Archive for December, 2011
Cousins for Crepes. Winsome Farmer’s Market Morning. If you’re an habitué of this long standing anytime of the day Fairfax tradition, then you’re in the very comfortable know.Wednesday, December 21st, 2011
James Ellroy’s Blood’s A Rover lays it all out, makes you a history buff (and as with most of his books, scorches, scalds and searingly seals your soul in solidarity with The Causa – which is ultimately Cherchez La Femme, but this missive is about another old girl all together.) So you burn your way through Ellroy, and I recommend listening to it, Craig Wasson is a towering phonic talent, then you sit late through J. Edgar and you Get It. In ways that the critics missed large. They were soft on their history and they couldn’t follow the script, but it’s there, all there and tight, a huge life with 50 years at the head of things, 8 Presidents, 3 wars and always there was the growing hegemony of the FBI. That’s a lot of history to cover and a huge man to digest. Dustin Lance Black of Harvey Milk fame writes the historical gay man well. He nails this one. Though he could have made Gay Edgar easily more sinister. Could have shown him as the vastly bigger bastard that he was. But that’s not necessarily the story we want out of our protagonist in a Hollywood movie. So he’s an exquisite egoist and it’s a gay man’s story told by a gay man, of a world lead by sternly gay/activist/Commie/Civil Rights/foreigner/outsider loathing politics and directed by a pretty roundly un-gay American figure head, e.g. Dirty Harry. This is a Hollywood movie to the last and we must feel for our hero mired in his circumstances, anti-hero to the core as he may well be.
But by reading the Ellroy first, who makes the original G-Man as beautifully vile as he could possibly be, the true bigot and hyper-paranoiac, the old girl; by reading Ellroy’s elegy to J. Edgar, the intelligent, catalogue minded nancy unswerving in nerve and angry file keeping to the end, especially when dissolving into madness; with Ellroy’s terse eye and historical read under your belt you can watch the movie with a necessary insight that proves the Roman rein the man had won for himself, just as he earned every monicker thrown at him, right down to Nixon’s, “That old cock sucker.”
I really dug the movie, the cinematography is enough to floor anyone for two and more hours straight. Hats off to Tom Stern, can’t wait to see what he does with Hunger Games. And Eastwood has really ripened into a master storyteller, you never stop believing you’re there, at Justice. Not for an instant. And whereas DiCaprio will always be a movie star first and an actor second – he’ll always be DiCaprio playing the character of and never quite transcend to that place of actually being (see Bill Murray as HST), DiCaprio is none the less majestic on the screen and he certainly learned all his lines. Most impressively, whether he can impersonate an historical personage or not, he sure makes one hell of a great closeted, hissy fitting, yearning to cross-dress fag. I didn’t doubt him there for an instant.