For months I’ve been thinking about sequels and second chances, about Paul Newman but also, increasingly, Tom Cruise.
PositionEditor-at-Large; Podcast Co-Host
JoinedSeptember 15, 2017
Veronica Fitzpatrick is a postdoctoral fellow at Brown University and the co-host of The Bright Wall/Dark Room Podcast. She lives in Providence, RI.
With erotic thrillers, the likelihood of astonishment runs parallel to the assurance of knowing precisely what you’ll get: intrigue, infidelity, conspiracy, obsession, doubles, misdirection, insatiable corruption and corrupting insatiability.
Given the show’s explicit judgment of judgment, it’s perplexing that many critiques, warranted as they are, overwhelmingly rely on and perpetuate a neurotic suspicion of pleasure.
It may be that with its real locations, non-professional performers, and documentary-style cinematography of the city surrounds, People on Sunday presages aspects of both Italian neorealism and the French New Wave. but it’s also a film about presaging.
What we commend as “real” in life as in film, and perhaps in Scorsese’s films in particular, we might call gritty, dark, or uncompromising; The Age of Innocence proposes otherwise. What could be more violent than a life sculpted by compromise?
If this is a list, let it be a syllabus, a series of entry points joined by common questions: What does it look and sound like to understand your life, previously envisioned as exclusively “ahead,” as incrementally, but increasingly, behind? What can a moment of emotional accuracy accomplish? What imperative pleasures does meticulousness afford?
Nicholas Ray's Johnny Guitar is so rigorously, comprehensively excessive, its excesses eclipse any baseline against which excess is typically judged.
For all of A New Leaf's atonal humor and surrealism, Elaine May still manages to depict marriage in a bleakly true light: as a continual, if cordial, blind date.
Well before Christian Grey donned his dumb ripped jeans, James Spader embodied the paradigmatic combination of vulnerability and composure; his appeal, from Crash to Secretary, requires our conviction that he would, and would like to, and could, punish us—only gently.
Simultaneously an unconsummated romance, aspirational Europorn, and a menopausal comedy of manners, Joanna Hogg's Unrelated is summer in a nutshell: bad feelings in good light.
The perfection of Jan de Bont’s Speed owes not to its exemplification of “classical” Hollywood narrative, but to the intensity of its enthusiasm for those norms.
At its very surface, Sex and the City is replete with expressions of feeling toward time—passing too fast or too slow, comprising paralyzing pasts and unforeseeable futures.