vineri, 19 mai 2017

Boogie Nights, written and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson

Boogie Nights, written and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson
9 out of 10

A different version of this note and thoughts on other books are available at:

Boogie Nights is a fantastic treat.
You can find it, with other marvels, on list of The New York Times’ Best 1,000 Movies Ever Made:

It won the Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role for Burt Reynolds, who is brilliant here.
It was also nominated for another Golden Globe, three Academy Awards, two BAFTAs and other important prizes.

The cast is simply mesmerizing:

-          Burt Reynolds, Julianne Moore, Don Cheadle, Mark Wahlberg, Heather Graham, Philip Seymour Hoffman, John C. Reilly, William H. Macy
-          Nec Plus Ultra

One cannot hope for any better team.
And yet, I have just one caveat and that regards the actor in the main role, that of Eddie Adams who becomes Dirk Diggler.

Mark Wahlberg is not one of my favorite actors and therefore I am probably biased, but he comes across as somewhat unlikeable.
Yes, the hero is a star in pornographic films and that could mean that there is a stigma associated so he may actually play well his part.

The company of so many better, much more accomplished actors does no service to Wahlberg whose acting pales in comparison.

Overall, the casting is so beyond this world that they more than compensate for the lack of charisma of the lead role.
Eddie Adams is a young man who has to work in difficult circumstances until he meets Jack Horner aka Burt Reynolds.

Jack Horner is a big name in the porn industry, but Eddie does not know that and thinks he wants to have sex.
Amber Waves, portrayed with brilliance by Julianne Moore, is the wife of the producer and a star in his films.

Eddie Adams is well endowed and invited to “act” opposite Amber, then Rollergirl aka Heather Graham.
Boogie Nights is a study of this world that is so much despised, loathed and yet so influent and popular.

The women and men that gain their existence from this trade are to be understood and if not embraced at least sympathized with in my view.
For some it was a choice, others had no alternative and another group was forced into pornography or working in the sex industry.

Apart from the celebrated stories by Dostoyevsky and the character of Sonya, Pretty Woman and so many other tales, I think of the real world wherein many men and women sell their charms and become powerful politicians or tycoons, based on just a small or smaller number of clients that they prostitute for.

-          How is that any better?
-          The call girls would rather marry a billionaire and sign an exclusive, “one client” deal, but most have no such option

So in my mind the anathema, loathing and repudiation of these “workers in the sex industry” is exaggerated and wrong.

As for the Boogie Nights, Jack Horner and his group have a Place in the Sun, but only for a period and the downfall is approaching.
The story has violence, sex, drugs (and rock and roll), love affairs and deception, perverts and nymphomaniacs.

But there are many hilarious scenes and the film is an adjectival work.

-          Medicine, man!  
-          Medicine!

A quote from the movie:

“Dirk: What can you expect when you're on top? You know? It's like Napoleon. When he was the king, you know, people were just constantly trying to conquer him, you know, in the Roman Empire. So, it's history repeating itself all over again.”

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