Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Goodnight, Sweet Prince

From my original review of "Brokeback Mountain":

To say "Brokeback Mountain" is a “gay cowboy movie” is akin to calling “Romeo and Juliet” a play about two feuding Italian families. In either case you wouldn’t be wrong, but to reduce the two stories to such superficial plot summaries misses the essence of both – the universal theme of societal constructions (be they ideas about class, race or sexuality) serving to keep true love apart. Ang Lee’s disguised “Romeo and Juliet,” set in the west and involving two men, is merely the latest take on a timeless subject. It is a classic western that feels so right in its elimination of the extraneous girl at the center of the requisite triangle, the undeveloped female character put there for no other reason than to keep the other two points from collapsing into (the arms of) each other. Blessed with a tight script and phenomenal acting, Ang Lee rightly steps aside, letting the film perform its own alchemy, leaving no smudges of auteur fingerprints to distract like a dirty lens. Heath Ledger lives up to his hype, imbuing his complex role with a gravity that’s worthy of the young Brando.

A role like Ennis Del Mar is an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for any actor. What Heath Ledger did with that role, the jaw-dropping astonishing performance he gave, is at a height the vast majority of actors could never reach in ten lifetimes. It's all any fan of that mysterious, shamanistic art could ever ask for. We are truly blessed.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Bite Me

Yes, the vagina dentata movie "Teeth" sucks more than bites, but it was still nice for the CineKinkster to link to my review at "The House Next Door":

And in all fairness to director Lichtenstein, I have the same lack-of-balls beef with him as I do with Catherine Breillat (and Mary Harron with “The Notorious Bettie Page”). If you need to justify/apologize for trafficking in “subversive” material (through academia) then you’ve no business trafficking in subversive material in the first place. As John Waters knew well, sometimes a talking asshole is just a talking asshole.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Thanks, Graydon!

“Vanity Fair” has again published my “Letter To The Editor” (January 2008 issue). This time I bitched about boy-band impresario Lou Pearlman.

A Music King Dethroned

FORGET THE PONZI SCHEME [“Mad About the Boys,” by Bryan Burrough, November]. The most preposterous part of this article is how anyone ever could have regarded Lou Pearlman’s intentions as other than dishonorable. He acquired the Chippendales male-stripper franchise, for heaven’s sake! Note to parents of boy-band members: If you throw your kid into a shark tank, the least you can do is take responsibility for the damage. —LAUREN WISSOT, Brooklyn, New York

Available online at: