Erik beat me to the Oliver Stone/Power Broker* project. And yet, I think it might be more promising than fellow Belaborer of the Obvious Alan Ball** doing a movie about George Tiller. Fans of actors reading lengthy position papers telling you things you already know who are still upset by the cancellation of Studio 60 should get more than their quota from that one.
Speaking of Ball, since it’s hard to overstate how badly American Beauty has aged, I’m disappointed that Robert Stacy McCain missed his recent opportunity to create some common ground between liberal aesthetes and conservative aesthetic Stalinists. He asserts that Ball’s politics in American Beauty (which are flattered by comparisons with Adorno rather than Frank Rich) were expressed in a matter that is “contextual and nearly subliminal.” Subliminal? Christ, the only way they could have been more foregrounded was if the experience involved paying 10 bucks to have Ball to repeatedly hit you over the head with a 2×4 that has “suburbs are conformist and homophobia is bad” written on it. Which, come to think of it, is what re-screening American Beauty felt like. (The whole hilarious post via Roy, of course.)
*Am I crazy to be considering reading The Power Broker again? Look, I need something to tide me over until Caro’s LBJ: The Vice Presidential Years 1961-2 (2144 pp.) appears in 2016.
**I don’t mean to suggest that Ball doesn’t have him moments when other collaborators are able to moderate the BOTO. Especially in its initial seasons Six Feet Under was very good, although the dream sequences were not merely aesthetic disasters like 99.9% of dream sequences but also involved spoonfeeding the audience neat morals in the way that the show at its best resisted. And while True Blood is not for me overly crude politics aren’t really an issue. My one-line review would be “I didn’t understand what’s particularly interesting about vampires, and after a season of True Blood I still don’t.”
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