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Jon Moskowitz

Manifesto

Because tickets are too expensive. Because no one knows how to make good soda anymore. Because I donít like standing in line with other people, waiting to go sit with other people, to watch images of other people. Because of the hideous color of multiplex carpeting. Because every company involved with the film insists that their logo be a 15 second long animated short instead of a simple line listing. Because of the head-rattling hugeness of Dolby-THX sound, which leaves me panting for breath before the end of the first preview, like a dog in the back seat of a car on a drive he doesn't want to be taking. Because most previews make good movies look bad, and bad movies look exciting. Because no one hisses at the ads for Coca-Cola, Sprint PCS or Mazda anymore. Because I already know about 777-Film: that's how I got here in the first place. Because people won't quiet down until the first body falls out of the cupboard or the first breast is exposed. Because I'm instantly exhausted by the visual tricks used to turn celebrities into icons. Because Anthony Hopkins used to be an extremely awkward fellow who always had the wrong haircut, but now he oozes money and contentment. Because most films, even the feel-good ones (especially the feel-good ones) come off as mean-spirited. Because digital projection looks fuzzy. Because everyone excels at narrative shorthand, but no one excels at narrative. Because everyone has appropriated my favorite songs. Because slow motion is used to highlight moments of great emotional impact. Because thereís always a figure of authority who sides with the underdog in the end. Because of the crowds in the diner, or at the press conference, or in the street, who clap when the lovers finally kiss, even though they don't know who these people are or why they're so perfect for each other. Because Austin Powers is so much funnier when you watch it at the video store while trying to pick a movie. Because product placements are often more creative than the plot. Because everyone is a critic. Because there's no pause button. Because Apocalypse Now should have been left as it was. Because Ed Harris standing with his hands on his hips is plastic heroism. Because people only started pumping their arms and saying "yes!" in 1982, not in the 1300s. Because secret agents canít really afford such nice clothes. Because it takes too long to get out of the theater when the film is over.


Desire

Winona Ryder on a sailboat circling the Statue of Liberty.

Jennifer Connolly in a dune shack outside of Provincetown, MA.

Rose MacGowen in an adobe hut in some nameless backwater in northern New Mexico.

Dominique Sanda in a pile of hay in a woodsman's cottage in the Black Forest.

Ione Skye after a night sniffing whippets on the Atlantic City Boardwalk.

Janet Gaynor behind the strong man's trailer at the State Fair.

Julie Christie on a pile of Russian mink stoles.

Lillian Gish, while the peasants storm The Bastile.

Lily Taylor behind the candy counter at the Angelika Film Center.

Parker Posey in an army-issued collapsible canvas bathtub.

Ingrid Bergman behind the statues of the Apostles on the roof of St. Peterís in Rome.

Jessica Lange, sheltered by palm leaves in some secluded corner of King Kong's Island.

Marlene Dietrich wearing leather boots, a top hat and a priestís soutane.

Grace Kelly on top of a pile of steamer trunks in a first-class cabin on the Queen Elizabeth.

Catherine Deneuve, while driving a Vespa scooter across the Pont Louie-Phillippe in Paris.

Faye Wray in a posh hotel with ceramic door handles.

The two miniature priestesses of Motha, in a small lacquer boxed on a table in a Tokyo office building.

Ruth Buzzy, while drinking a bottle of Boone's Farm Apricot Wine.

Maragret Dumont, in an old attic packed to the ceiling with broken harps and moldy violin cases.

Roseanne Barr in a swimming pool full of Iceberg lettuce.


Jon Moskowitz is a freelance writer in New York, a graduate of the New School MFA Program, and former non-fiction editor of LIT. He has written for Interview, NY Press, Playboy and Time.

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