my oscar night
another fifteen minutes?

what i watched last week

White Heat. It's almost too easy to consider this late-40s gangster movie as a symbol of its time, with a psychopathic lead gangster who gets really bad headaches and really loves his mom. There is no Robin Hood in Cagney's Cody Jarrett, and we don't get to watch someone rise to the top before the inevitable fall. Instead, we see a guy who craves mommy's attention (at least she doesn't withhold it) and who only reaches the top in a figurative sense, in its oft-misquoted finale (he never exactly says "top of the world, ma!"). The film plays around with noir elements, but in the end, it's all about Cagney, who dives into his role as if he, too, owed one to his mom. The mess hall scene where he learns of her death is a masterpiece of over-the-top acting, and if you can see the ending a mile away, that doesn't make it any less satisfying. #290 on the They Shoot Pictures, Don't They list of the 1000 greatest films of all time. 9/10.

The Bridge. This probably wasn't the best time for me to watch this documentary about people who jump off the Golden Gate Bridge. 8/10.

WALL-E. Watched it again because I'm using it in my class this semester. I liked it again. #68 on the They Shoot Pictures, Don't They list of the top 250 movies of the 21st century. 8/10.

Comments

Tawnia Rose

Just finished Didion's Play it as it Lays and I am obsessed with finding the movie to watch.
It is difficult too, since it isn't on DVD anywhere. And that makes me wonder; should I give up my desire to see the movie? I thought the book was exceptional, one of my favorites so far in my quest to get through the top 100 best fiction books. Will seeing the movie merely detract from the experience? Or add to it? (I understand too that the movie is not that good.)
Thanks in advance for advice.

Steven

My thoughts on the movie, along with a handful of astute comments, can be found here:

http://begonias.typepad.com/srubio/2006/04/play_it_as_it_l.html

Roger Ebert loved it, FWIW. It turns up on cable TV, Sundance Channel I think, with some regularity.

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