Wednesday, January 15, 2014
Like director Godfrey Reggio’s Koyaanisqatsi, Visitors uses lush cinematography, a nonstop Philip Glass score, and generous lashings of slow-motion and time lapse photography to half-seduce, half-hypnotize us into seeing familiar sights with fresh eyes. Ironically, Reggio’s signature style has been so widely copied in ads that it can feel a little tired itself, especially when a subject is shot from below against a sky with time-lapse clouds scudding by. But I couldn’t shake the feeling that this film had something profound to say even when I wasn’t sure what that was.
Friday, January 3, 2014
Even the generally feminist screenwriter Garson Kanin and “women’s director” George Cukor patronize their heroine, Gladys Glover (the great Judy Holliday), a pneumatic child-woman for whom, as her suitor (Jack Lemmon) keeps insisting, happiness lies in giving up her inchoate ambitions to be “part of the crowd.” But a gorgeous young Holliday, grounded yet flighty as a young woman determined to “make a name for myself” in New York, makes this gem sparkle in spite of its flaws.
Fourteen years before Andy Warhol’s “15 minutes” declaration and long before Angelyne or the Kardashians, this likeable rom-com rips into the hunger for fame that is one of the defining manias of our time. Lemmon gives a pretty good speech about why getting famous just for being famous is nuts, but Holliday effortlessly one-ups his smug self-assurance in scenes like the one where the creamily lit Gladys stops a smarmy would-be seducer in his tracks by asking: “You ever think of getting a parrot?”
Written for The L Magazine