Friday, October 25, 2002

Perhaps this is a sign of the apocalypse

Two of the films I am presently most looking forward to seeing star Adam Sandler and Eminem respectively. I have to say, I wouldn't have suspected much in the way of interesting films from Adam Sandler, but Emily Watson is one of the finest actresses in the world (please, academy, watch your DVDs carefully and give her that much overdue Oscar this time), and Paul Thomas Anderson is one of those directors who clearly have a great film or two in them. (He hasn't made it up to now, and I doubt he has quite done it with Punch Drunk Love either, but he appears to have made a good film and I am always going to watch what he does.

Okay, I am not that surprised about the fact that I am looking forward to a film from Eminem. You only have to listen to his records to figure out that there is something interesting there. He is technically so good, and if you listen to his lyrics he is so self aware, and, frankly, so hysterically funny, that there was a better chance than with most musicians making films. Therefore I wasn't as surprised as some people when it was announced that he would be making his film with a film-maker whose last two films (LA Confidential and Wonder Boys) have been very impressive. I thought the omens were good even before we started to hear positive news about the film.

I read somewhere that 8 Mile is the first Hollywood film ever to be set in Detroit. This may or may not be true, but even if it isn't it is a demonstration of how Hollywood has neglected the city. The film industry never pays much attention to what goes on in places between New York and Los Angeles, given that Detroit is the home of lots of pop-culturally interesting things (although many of them seem to be more popular in Europe than the US), and given simply what a big and important city it is, this seems an odd omission. (John Cusack’s Grosse Point Blank was mostly set in Detroit (well, in Grosse Point) but does that count as a "Hollywood Film"? And where was it actually shot? The IMDB indicates locations in Los Angeles, Chicago, and Detroit, so it may just be they did some second unit world in Detroit). Plus for the last couple of decades the actual city of Detroit has been full of wonderful, run down abandoned buildings which in many cases should be amongst the treasures of 20th century architecture. One would things that some of these would make stupendously wonderful film locations. Many of these buildings are now all getting demolished to make way for new development, so the opportunity is being lost. It will be interesting to see if 8 Mile takes advantage of this to any extent. From the review it rather sounds like it does, so I am looking forward to the movie from this point of view, too.

I have a feeling that Eminem may end up being one of those stars who last: like Bob Dylan or Elton John, or Madonna. Some artists for whatever reason have a certain power about them. Eminem is one of them. I think he is going to be one of those people who is still very famous and is still making interesting records (and probably acting in interesting films) in 20 years time. I doubt that the reactions of horror to him are any different at core to the reactions of horror at Elvis. (Hey guys, he is mostly speaking in character.). We shall see, anyway.

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