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On The Zip List

On The Zip List

Besides The Wire, my other media poison has come in envelopes in the mail (though I must admit the wait for more Wire was so long that I got a bit angry at Zip and found alternative methods). I’m considering it an fun, alternative education to run along with the hell beside it, catching up on embarrassing “I haven’t seen its”.. Some major entries still on that list, that I’ll just get out there now: The Lord of the Rings trilogy, Gone With The Wind, The Grand Illusion, Apocalypse Now… Go ahead, snicker.

But in keeping with the Baltimore theme, recent mailings included finishing my quest to watch or rewatch John Waters’ entire available-on-DVD filmography, ending the list with Polyester, which was the one I’d never seen. Maybe it was the lack of OdorRama (the DVD didnt include this), but I found this to be my least favourite Divine outing. I like my Divine mad-crazy, and Francine Fishpaw’s repressed and manipulated housewife, as fun to watch as she was, was no Dawn Davenport or Babs Johnson. On the plus side was Edith Massey’s rags-to-riches sidekick, though I could watch Massey do pretty much anything (ex. eat eggs).

I was more impressed with a bunch of films I ordered as a result of seeing Serial Mom a few weeks ago. Ignorant to most of Kathleen Turner’s resume, I took on back-to-back-to-back viewings of Lawrence Kasden’s The Accidental Tourist, John Huston’s Prizzi’s Honor and Francis Ford Coppola’s Peggy Sue Got Married. I enjoyed all three. Though Turner herself didn’t have much to do in Tourist, William Hurt was great (and looks amazingly like Patrick Wilson in it), and the film offered an insightful character study that nailed the funny-sad mix and offered a cute (though certainly not Oscar worthy) opportunity for Geena Davis to star-make. Another best supporting actress winner, Anjelica Huston, was a bit more worthy in Prizzi’s Honor, though I again suspect politics played more of a role in that win (aka whos your daddy). Prizzi’s was my favourite of the three though, with, uh, killer, performances and chemistry between Turner and Jack Nicholson, and a perfect addition of humor into organized-crimes themes. Turner was at her best, though, in what was probably the worst of the films: Peggy Sue Got Married. Fun like Pleasantville or Back To The Future, Peggy is a flawed addition to the “What If…” genre, and features a wide array of “before they were stars” roles I had fun watching for: Jim Carrey, Joan Allen, Helen Hunt…

Finally, I figured I should catch up on my gay history before this fall’s Milk mania and got the Oscar winning doc The Times of Harvey Milk. The film is pretty basic: Relays the information, interviews friends and onlookers, and tells an incredible and moving story that (note to Gus Van Sant), is pretty hard not to screw up. Not to at all bash the filmmakers, as the film offers some compelling stuff and they certainly did their homework, but Harvey Milk is a man whose story deserves nothing less than that. Towards the end, shots of an endless street filled with (hundreds of?) thousands of men and women holding candles in Milk’s honor is a high point. I kept the disc for a few weeks and passed it around to anyone that hadn’t watched it, most got back to me noting the doc moved them to tears and that they hadn’t known the specifics of that story. So if you need to touch up on gay history or even American history, The Times of Harvey Milk is for you.

Times have got a bit more busy lately, so a pile of envelopes are awaiting a burst of laziness or writers blockery: Broadcast News, Broken English (I have a Parker Posey obsession) and Richard Linklater‘s Slacker (which I haven’t seen since I was a teenager).. I hope to report back sooner rather than later…

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