Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The more things change, the more they stay the same

It struck me while seeing Milk this weekend that no matter how far we get with a progressive agenda (gay rights, abortion rights, blah, blah, blah), we just have to keep fighting the same freaking battles over and over again.

Sean Penn has always been one of my favorite actors and I will watch just about anything that he's in. Yup, even saw the movie he was in with Madonna.

I don't know how many liberties were taken with the facts (the tape recording sessions at the end - yeah probably some there which I don't necessarily think enhanced the movie). But, and this is without having seen most of what will get nominated for awards this year, he should get something. Could just be me and my silly girlish ways, but I couldn't take my eyes off him - even when James Franco was on screen. I think Penn's is an all out charming performance. Part of this has to do with the facts. Milk was, by all accounts, a charmer. But there are all kinds of opposing things going on in this movie and Penn can carry all of them. The flashback at the end of the movie reshowing his first night with Scott, James Franco's character, which occurs during a phone call with Scott on what is presumably the last night off his life. Scott tells him that he is proud of him. The flashback goes back to their night together when Harvey laments that at 40 he still hasn't done anything he was proud of - sniff, sniff (and that's not meant facetiously). Almost makes me want to start doing something again. Almost.

I also saw Conversations from the Pit with Henry Rollins (how much do you love Netflix!). This was recorded in Australia sometime after - OK, I don't say Bush's re-election since I do not think he was ever elected - November 2004 (Garrison Keiller calls him the "Current Occupant" (http://www.salon.com/opinion/keillor/2009/01/07/self_esteem/)). Also a long time fan of Rollins - spoken word only; I was never a head banger - and while I haven't exactly lost friends over this, I do get the rolling-of-the-eyes-here-she-goes-again look when I try to convince people of his talent and this is on the first attempt. Couple of things about this movie that really stuck out:

He thinks you can really tell if people think something is funny when they laugh without making any noise. Yup, I have that reaction but I also snort. Literally, snort. Maybe it is a good thing that I don't ask anyone to go to his concerts or watch his movies with me. So unladylike.

He doesn't think you have to agree to disagree either. It is our duty and responsibility to speak up and call people out on their crap.

No matter how old and tired you are, you still have to summon the strength to give people the finger.

No comments: