January 09, 2009

MOVIE: Bigger Than Life

Hello, I'm finally reviving me blog due to very high demand, ha! I think I'll be blogging more about other stuff too, like music, general pop culture stuff, etc.

Caught this one at my favorite NYC theatre, the Film Forum. I've been kinda interested in Nicholas Ray's (as well as Vincente Minnelli's) take on life in America, so I knew I wanted to go see this one without a doubt. For those of you who think, "I've never seen a Nicholas Ray movie", yes you have, Rebel Without a Cause. The other one I've really enjoyed is "In a Lonely Place", which is a crazy good existential noir.

This was by far the most subversive commentary on marriage and family life I've seen since I took my family to go see Harold Pinter's Homecoming on stage last year. Me and my friend Song sat in our seats with our jaws dropped to the floor afterwards, and didn't even immediately get up to leave because we were so busy discussing it.

The premise as far as I will reveal is that James Mason is a small town school teacher who's devoted to his wife and son, and when he develops a terminal illness, he signs up for an experimental treatment which involves the brand new drug called cortisone (ha!). It was based on a true account documented in a newspaper article.

To sum up how I feel about it in a few words, it's totally Kafa-esque, a bit surreal, really well acted, and pretty flawless. Unfortunately the run of the very crisp restored cinemascope print is over at Film Forum now, but I hope more peopel can catch it in the future. The movie also has an interesting history of being panned in reviews and flopping at the box office when it came out, then being brought out of obscurity by none other than Truffaut and Godard. Godard supposedly said "Nicholas Ray IS cinema." Ha, of course he would say that, the pretentious bastard, but as usual I have to grudgingly agree with him.