Seeing The Stunt Man Again For The First Time
I discovered yesterday that The Stunt Man, a personal favorite of mine, is now streaming on Amazon Prime. If you haven’t seen it, you are missing a treat. If you have seen it, you already know you need to see it again.
I suspect the most frequent (and reasonable) response to the recommendation that a given movie requires more than a single viewing would be an anguished expression of incredulity with second place going to a begrudging “maybe” attached to multiple qualifiers (for example, “Maybe, if the movie is free and less than an hour long – and has a lot of nudity”).
Being content with watching The Stunt Man (released in 1980) only once, however, is equivalent to being satisfied with a single instance of sex; in both cases, one should consider the possibility that he or she missed something rather significant the first time around.
The Stunt Man is chock-full of dandy themes of the sort that start with capital letters:
- God & Man, War & Peace
- The Meaning Of Love
- Sacrificing Intimacy In The Service Of Creativity
- Trust Vs Suspicion
- Power & Narcissism
- Chaos & Nonconformity
- The Heroic Quest
- Life & Death
- Myth Creation (i.e., movie-making)
These are, however, small potatoes in comparison to the dynamic that generates the power of The Stunt Man: The Confluence Of Reality & Illusion.
Although the movie’s two minute trailer cannot explicate the nuanced treatment of this theme, it does focus on and provide examples of the notion that “nothing is as it seems:”
This post is only, in flick terms, Reel 1. The good stuff will follow.