From Trump’s attempts to insinuate fraud into the electoral system and his wife’s re-iteration that the Donald has changed completely in the last 11 years, to the Daily Express’s headline promising cheaper food out of the EU as the pound plummets and inflation rises, the world seems to be turning into a huge experiment in cognitive dissonance. Where did all the sense go?
Whatevs, let’s distract ourselves with films that have delusion and confusion at their core. I’ll kick off with Inherent Vice, PT Anderson’s attempt at Thomas Pynchon‘s novel. The drugs don’t make things clearer….
What confusing and/or delusional films would you recommend?
As Samsung realise that spontaneously-combusting phones are probably not the way forward and techies are still scratching their heads about why the algorithms dropped the value of the pound so dramatically last week, let’s have a look at films about the technology changing our lives. You may wish to go back to Chaplin’s Modern Times or dash ahead to a Blade Runner dystopia, but I’ll just jump a couple of years into the future with Her, when Siri gets even more personal.
What films about technology would you recommend?
Jeremy Hunt – already dear to every NHS worker’s heart – is going to train 1,500 more doctors in a few years time and that, he believes, will mitigate existing shortages, the effects of Brexit and his industrial relations ineptitude and ensure we have enough home-grown medics to keep everything tickety-boo for evah and evah.
Linda Litzke and Chad Feldheimer (played by Frances McDormand and Brad Pitt) are similarly bone-headed, unrealistically optimistic characters in Burn After Reading. Yet somehow, after much pain and suffering (experienced by others), Linda gets what she wants….
What optimistic films would you recommend? (There doesn’t have to be a cynical edge to your nomination!)
Well, the first debate has happened, so the race is definitely on. Let’s get this out of the way now: US Presidents.
There have been plenty of ’em, both real and fictional, with a President in both serious and comedy roles (Jack Nicholson in Mars Attacks! comes to mind) but I’ll suggest Anthony Hopkins’ turn as Nixon, in all his sweaty, paranoid deviousness.
What presidential films would you recommend?
What with aid convoys and soldiers being equally bombable and refugees being compared to cheap, disposable sweets (as well as the usual, everyday cruelties that seem to be getting increasingly heartless), I’m asking for some kindness this week.
Maybe we look to films for excitement and challenges, so there aren’t too many that have kindness at their core? I’ll suggest The Sessions, based on a true story, in which a professional kindness is also a personal one.
What kind of kind film would you recommend?
The RR playlists for this topic concerned Ulysses, Avalon, Xanadu and so on, but I have chosen it because yesterday’s news item about the report recommending legalisation of cannabis in the UK for medicinal use demonstrates that the Home Office still believes in the old myth that cannabis is a harmful drug (whose active ingredient can only be turned into a beneficial drug by a profit-seeking pharmaceutical company).
Please indulge yourselves with LOTR, Labyrinth, vampires and monsters, if you will, but I’ll kick off with Calvary, a film based on the Bible story which juxtaposes reality and irrational belief to good effect (imho, as usual).
I was hoping that we’d done hubris or hypocrisy but no, the nearest I’m going to get to this week’s gob-smacking example of both is scandal.
OK, there are no oranges or gimp masks involved, but the revelations about Mr Vaz’s private tastes have scandalised many newspaper editors and once again chipped away at the image that people in politics are beacons of truth and integrity.
At least he didn’t break the law. Dirk Bogarde did, and did so when homophobia was not only accepted but expected. People were scandalised by a lot less back then.
What films about scandal get you worked up?