"People have flocked to the theater forever to feel something, to experience what it’s like to see a reflection of oneself, distilled in stark revelation. To share in communalized trauma or joy, to escape one’s daily humdrum and strife, and for a brief moment to possibly be cleansed by laughter or tears. To be brought closer into a fellow traveler’s shoes, or to learn about comparable travails and customs of foreign and alien cultures. To be punched in the gut with a vicarious experience. To share in what it means to be human."
Two films featuring Michael Nyman's "Fish Beach" seem so utterly opposed that it’s hard to believe they could share anything at all, but a deeper shared resonance can be drawn out thanks to the particular ways that Nyman’s style of composition works upon picture and viewer.
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.