31 January, 2013

In which I make fun of Hitchcock


I’m much too old to be batting against the classics. A serious attack on classic is too time intensive for a man who works 40 hours a week and, generally, it's an immensely unattractive quality. Everyone hates a know-it-all. In that regard, it’s a much younger man’s game.With that said: Fuck it, it's easy and I'm bored.

Come along, won't you?

With that said, I found Vertigo to be one of the most profoundly boring movies I have ever seen. Just. . . God, it went on forever. It’s half of an awesome ghost story, then at a certain point I just stop believing that it was worth Jimmy Stewart’s while not to fuck Barbara Bel Geddes. It’s preposterous.

So, yeah, naturally, I'm still going to make fun of Hitchcock, specifically Strangers on a Train.



Strangers on a Train continues that fine tradition of delivering well-paced, well-acted story that you just want to yell at somebody for. And loudly. Right in their ear. It is also the perfect example of a film that could have ended in its first hour if any of its characters bothered to act like normal people with reason and an intelligence slightly above that of a sea sponge with secondary concussion syndrome.

It’s the classic example of where a movie that could end twenty minutes in if someone just bothered to pick up a phone and act like a sensible person who doesn't like murder, which I think is most people who don't huff glue as a vocation or live in Florida.

I mean, hey, you, tennis dick! Just call your lawyer and then call the cops! It’s literally that easy. Do it. Do it now. You are engaged to be married to a US senator. He has a good lawyer. He probably has people in his employ who specifically exist to get rid of things like murder charges. Or the bodies that result in murder charges. Haven't you seen Michael Clayton? Hire exactly Michael Clayton right now, you idiot. You goddamn fucking idiot. Then maybe marry the woman you want to marry anyways so your conversations are privileged. Have you never heard of crime before?

Maybe it’s just because I’m not in the right head space or I’m just a cynic or maybe it’s because I watched too much of The Wire, but isn’t lawyering up pretty much de riguer? I mean, if you want to ruin a perfectly good murder movie plot, isn’t that what you do?

QUICK IDEA: Two lawyers, who are each others’ clients begin to murder people, but can’t go to the police for threat of losing their lawyer’s license! It’ll be called From Here to Attornies. Or something I’ll work on it.

Then there’s the fact that no one ever suspects anyone Bruce (the murderer) as anything but a lunatic who is probably capable of murder. Well, that's not entirely true. Some people probably think he's gay, but then immediately after that they think he's got a death or two to his name. At the very least he is understood to be that gay murderer friend of yours at the party.

He even strangles some old blue hair at a party! I'd like to think there is some satiric intent and that these people are just too polite to call the police, but deep down inside I just know that Hitchcock just really wanted to have that dramatic tennis scene go down.

Strangers on a Train is a series of conveniences and, it gets annoying, until you arrive at the climax, which is a fist fight on an out of control merry-go-round.. And at that point you realize that Alfred Hitchcock is truly the master of suspense because the whole time you were worried that this sort of silly series of events wasn't going to end with amusement park ride peril.

And if I didn’t clarify: THE CLIMAX IS A FIST FIGHT ON A MERRY-GO-ROUND. A PLOT POINT IS A CARNIE’S ABILITY TO CRAWL UNDER SOMETHING. THERE IS A CLOSE-UP OF HIM WIPING HIS BROW.

A CARNIE WIPES HIS BROW IN CLOSE UP, PEOPLE.

And, yeah, it’s kind of a thrill. And it’s kind of harmless. There’s really nothing to it. And then you have a murderer fight a WASP on an amusement park ride. And that’s pretty fun. That’s maybe the movie in microcosm.

Considering that Patricia Highsmith wrote the selfsame novel that this film was based on, I have to wonder what a Talented Mr. Ripley film directed by Alfred Hitchcock would have looked like. Now there's a guy you don't have to worry about calling his lawyer every fifteen minutes.