So with my review for David Lynch’s astonishingly unpleasant Inland Empire lodged in my craw like a fetid chicken bone (hey, it’s a masterpiece) – I open the Times today to find that Kurt Vonnegut has died at the age of 84. Funny, I thought to myself, he already seemed a lot older than that when I saw him on some television show a couple of years ago. Truth is, I hadn’t read any of Vonnegut’s newer novels (I gave up on Timequake after about thirty pages), but his essay a few years ago on war and religion and politics and addiction and general madness (it’s called “Cold Turkey” and it’s required) reminded me of the quicksilver of his erudition when aimed at subjects close to my heart.
“Say what you will about the sweet miracle of unquestioning faith. I consider the capacity for it terrifying.”
“How on earth can religious people believe in so much arbitrary, clearly invented balderdash?....The acceptance of a creed, any creed, entitles the acceptor to membership in the sort of artificial extended family we call a congregation. It is a way to fight loneliness. Any time I see a person fleeing from reason and into Religion I think to myself, There goes a person who simply cannot stand being so goddamned lonely anymore.”
G'night, Billy Pilgrim.
G'night, Billy Pilgrim.
Went to a screening this week of Hot Fuzz and was gratified by the amount of gore in it. It’s surprising and extremely well done.
Of the seven or so major releases this weekend, the only one I screened (due to illness, availability, and so on) was Perfect Stranger and that at a last minute event designed to retard the number of reviews for it. I’ll do it on the radio, but I doubt that I have the energy to write about it with other, more worthy pictures, waiting to be reviewed. Writer’s block is blazing as well. As it is, I’m doing this little piece with a 101 fever that I’ve been nursing like cinder Otik for five days now. The flick is vaguely racist and certainly misogynistic, but then, you knew that.
Watched Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie
Question of the moment: why did Grindhouse crash and burn in the popular conversation and what’s the fate of Tarantino’s creative freedom from this point forward as a result of it? For my part I should have said in the review for what it’s worth that I had more fun watching Grindhouse as part of a packed screening audience than any film since the first Jackass.
Also: best Vonnegut film adaptation? and best non-official (as in non-Vonnegut, Vonnegut) Vonnegut film? And, of course, best Vonnegut not yet-adapted and/or dream director/Vonnegut piece. . . say. . . Alfonso Cuaron and Cat’s Cradle?