So it’s spring – that time of year known for its hail storms; when the sky parts and the clouds vomit a years worth of icy grit; London is awash with the traditional monsoons – one raindrop away from washing down the Thames and landing us all in Calais or back on the beaches of Dunkirk; and where everyone shivers at home, trying to warm themselves by a roaring candle. Ah, May! Some say summer’s coming. But what’s that?
Once we’re done jumping in the puddles and gloating that we probably need never wash our cars again, let us huddle around the glow of our TVs, for whilst the wind has been battering our coiffeurs, spring has sprung to our shelves (yes, they have been dusted recently) and brought us a fresh brood:
Nicholas Ray takes on attitudes towards mental illness and addiction and brings out a powerhouse performance from lead actor, James Mason. A seriously ill man (Mason) is persuaded by doctors to take a new miracle pill which he soon finds, not only eliviates the symptoms of his illness, but leaves him feeling really remarkably well indeed. So well, in fact, that he inevitably begins to abuse this wonder drug by significantly upping his dosage, causing wild side effects and a psychotic break that threatens the welfare of himself and his family. Co-starring Barbara Rush as the suffering wife. Watch out for the son with his mini-James Dean red windbreaker, à la Ray’s Rebel Without a Cause:
I wonder what the cake signifies… Definitely daddy issues – possibly of the oedipal variety. Oh, for a peak into the mind of Nicholas Ray. Actually, if that sounds appetising – check out Lightening Over Water (1980), the bizarre, spellbinding, and deeply affecting experimental docu-film Wim Wenders made on his friend whilst Ray, who was dying of cancer, was attempting to complete his final film.
Is it amazing? Is it atrocious? Most people (including the good folk at IMDb) believe the latter. Well. If you’ve watched a lot of cult/B-movies you might well see the genius in it. If you haven’t, then its atrocious. And, yes, it does have Lindsay Lohan girating on a pole, which was probably info enough to send most critics into the cinema with bazookas. Just watch it as though it were a cult classic (which it should be, if it hasn’t reached that status yet). Squint and imagine it was made in 1971. Basically, don’t throw rotten eggs til you’ve seen it. Then, knock yourselves out.
Based on a true story. Self-explanatory.
WHO’S THAT GIRL (1987) – dir. James Foley, who also directed At Close Range (1986) (starring Madonna’s then-husband, Sean Penn) and the infinitely superior, Glengarry Glen Ross (1992). I have nothing to say about this. And I actually quite like Madonna.
MASKED AND ANONYMOUS (2003) – dir. Larry Charles (who also direct Sacha Baron Cohen’s Bruno AND The Dictator). Starring every famous person who has ever lived (which immediately makes me suspicious) – including Bob Dylan.
posted by Dixie Turner