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The Velocity of Gary (1998)
Lovely, chaotic slice of real life and naive fantasy
First: To email@example.com: "Why was an illness introduced so clumsily...?" Why, indeed? I'm sure the gay community asked that same question in the early eighties... Look, this is not a personal attack. It's just a reminder that "Gay Cancer"//GRID//HIV/AIDS did the same thing to the whole downtown scene in real life as it did in the movie. It introduced an ugly, horrific plague into what I call with sheerly complimentary intent, a magical fairyland. Now, fairyland is not without trolls, ogres, and nixies, not even without persistent, incurable poxes; or sores cured by sage, potion-wielding wizards and witches with long, white coats.
But when a plague like the ones that touch humans touches Fairyland, well, that's just about as scary as can be....
Moon Over Parador (1988)
Used to Seem Fluffy -- Before it Proved True
This Mazursky romp has taken on a decidedly more "dark-roast" flavor for me, at least, since I first saw it with my parents, my brother and my sister in 1988 (I was 11). It just, bam!, appeared on TV ("Oh!" network, or "We," I think "Oh!," though) as I was writing a paper for World Cultures: Latin America course at NYU. The paper is on the anti-Semitic policies of the Perons (as in Juan Domingo and Evita) and Peronists during and after WWII/the Holocaust. I used to think of this movie as yet another accurate skewering of the paranoid conspiracy theories/theorists who can't seem to stop spewing "They Saved Hitler's Brain -- And Disney's -- And They're Gonna Make the Whole World Into "Walt Disney Presents -- The Fourth Reich!", and other such ridiculous idees fixes.
Now I see (thanks to Uki Goni's instant journalistic/historical classic of a TRUE account, _The Real Odessa_ (Granta Books, NY & London, 2003)) that Parador, right down to the Secret Cabal of Blue-Eyed Colonels (compare to Peron's GOU and various "political refugee"/"emergency immigration" societies) toasting the recent triumphs of Jack-Noah-as-President/General-Simms, *is Argentina*, although in Argentina when you got pulled into that car with the windowshades, you became a "desparecido," not the President-for-Life. But, still, I think Capetanos was trying to make a point when he had Madonna [and Madonna was campaigning for the role of Eva Peron in "Evita" even then] Mendez, look so much like Evita near the end, and even mentioned how Jack Noah had been in Evita (probably, one is supposed to assume, as Juan Peron) and done well at his role.
It would be ***very*** interesting to see the original Charles Cordon Booth treatment, as he died in 1949, and so might or might not have known about Peron's activites.
Rose Red (2002)
A) This film was a brilliant, wistful homage to one of King's idols of youth (see the dedication page of _Firestarter_, the page before the section, "The Marsten House," of _'salem's Lot_, and various in passim references throughout _The Shining_) and of the present, Ms. Shirley Jackson, who also wrote "The Lottery." Read King's _Danse Macabre_ if you want to know why "haunted house" movies are all so similar, but most still manage to 'be new.'
B) I'll agree that King's take on autism is a bit Freudy-Bettelheimy, but he's a _novelist_, and has his own thematic and point-of-thrust reasons for "creating an autism" that works within a fairy tale-like story. Yes, the "childhood schizophrenia" and/or "refrigerator mother(/parent)" theories were disproved long ago by Bettelheim, himself-- but those hypotheses of the condition are so deeply written into our culture that that sort of "Literary Autism" has taken on a life of its own. Also, it's not clear that what she has _is_ autism. It's like the time that Danny Torrance spends with Tony -- the doctor calls it what he does because, like ghosts, ESP, the Shop, the Dark Tower, et cetera, it is a borderland, "thinny" kind of syndrome, not located in the brain, but in the soul. I think I'm out of words, but: Thank you, Stephen King, for all of it, and despite what you say in the new intro to Carrie, you know an awful _lot_ about women!!!