Bright Lights Film Journal

Links: Fifteen years in the wilderness, THIRTEEN & the womb of fear


Time keeps on slippin’ and the internet expands fast as the universe itself, which means we should all link to each other, lest distance grow long. I’ve had transcendence on my mind as I sink into the mire of a late November cold, and lo, there is Mickey Rourke, The Guardian, Kim Morgan and old favorites… please join me on a link tour deep into the realms of cool:

Becca at No Smoking in the Skull Cave has an excellent left-hand side list of Overlooked Movies, many of which I haven’t seen, some I saw when a child or under bad circumstances and have since recoiled from, but she makes me want to give them another chance, especially when she checks personal favorites like Myra Breckenridge, Big Trouble in Little China, Flash Gordon (1977), and Night of the Iguana! She doesn’t rant on and on about what she likes in the film, so much as lay out the history and sweet photos, and then pack in some good quotes and trivia. That’s fine by me, baby!

I love the cheeky, Emperor’s New Clothes-bustin’ British, and I love them extra when they write for the Guardian! Listen to this long and lovely sentence from their just-posted Mickey Rourke interview by Carole Calwalladr:

Before meeting him, I had honestly no idea what to expect; in the event, he’s the kind of interviewee you wish for but almost never get: he’s just so happy to talk and he’s so refreshingly un-up-himself that it makes you think that all Hollywood actors could do with a bracing 15 years in the wilderness.

“Un-up-himself.” I love that, and incidentally, yes, I am sure she does mean Tom Cruise. The fifteen years in the wilderness reminds me of Josh Brolin talking about taking time off to travel around with his kids when discussing his own big year, 2007, and I’m thinking Hollywood needs to have an actor boot camp, somewhere deep in the wilderness, where we send stars who… shall we say… need to get out(side the biz bubble) more? Dig this winky put-down of the “Leo diCaprio persona,” by Xan Brooks. Thank god I’m not the only one who sees the problem:

a hardball CIA operative on a mission to the Middle East. He hurries through the carnage sporting a bum-fluff beard and the irritated air of a youth who can’t find his trousers and is running late for the high-school prom. He’s going to catch hell from Mary-Anne and Biff.


Kim Morgan’s Sunset Gun, the pink and black and white mecca of sun-tanned sin and impeccable insight, keen journalistic phrasing and genuine balls-out, tell-it-like-is brilliance, has posted a Ten Troubled Teens list: Foxes? Freeway? Over the Edge? Pretty Poison? Thirteen? All in one list? And no Leo to be found (though here is where he belongs, he’s fine as a juvenile [“Gilbert!”], but unlike Dick Powell, can’t convincingly move into hardboiled detective roles). Morgan knows the deal; dig this sentence from her paragraph on Thirteen:

Some parents should watch this hard-hitting film — it’s more sobering than going through your teenager’s diaries (unless your daughters are Pauline Parker and Juliet Hulme, in which case you should be impressed and scared for your life) and though it does play over-the-top at times, teenage girls are over the top.

Damn right, sis! And why is she able to be calm in the face of Hell, of chaos, by over the top-itude? She’s been there! You can tell. There are so many writers out there practicing “contempt prior to investigation,” preferring to get their opinions pre-chewed by the New York Times. They don’t like to see pretty, intelligent women truly enjoying themselves, because when young girls get wild–and I don’t mean flash your tits to please the frat boys “wild”, but wild for themselves– things get out of hand: blood gets drawn, faces get slapped, drugs, orgies, cthonic blood sacrifices of infants, the drinking of blood and swearing of Satanic oaths, it all follows in a linear progression, so these old NY Times foldin’ bourgeoisie fuckers realize as they recoil in horror from Camille Paglia‘s latest brilliant slap in their tingling faces!

If you wake up in the middle of the night and see a giant tiger staring you in the face, what do you do? Most, maybe 99% of people will freak out, try to get their gun from under the pillow, try and run, try to hide, and end up ripped to shreds and devoured by the grinning demonic jaws of the beast. The survivor 1% pet the tiger. You talk to it, and nuzzle up with it, instantly, automatically, with no fear, it has to be an automatic reflex. The Brits whole “under-playing” attitude stems from this approach to life (Stockholm Syndrome is a delayed version).

How do you get to be in that 1%? Don’t run from fear and pursue desire, reverse it! Learn to love your killer even as you stab them back with hell’s own fury! Recognize yourself in any and everything and learn to suspend judgment down to the smallest abject atom. Lastly, find a valley of the shadow of death, and walk through it. As Marlon Brando liked to say “not until you look death right in the face…go right up into the ass of death… till you find the womb of fear”.” and maybe after you see the Wrestler! Go Mickey!