Sunday, March 20, 2011

My week in media: Mar. 12-19

As a youngster, Steven Soderbergh's Sex, Lies, and Videotape popped out at me from the Blockbuster (RIP) shelves with its title and evocative cover. I was afraid of it, and I knew I wanted to see it, but because of BB's family-friendly policies, I couldn't.

S, L, & V came out at a weird time (1989). I was too young for it then, and when I turned 17, it wasn't even on my radar. American Pie and There's Something About Mary must have warped my poor mind w/r/t films about sex/ masturbation/ relationships; I don't think I would have appreciated S, L, & V, even though it's more f'd-up.

With his movie, Soderbergh ushered in the 1990s indie film craze and stoked the careers of Andie MacDowell, Peter Gallagher, and James Spader (who kills it). Connections abound; when I look at my DVD shelf, I see tons of movies influenced by it: One Hour Photo, Closer, Short Cuts, Punch-Drunk Love, and especially American Beauty. In American Beauty, Ricky (Wes Bentley) films Jane (Thora Birch) undressing in her bedroom for him. He zooms in on her face when she exposes her breasts, and while I used to think that his superhuman restraint and dedication to capturing her face was wholly original, I now know that motherfucker was aping Graham (Spader) from Sex, Lies, and Videotape.

(The still-succinct Wiki [but who knows for how long] does a tremendous job at articulating why I'm so fascinated with R.B., and one can apply the content found there to Tommy Wiseau/ Sea of Treasures/ etc., if one is feeling so-inclined.)

Drinking: Firestone Walker Double Jack IPA

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