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Monday, March 21, 2016

Marlowe & Me

Episode Four: Marlowe & Me
In which Art laments a co-opted era.

1 comment:

  1. Bruce Robinson's 'Withnail & I' (1987) is a film close to my heart, despite its inability to age as well as it could. Marlowe is the unnamed 'I' in the title, and it remains a sentimental film that works on my every time.

    I remember first seeing it alone at three in the morning in a friend's house in Plainfield, Vermont, on a cold winter night. Was that person at home in New Jersey for the holidays, or simply out at a party? No matter, it is yet another happy memory of encountering something pivotal while on my own.

    And yet a friend, whose friendship resonates with the relationships among the characters in the film itself, swears up and down that he and I first saw the film when it opened at The Savoy in Montpelier. I have no memory of this, and my ignorance allows for his appropriately exaggerated umbrage.

    My inability to remember other people when recalling my past (I have the same problem when it comes to remembering my childrens' early years) seems relevant to the plot of the film as well.

    At any rate, the first panel echos an emotionally climatic moment in the film when Marlowe is trying to get Withnail to acknowledge the impact of his own selfish motives, an accusation that Withnail dispels. Squid Man's response in this frame comes from the tabloid paper in the beginning of the film when Marlowe has the panic attack in the breakfast cafe - that headline partially triggering the attack. The contrast between the two felt sufficiently surreal for the moment.

    The Soap Strip frame echoing a true sentiment that I had upon packing my late father's apartment - is this old tube of toothpaste still viable? The vacillating feeling around that issue staying with me long after the decision (just throw it away) having been made.

    The Pharm Life frame relating something that was going on at work, and the sinking feeling that cutting corners never yields satisfying results.

    Eno's conclusion echoing a lament from Robinson's character Danny the Drug Dealer. But Guy, in a rare moment of providing the clarity, dispels the sentimentality.

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