The core of Purple Rain lies in the psychological lives of Black men. What makes the film revolutionary, besides its sympathetic gaze, is that it positions music as a vehicle for redemption.
There were days where I couldn’t believe how lucky I was to be able to sit with loved ones and share these first-time viewings in real time, and others when the combination of quarantine cabin fever and less-than-stellar runs of films made it seem like everything would be mediocre. A privilege and, 32 movies, shorts, and episodes later, a pile-up.
NASA made the Mercury Seven men into a myth. Tom Wolfe made them into (slightly flawed) idols. Philip Kaufman makes them the prototypes of all the insouciant heroes of the Reagan era, who reinforce the American status quo while still breaking every rule.