (Not sure about the constant fade to blacks though.)
Cookies Fortune. Also loved it. Altman redeemed himself for me. He even barely used his beloved Zooms! (However, how many fucking times did he end a scene by closing-up on some object. I swear, about 30. Someone explain this to me.)
American Pie. Boring. Teenage tit films in the 80s were so much better. The script and the direction was seriously overhyped. These cats are getting millions of deals, too. I cant wait until they start bombing left and right. The second half is much better than the first, and the line about the Flute in the pussy killed me. (Hey Dweebs: thats the chick from Buffy, right? Just checking )
A Midsummer Nights Dream (1999). Sucked. Ugh. Great cast, too. Just boring and stagnant. Calista Flockhart can kiss my ass. Hated what they did with Kevin Klines part, making it more "poignant" and central than it actually is. Ick. Shakespeare should never be made this dull its just unfair.
The Cradle Will Rock. Blah. I was incredibly disappointed about how disjointed and dull this film about the WPAs Federal Theatre Program was, especially given the fact that it was directed by the usually tight Tim Robbins and that it boasts such a talented cast. Cherry Jones, in an admittedly one-sided role, was the only one who really stood out for me. Nice to see Ruben Blades kicking around again. Emily Watson sings worse than M.E.M. (see above). Blah.
After seeing this movie, M. and I had a long discussion about "issue" theatre/film such as The Cradle Will Rock (the Musical the film is about, not the film itself) to name one. The question on the table was whether or not highly politicized (film or theatre) works of fiction can still be entertaining. M. thinks yes. Im not so sure. I want it to be possible, but I think the problem is not only the fact that issue art tends to be devoid of any sense of humor (Im not talking about Michael Moore shit, which while funny as hell, is Non-Fiction), but it usually ends up being preachy - plus having a thesis usually keeps the artist from fleshing much out in pure dramatic terms. Do The Right Thing, for one, worked for me. Though its not quite what Im talking about, Sal is white, and is a very complex and conflicted character. Not a bad guy. Not a good guy. Similar with Angels in America (which in my opinion is the best play[s] of the 90s). Folks like Roy Cohn are really presented in Three-Dimensions. Of course he still comes off looking like a total maniac, but a funny, troubled, charismatic maniac in deep denial about his own nature, and his eventual place in history.So the point is this: can (for instance) a radical ecological filmmaker setting out with a very clear agenda to prove that we are doomed if we do not begin to seriously take care of this planet, make a great film? Or will it necessarily be preachy and pretentious and overwrought and boring and annoying? I dont know.
The Larry King Happy