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  • Bilal Mir

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It's been a few weeks off of social media and already there's a trend of people posting selfies in black and white and dressing it up as a way to bring attention to a cause. This follows the familiar trajectory of people celebrating themselves, getting called out for it, and then saying it's for something noble. There's nothing interesting about being on the internet anymore. There's a chokehold in the form of regulation where we have to make sure that the wild shit doesn't happen anymore. This all follows the same, boring pattern.


I keep telling myself I'm off of everything and that it's all poison. What do I replace it with? I can only watch so many movies. Granted, since quarantine and lockdown I ended up watching a few dozen movies that I'd been meaning to see for a long time, homework movies and such, things that should help expand my knowledge of what makes good cinema.


The best one I've seen so far, or at least my favorite, is Fat City. John Huston made it in 1972 and it's about two loser boxers in some depressing shithole town in California. The older one, played by Stacy Each, latches on to the younger one played by a very young Jeff Bridges, and encourages him to pursue it more professionally. Bridges does and under the guidance of a loser trainer, doesn't go anywhere with it. It's a small, tight and incredibly visceral movie that resonated with me for some reason. Maybe it's because it does a great job of showing you how poor people stay poor, how losers keep losing because the only people they encounter willing to help them out aren't actually wise enough or good enough at their craft to guide someone to success.


It seems like the best movies or stories tend to be about people aiming for success and falling short, or depictions of the successful and powerful and whatever their trajectory ends up being. It seems really hard to make great drama about those of us in the middle. I hope my life doesn't stay in the middle.

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