Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Bertrand Russell's Favorite Movie


To demonstrate the inherent limitation of language,
Bertrand Russell used the following famous example,
favorite of 8th graders:

The following statement is true.

The proceeding statement is false.

In Choose Me, one of the greatest films of 1980s,
the character of Mickey is the human personification
of this contradiction.  He is a pathological liar who
makes everything up, but what he makes up is always
the truth, and he can not lie.

Keith Carradine anchored Alan Rudolph's work like
no other actor, being the only performer to ever fully
carry the romantic burden which is at the heart of
Rudolph's sensibility without sacrificing the irony
and intelligence which makes Rudolph's best work
so engaging.

Among the four films Carradine and Rudolph made
together, Choose Me is the greatest.   It captured the
Los Angeles of its time as Mullholland Drive captured
the same Los Angeles of 20 years later, the Los Angeles
of those who don't become famous and who live
anonymously toiling for something outside their grasp.

As with a pathological liar who always tells the truth, the
achievements of the characters don't even belong to them.
Eve's bar was built by a different Eve; the talk show host
lives behind a persona which alienates herself from her
desires; the violence of one character leads a woman to
fear another man.

Perhaps the greatest American film of the 1980s, Choose
Me has been unfairly neglected.   Except perhaps for
other film calling out so urgently for a Criterion Release.

   And there's not as much time as there used to be.
-                  -                      -                -            -  Choose Me

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