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E-Dreams (2001)
e-hubris
30 August 2004
Well, we knew trouble was headed the company's way when they couldn't get the utility bills paid. Or when the payroll procedure was out of whack. All this while thwarting the flurry of calls from top Wall Street investment banks and leading the investment community to believe that a tenuous relationship to the internet was all it took to catapult the company towards an astronomical market cap.

In e-dreams, as with Startup.com (another fine documentary about the e-retail debacle), we are taken a roller coaster ride through one entrepreneurs dream and its contrapuntal relationship with the grim realities of corporate America. At one point in the film, the co-founder bemoans how control of the company was turned over to seasoned veterans. Welcome to the party, pal. Early 2000 saw 2 trillion dollars worth of company and investor money wiped out in about six trading sessions. Kozmo.com is caught in all of this, transforming from 10 employees in a decrepit, NYC warehouse to a 1,100 arsenal in ten major cities after collecting over 280 million dollars from VCs. In the end, sadly, Kozmo was out the door as quick as the Seinfield character that spawned its name, laying off all employees, jettisoning its founders, and liquidating--at one point, giving away--its assetts. Yes, even the orange fleeces had to go.

Ultimately the story about CEO hubris, contingency plans M.I.A, and IPO fever, e-dreams reminds us how ludicrous the whole Internet bubble was to begin with. In the long run, profits rule the day, not good PR.

D.J. NYC Aug 2004
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Secret Window (2004)
*** out of ****
22 August 2004
Depp is remarkable, as is Turturro, who plays the protagonists eerie tell-tale. The film, while commendable as a study of a bipolar short story writer, seems predictable and replete with clichés from time to time. On the other hand, one might argue as this film's way of honoring--or "swerving from" as Harold Bloom might say--its precursors, namely, Hitchcock and Kubrick, whose influence is all over this film's aesthetic and psychological terrain. If Edgar Allen Poe were a film director, "Secret Window" might have been something with his seal of approval.

The magic of the film is its ending, as well as its beautiful camera work, set design, and de-objectification of reality (the first 3/4 of the film require the viewers complete emotional investment). This is a story about art, revenge, and love, but even more, about the fatal ramifications of imaginative fecundity. Pay attention to the mirrors, friends.
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Theatre of Cruelty
9 January 2003
Freudian in its dreamscape and implications, Derridean in its play and ambiguity, and postmodernist in its resistance to closure, "Mulholland Drive" traverses a Jungian-inflected topography where identity is specious, narrative jettisons realism, and desire drives on Hegelian protocols.And yet my academy speak is just another futile attempt to "close in" on a film that share affinities with Freud's Mystic Pad, the apparatus on which writing and erasing occur simaltaneously.

In "Modest Proposal," satirist par excellence Johnothan Swift defines satire as a glass in which the spectator sees everybody's face except his own. I would read MD along Swiftian lines, for everyone in this movie is both agent and victim, doer and duped. Viewer included. "Mulholland Drive" will leave many thinking, possibly enraged. However, anxiety, Heiddeger reminds us, is the first step of understanding.

MD is highly recommended, if only as a testament to the prevailing influence Bunuel and Hitchcock have passed down to their anxiety-ridden successors. In MD, Lynch proffers--if I can borrow Bloom's formulation of an artwork that has successfully contested with its precursors--an achieved anxiety.

**For those further interested, I refer my reader to J. Hoberman's cogent review of the film in The Village Voice Oct 3, 2001.

Daniel A. Jacome
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