A little meditation on reality By Dennis Hartley

Saturday Night at the Movies

A little meditation on reality

by digby

Dennis is off this week so I thought I might look for a good movie to recommend to all of you folks who are shivering in the cold snap --- and to anyone else who might get something out of a movie that examines the nature of reality in this strange surreal time.

Here's Dennis' capsule review of The Stunt Man:

How tall was King Kong?” That’s the $64,000 question, posed several times by Eli Cross (Peter O’Toole), the larger-than-life director of the film-within-the-film in Richard Rush’s 1980 drama. Once you discover that King Kong was but “3 foot, six inches tall”, it becomes clear that the fictional director’s query is actually code for a much bigger question: “What is reality?”

That is the question to ponder as you take this wild ride through the Dream Factory. Because from the moment our protagonist, a fugitive on the run from the cops (Steve Railsback) tumbles ass over teakettle onto Mr. Cross’s set, where he is filming an art-house flavored WW I drama, his (and our) concept of what is real and what isn’t becomes diffuse. O’Toole chews major scenery, ably supported by a cast that includes Barbara Hershey and Allen Garfield.

Despite lukewarm critical reception upon original release, it’s now considered a classic. A 43-week run at the Guild 45th Theater in Seattle (booked by Rush himself, out of his frustration with the releasing studio’s lackluster support) is credited for building the initial word of mouth with audiences and eventually assuring the film’s cult status. Truly a movie for people who love the movies.

I love this movie. It's an original meditation on the nature of movies and the nature of reality itself.

You can stream it on Amazon for ten bucks. Well worth the money.