Despite featuring the fantastic Kyle Chandler, this is one of the worst movies about writers that I’ve ever seen. I suffered through it so you don’t have to. That being said, the image accompanying this blog post is pretty damn good, despite being quite pretentious.
On January first of every year I print out a calendar. I don’t buy them. Thankfully Jenny Mustard produces a minimalist version that doesn’t use a tacky font for the month, offers maximum space for printing, and doesn’t charge a cent.
I don’t know her and have no affiliation with her. But I came across this a few years ago and now, if I don’t have the new one on January 1st, I started to get irritated. How else can I chart the failures that are to come in the year ahead?
I grew up on an island and at times it feels like salt of the ocean is in my blood. Then I remember that I am terrified of the water and while sailing was something I did on occasion, it was more cling-to-the-rigging than lean-out-with-your-fingers-in-the-white-caps.
So when I look at these images I am able to hold both sensations in my mind at once. Which, I think, is what great art should do: disturb and please in equal measure, throw us off-kilter, make us question our minds. It should not provide answers, only legitimate questions.
Like most writers, I have a sick fascination with movies about writers and the publishing industry. Such films don’t exactly abound, but usually a few hit the market each year. Most of them suck; most get everything wrong about the mindset of a writer, not to mention the time-frame, process, and industry. Worse, the books within the movie are most often breathtakingly bad and almost without fail they are as pretentious as their authors.
You Will Meet a Tall, Dark Stranger is an exception. It’s directed by a shitty dude who knows his way around art, film, literature, and film, so he got all the little things right, from self-sabotage to boundless wells of envy to the sickening grind of the publishing establishment. It’s cynical, ironic, and funny. Too bad it comes from the hands of such a perv who needs to be caught up in the red tide of #metoo.
In this particular treatment, Josh Brolin is the writer. He steals his comatose friend’s manuscript and passes it off on his own. Hijinks ensue. It’s a good run, but like all Allen tragedies, yarn binds up in the wheels of karma and all good things come to a halt.
It’s way too short a film, and it’s an unsatisfying one, but for writer’s it’s a guilty indulgence.
7/10 ink blots.
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