May 14, 2003

I saw High Art, but didn't want to.

I loathed the idea of it: Lesbian heroin-addicted photographic genius-recluse falls for pretty blonde model? Give me a break. But I saw it because everyone kept insisting it was good, and later, no one seemed to hear me when I said it was terrible.

My problem with the movie was that when I saw it, I was living in death-valley, BC, being attacked by strung-out addicts whenever I was in a one-mile-radius of my place. Once, I stepped out of my store-front property at Main and Cordova and a 200 pound Indian woman walking up the street with rage in her eyes started screaming at me "I DO NOT LIKE THE LOOK OF YOU!!" and she sprang at me like a heavy-weight champion, throwing a combination of punches all carefully tailored not to land.

The psychological fall-out from this was nothing short of nerve-shattering.

Everywhere you were in that god-forsaken land, you were only a glance away from violent confrontation. (A friend in the hood told me how to deal with this: You stick your tongue out, role your eyes back in your head, walk like you have a club-foot, make the famous Three's Company fag-wrist-thing, and an extended sound like "Arrrarraf!!", and - if you can do all this convincingly enough - no one will ever fight you.)

Also, at night, I would hear the same thing over and over, "Fuckin'-fuck-shit-bitch-fucker-you don't even know who I am Fuckin'-fucker-shit-bitch," and I would hear it from every muttering passer-by from 7pm on. Sometimes it wouldn't be a mutter but a scream. Often I would be dreaming this, only to wake and find it was real.

Which is to say: people whose lives are ruined by smack do not participate in flowery soft-core bed-side seduction scenes with pretty blonde models, even if they are reclusive geniuses. And as good as Ally Sheedy might have been, the film was flat because it used dope like a door-pass to a gritty reputation, which, by the film's end, felt more like a door-pass to some pristine VIP lounge where Lisa Cholodenko imagined she could one day become a permanent member. I could say this in harsher terms, perhaps with an ill-fated kiddy-porn analogy, but I'll just leave at: Romanticizing smack is for kids.

So, why see Laurel Canyon? I guess, aside from Gena Rowlands, Frances McDormand seems to have the best career of any actress round-town. And in all fairness, this film is not as offensively shallow as High Art, mainly because it isn't as ambitious. It's the story of a Cold Play-like rock band, headed by a sneaky pervert who is both dating his album's producer (McDormand), and hot for her son's uptight scientist girlfriend (Kate Beckinsale). What can I say? It would have made one hell of a porno! But if you're like me, and you want porno with your porno plot-lines, you'll feel totally bored by the end.

Still, a noticeable improvement over High Art.

Way to go, Cholodenko!

Posted by at May 14, 2003 03:16 PM

hmmm... like a porn movie without the porn, huh? a little like this, perhaps? (kidding.)

the more I think about Laurel Canyon, the more I think it was just plain god-awful... but I've never seen High Art, so I have nothing to compare it to.

[As a complete aside, f-y-t, in your side links, the link for 50 cups doesn't work. looks like you're missing a " after the link, so it's running her link and dong_resin's in together... at least from what I can tell...]

Posted by: marijke on May 14, 2003 04:06 PM .


Posted by: on May 14, 2003 04:24 PM .

I knew I was lifting that porno without porn remark from somewheres. And, no, you're not kidding. You're right on the mulla.

Posted by: on May 14, 2003 04:33 PM .

Garbage In -- Gospel Out.

Posted by: Party Poker on November 4, 2004 10:42 AM .
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