Quarter Life Crisis

The world according to Sven-S. Porst

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August Films

447 words on

This month with Sweet and Lowdown, Rushmore and The Anderson Tapes.

Sweet and Lowdown

In Woody Allen’s 1999 Sweet and Lowdown we are taken to the recession area and follow the career and affairs of jazz guitar hero (second only to Django Reinhardt!) Emmett Ray. He loves his music, fancies but doesn’t love the girls and treats them accordingly, tends to be less than reliable, faints when meeting the mighty Reinhard and gains pleasure from listening to trains.

Not a particularly exciting story and a bit slow even, but still fun to watch. I rather liked the way they mocked the current documentary style with close up shots of people commenting on the documented while their credentials are neatly written beneath.

[Buy at amazon .com, .uk, .de]


Wes Anderson’s 1999 film Rushmore starts off situated in the posh world of a private school but unlike in Anderson’s newer films, the protagonist Max drops out ouf that framework because he’s too focused on starting new clubs and having a crush on one of the teachers to actually do his homework or behave in the way he is expected.

After being relegated to a run-of-the mill public school, Max takes some time to adjust to the new environment but finally manages to fit in much better. Particularly as he can now own up to his dad being a barber and doesn’t have to pretend being rich. After his crush on the teacher fades, we even head for a happy end.

[Buy at amazon .com, .uk, .de]

Also amusing, btw, is the Wes Anderson short film Hotel Chevalier, which can be taken as giving background for The Darjeeling Limited in giving us a little information about Jack’s past. Ah well, and same actor as in Rushmore, just a bit older…

The Anderson Tapes

I have a weakness for old-fashioned films about clever heists. Even more so when, like The Anderson Tapes, they’re directed by Sidney Lumet and when you think the protagonist is James Bond because he’s played by Sean Connery. The bad thing is that - tragically - the police always have to catch the thieves. It seems unrealistic and tragic as well. As some old ladies in the film remark correctly, at least the holdup brings some excitement into their lives.

Extra brownie points for clever suspicion about surveillance technology and the protagonist John opening the film with

What’s advertising but a legalized con game? And what the hell’s marriage? Extortion, prostitution, soliciting with a government stamp on it. And what the hell’s your stock market? A fixed horse race. Some business guy steals a bank, he’s a big success story. Face in all the magazines. Some other guy steals the magazine and he’s busted.

[Buy at amazon .com, .uk, .de]

September 4, 2008, 1:55

Tagged as bill murray, christopher walken, django reinhardt, film, jason schwartzman, rushmore, sean connery, sidney lumet, sweet and lowdown, wes anderson, woody allen.


Comment by Dave2: User icon

So, did you like Rushmore?

September 4, 2008, 2:42

Comment by ssp: User icon

Rushmore was all right, but not really great. I liked the crazy ideas but kept thinking that the whole ‘social’ rich/poor stuff was a bit half-assed. My impression is that Anderson’s other films just left that out and came out much better for it.

September 5, 2008, 13:50

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