Monday, October 14, 2013

My Answer to the Latest Criticwire Survey: History Too Important for Fiction

Q: CBGB was blasted by critics for its inauthentic evocation of the legendary punk club. What cultural movement or milestone would you never want to see filmed?

Because CBGB is about music, the first thing that came to mind, is that I never want to see a biopic of Kurt Cobain. Nirvana was my favorite band as a teenager, and I’m not sure I could take a film like Ray or Walk the Line about Cobain – which I probably never have to worry about, since for the most part, they like to make biopics about people who overcome their demons, not give into them, like Cobain ultimately did. Still, I shudder at the thought of a simple minded Cobain biopic, who comes up with Something in the Way while literally living underneath a bridge. Besides, Gus Van Sant already made Last Days (2005), and while that is not “officially” a Cobain movie, it is pretty much the perfect one to make about him – a portrait of a depressed, isolated, drugged out rock star who eventually gives up – told with no glamor or artifice.

For the record, I also don’t want to see a Wayne Gretzky biopic – yes, he is my favorite hockey player ever, and yes, hockey is still my favorite sport, but the movies never get hockey right anyway, and a Gretzky movie would almost certainly be overly sentimental. And after suffering through not one but two movies about the making two cinematic masterpieces by Alfred Hitchcock – Hitchcock about Psycho and The Girl about The Birds – I don’t think I want to see any other dramatizations about making my favorite movies – even if it’s obvious Jessie Eisenberg would be great as a young Martin Scorsese.

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