Beginners (the movie)
Last night I saw the movie Beginners. It's a small movie, with big actors: Ewan McGregor, Christopher Plummer (who my wife explained to me was Captain Von Trapp in The Sound of Music. Since then, he has learned to act). Also a great French actress named Mélanie Laurent. I say she is great because I never tired of watching her, and I have lost faith in movie actresses. For example, Penelope Cruz in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides just frightened me. She seems like a nice person, and has a certain aggressive talent, but if I can avoid her the rest of my life, I will.
Beginners (which is not a bad title) is about cartooning. It's about death. It's about Hollywood. It's about gay pride. It's about modern art. It's about... graffiti. It's about how modern art has been replaced by graffiti (though only certain intellectuals will notice this). It's about Americans When They Don't Take Prozac. It's about why marriages fail. (They fail because previous marriages failed.) It's about LA. It's about taking a plane to New York City, and suddenly realizing you should've stayed in LA. It's about The French. It's about why beautiful women are beautiful. It's about tacos. It's about bookstores -- used bookstores.
When you movie ends, you notice that everyone in the movie theater looks exactly like a character in the movie. (Is this true of every movie?)
Beginners is about the historic importance of the gay movement. And how for young people today, the revolutionary elements of that movement are invisible. The gay movement is still going on, actually. The gay movement still makes "straight" people nervous. And it should. Because capitalist society is based on a myth about sexuality, and gay people, without intending to, shatter that myth.
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