Monday, February 27, 2012

You know what's a great movie?

Rocky 2. Rocky 1 is even better (if I remember), but it’s not on instant watch.

Give me intense determination when the odds are against you – the fighter’s spirit unsullied by privilege -, posit love as sustenance, and I’m a goner. A total blubbering goner. And don't forget about word quality. Rocky’s humble mumbling is entirely endearing; it’s so deferential he barely even takes credit for his victory, telling his opponent “You were great” as his arm is lifted by the ref. What a winner.

But then. Rocky 3 and Rocky 4. Balboa strikes it rich. He wears cashmere coats now. No more satin embroidered tigers. The character is a stand-in for Stallone himself, who has entered the 80s and also the spotlight as a director and actor. His vision for the sequels (I skipped 5 and 6) now formula. Here it is: a challenger presents himself. Rocky hems and haws. A loved one’s death or sickness fills him with purpose. He begins to train in earnest. He climbs a staircase. Or a mountain. The final fight (20 minutes) is prolonged but culminates in victory. End.

All this said, at the risk of caving in to cliché, fighters and warriors are a great metaphor. For me (do I have to confess?) they have a gender: male. So a series of drawings depicting such types means tapping into my inner man. More soon (maybe).