Tuesday, December 28, 2004

At the movies

Saw Hitchcock's "Rope" on TV last night. It's based on the story of Leopold and Loeb, the precocious UChicago undergrads who decided to commit the "perfect murder" but who ended up getting caught, and whose story lives on as much because of their well-to-do backgrounds as because of the homoerotic nature of their relationship. In "Rope," one of the two men, right after murdering his victim, claims that it was "justifiable homicide" because the deceased was "a Harvard undergraduate." The U of C is never mentioned in "Rope," and the setting is NYC and not Chicago, but the motive sounded about right for two psychotic Chicago students convinced that they were too good for the U of C...

And I just got back from seeing "In the Realms of the Unreal" at the Film Forum. First off, the seat I had intended to sit in when arriving at the theater had a roll of toilet paper on it. But why? Various explanations are possible, but none led me to think just picking up the roll, putting it on the floor, and sitting in that seat would be a good idea... The movie itself--which I watched from a seat far from the aformentioned roll--tells the story of Henry Darger, a janitor during the day and an outsider artist in his spare time. Darger barely spoke to anyone and, when he could help it, would never stray from a small radius within the Lincoln Park area of Chicago. The movie includes various tourist videos promoting Chicago from different parts of the 20th century. Darger painted cherubic little girls with penises. Many, many pages of cherubic little girls with penises. Once the initial shock of this, and of how much work this man produces without anyone knowing about it, is over, the movie becomes incredibly dull and repetetive. Who cares that no one knew how to pronounce his name? Why is the question of whether he was eccentric or insane considered so interesting, when it sounds from the movie like he was a bit of both?

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