Here’s something I’ve wanted to do for a while; point folks to (and invite others to point to) overlooked books, records, and films. Maybe plays, we’ll get to that later.
I’ll kick off with two of my favorites, a film about love and a book about death.The film is ‘Choose Me‘, by Alan Rudolph, and it’s a complicated, adult love film that manages to sum up – to me – much of what modern romance is and has become. Keith Carradine at his best, Lesley Ann Warren, and an insanely smart and sexy Genevieve Bujold are the core of the film, and most of it is spent listening to the three of them talk about love (Bujold does it for a living as a radio talk show host).
It nails a certain slice of 1980’s Los Angeles (Ed Ruscha has a small part), and is as slick and beautiful and confused as its characters are. As we are, in truth. One way that I weigh art is how it makes people react; almost everyone I know who sees this movie is suddenly aware that they are in love, or deeply sad that they are not.
In a whole different world is my favorite of Cormac McCarthy’s books (you’ve seen ‘No Country For Old Men’, right? If not, leave the computer now and go.), ‘Blood Meridian: Or the Evening Redness in the West‘ is in my view, McCarthy’s greatest book; it may be the best book about America since ‘Moby Dick’. Harold Bloom certainly thinks so, but I didn’t need his opinion; when I opened the book I was swept away by McCarthy’s vision.
A dark, violent, vision to be sure – even, in some ways, insane. But if you’ve hiked the desert, as I have, equipped with all the modern technology and communication and thought about those who crossed it on foot or horseback or on wagons – well they must have been a little bit insane as well.
I’m interested in what folks who have seen or read these think; and what you would suggest as overlooked gems.