Nothing in this world can take the place of good old persistence. Talent won’t. Nothing’s more common than unsuccessful men with talent. So is John Lee Hancock’s biopic film of Ray Kroc, The Founder bookended.
You will be surprised to hear, as am I, that I am inspired by Ray Kroc, the fictional one anyway. It’s all I’ve got to go on now.
I’ve been frustrated over these some forty years of fighting to get something published. From my opening book, The Sacred Whore – which actually received brief attention from an agent – through Manitou Island, Black Ice and The Buzz Trilogy to the many Davis films and The Cx Trilogy, I have carried on.
The Cx Trilogy might be finished in a year, maybe Fuck Pedagogy before that. Persevering pathetically, proudly on, that’s me, on the way to…oblivion?
That might be an exaggeration. More to the point, they are like fast food. They might look and taste good, but they’re empty calories. They make people fat and stupid. And so that’s why I don’t like them, super-hero films that is.
It was fine when we were kids and read them and then ran around in capes in the backyard, but these are adults who have bought into this nonsense. Not just heroes to the rescue but sexy smart-alecky kids in skin-tight outfits who care more about their followers than society.
Super heroes are clearly not the basis for a belief system. It’s time to get out of this terrible fog and get back to a more genuine spirituality, such as following a hockey team that never wins the championship.
I’ve never been much of a fan of the work of Brian De Palma. From Carrie to The Untouchables, his films, punctuated with heavy-handed moments, just plod along. But more to the point, he is a relentless visual plagiarist.
Body Double is a poorly rendered sensational take on Hitchcock’s Rear Window, Blow Out a dull reimaging of Antonioni’s Blow Up, and The Untouchables climactic scene a trite frame-by-frame reproduction of Eisenstein’s Odessa Steps.
All of this is just fine. Each to his own. That is until I read a De Palma quote in Julie Salmon’s book The Devil’s Candy, a exhaustive blow-by-blow account of the disastrous production of Bonfire of the Vanities.
“Take an idea that has to be told in visual images. That’s what I always tell my students. It can be Super 8. Take any cliche – somebody killing somebody. Pure action, but make it original.” Original was the word he used. Original. Whatever you want to say about De Palma, love him or not, the guy just isn’t that.
Which made me realize the simplest of things, a truth that emanates around the world today: Truth is anything you want it to be. You think it, and that’s what it is. So, here’s to that.