I love it when the fan shuts off and the noise floor opens.

Catherine Meng:
"It's okay to pretend to be sensible while stockpiling the fruits of resistance."

The Pixies Veloria video:
The best rock video ever. Band members walk past camera in slow motion in a rock quarry. Must have been done a budget of like $30 dollars. Mostly gas for the van to get to get there. There is no better video.

What's bigger:
Your head trip, or the world?

Poltergeist on cable:
Watching though a gauze of teenage memories. Tobe Hooper was induced into directing exactly like Stephen Spielberg, who wrote and produced it. Spielberg makes reality-denying exploitation flicks -- a very different kind of thing than The Texas Chainsaw massacre, which is an art film. One can only hope Hooper got paid a lot. The Spielberg exploitation involves deeply committing, and, I suppose, believing in a grotesquely untrue myth of suburban existence. His movies unfailingly exclude the possibly of registering an actual situation in the world as the price of the escapism. It's a long way from Roger Corman, or the earlier Hooper, neither of whom makes any such demand.

The ostensible theme of Poltergeist -- that TV removes family connectedness -- hovers weirdly above the real message, that TV, and the over-financed TV-like Spielberg productions which do the same thing on a bigger budget, are actually a portal into a true spirit world where actual social reality is a non-issue. What the film is saying is: replace your own judgments with the sensations of television. That’s the same message you get from Everyone Loves Raymond. It's a part of high imperial culture. Without this kind of thing, we couldn't have the current war.

The opposite of this is George Romero, all of whose films are escapist fantasy totally infused with social reality and critique. Land of the Dead is fantastic. I'm dreading the onslaught of War of the Worlds. Cruise is the perfect actor for Spielberg: a totally movie-killing, reality-repulsing actor, like Matt Damon or Winona Ryder. It's the type of reality repulsion that people respond to, though.

No comments: