Zoe’s Yearning Blossoms in Cassavetes’ Shadow


Or Thank God For Parker Posey’s Summertime Double Down …

Greetings from the notoriously recherché laundry wet-bar in the St. Francis Hotel where 1920s movie star/media martyr Roscoe ‘Fatty’ Arbuckle once beer-bonged his weight in Louisiana Lightning whilst grabbing ass all the way to the hoosegow on an infamous Bay Area Bender turned tragic Hollywood Scandal. As I pay reverence to the Fat Man, and dig for fresh St. Francis towels (you thought I was up to no good?), I’m thinking somebody should arrest the Studio Heads in L.A. who are responsible for dousing the naïve movie going public with a sorry (almost offensive) 2007 Summer Movie Lineup …

Since Hollywood is presently filling fleets of dump trucks with your hard-earned dosh, I guess someone should tell the slack-jawed suckers these summer movies have been the stinkiest in recent memory. Not only are the new releases shameless merchandising vehicles: Spiderman 3, Shrek 3, Pirates 3, Oceans 13, Hostel 2 and Fantastic 4: Part 2; but for the first time in Hollywood history they appear to have been written by a 1,000 C.G.I. chimps clacking away on 1,000 C.G.I. typewriters …

To paraphrase Max Von Sydow in Hannah and her Sisters (1987): if the ghosts of legendary screenwriters Paddy Chayefsky and Jerzy Kosinski came back and saw what was being done in the name of their vocation, they would never stop throwing up …*

courtesy of HDNet Films

Broken English

And now for something completely different*… today’s indie post … Broken English is a new release from this year’s San Francisco International Film Festival that speaks my language, specifically two of my favorite words – Parker and Posey. The Black Comedy Queen of the Damned and first time director, the daughter of John Cassavetes (Zoe) did a bang-up job buoying my summer doldrums with a love-sick po-mo rom-com that would make poppa (John Cassavetes, R.I.P) crack one of his wry, sideways smiles.

courtesy of HDNet Films

Let me be the first reviewer in America to thank God Almighty (not the charlatan Evan Almighty) for Parker Posey and her bravura summer double dip (Fay Grim, Broken English). Without her presence this summer, I would be dangerously close to dangling from the cinematic rafters with my head in a noose. 

In English, Posey plays a single New Yorker in her late 30s confronted with the starkness of her unfertilized uterus and solitary life of quiet desperation.  Her mother, played by Gena Rowlands, Cassavetes’ real-life mother says "the good ones are snapped up by your age," so fair Parker starts dating and dating and dating.  She meets Julian, an attentive Frenchman (Melvil Poupaud) and so begins an original screwball romantic comedy that …

If you want to know the rest, buy a ticket. And so it is on this fair Tuesday. This is MRF signing off. Until we meet again, be bad and, get into trouble baby*.

Parker Posey DVD Picks to Click
•    Personal Velocity: Three Portraits (2002) Parker plays Greta Herskowitz
•    Kicking and Screaming (1995) – Parker as Miami
•    Waiting for Guffman (1996) – Parker as Libby Mae Brown
•    The House of Yes (1997) –  Parker as ‘Jackie-O’ Pascal

Happenings Round Town:
•    Desperate Living (1977) Dir: Waters – Bridge (starts Friday)
•    Crazy Love (2006) Dir. Klores
•    Enter the Dragon (1973) Dir. Clouse – Red Vic (6/20)

Volume 19 Footnotes*
•    “It's been ages since I sat in front of the TV ... just changing channels to find something. You see the whole culture ... Nazis, deodorant salesman, wrestlers, beauty contests … the talk shows ... Can you imagine the level of a mind that watches wrestling, hmm?  But  the worst are the fundamentalist preachers ... third-rate con men, telling the poor suckers to watch them, they speak for Jesus ... and to please send in money. Money, money, money!  If Jesus came back, and saw what's going on in his name, he'd never stop throwing up…” – Hannah and Her Sisters (1987): Max Von Sydow’s misanthropic genius Frederick bestows knowledge on a pill-popping, poetry reading Barbara Hershey.
•    “And now for something completely different.” And Now For Something Completely Different (1971): John Cleese’s legendary sketch transition from Monty’s Python’s Flying Circus.
•    “Let’s get into trouble baby.” – Tapeheads (1988): Soul Train host Don Cornelius (as Hollywood Producer Mo Fuzz) to upstart filmmakers Tim Robbins and John Cusack.

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