Obsessed with manifesting Sorcerer’s message on film, Friedkin failed to see he was living that very message during its sanity-snapping production: that which is behind us cannot be returned to. All one can do is persevere for as long as possible into the fates that our pasts have shaped for us.
A trio of 1994 Hollywood mainstream softcore films (Disclosure, Color of Night, and The Last Seduction) are each, in their own way, gripped with masculine fears concerning established sex and gender roles and the women who refuse to conform to them.
Based on John Cheever’s slippery fever dream of a short story, The Swimmer faithfully translates and expands Cheever’s 12 pages of suburban surrealism into a feature-length nightmare of masculine panic.
Miami Blues is Baldwin’s film. He and it vibrate at the same off-kilter atomic frequency, and its whiplashed gearshifts from dark comedy to relationship drama to hyper-violent crime thriller match his own mercurial shifts in mood and tone as he constructs a ferociously charming/charmingly ferocious character.
An impressionistic weave of artistic successes and personal failings, All that Jazz is at once a confession, a self-promotion, a showbiz love letter, an apology, a middle finger, and a darkly-comic musical, all braided into an exploration of the five stages of grief.
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