August 14, 2004

Double Features

Last night, the 1956 Doris Day/Jimmie Stewart/Alfred Hitchcock version of "The Man Who Knew Too Much" followed "Die Hard II." It was a rich feast. Jimmie and Doris spend the whole movie trying to be selfish: 'Let Europe self-destruct; just give us our son back and let us go home!" They manage to save Europe, and their son, because they have such good loud instincts and everybody in Europe has such weak, confused instincts: the aristocrats can't do anything, the villains aren't sold on villainy, the people in church can't sing, and the riches of empire are collecting dust in a taxidermy shop. This is big symbol moviemaking: an assassination almost happens in the middle of an overloaded, throwback-to-Queen-Victoria style concert that is supposed to muffle the shot. Doris Day's simple minded scream saves the day. Then Doris saves the day again, by singing a hymn to not thinking too much, 'Que Sera Sera,' very loud.

Bruce Willis, the all American boy, just wants to be with his wife, but he has to save a whole skyful of planes and thwart a military coup to get to that final bloody kiss on the tarmac. He smokes, but, like Doris and Jimmie, has otherwise fully functional instincts, unlike the police, the army, the press, and the people who run things. He teams up with the crazy janitor and the under-promoted black guy, both of whom have held onto some small portion of their brains, despite being Implicated in the System. In the last scene, Bruce manages to take the perfect revenge on the nasties AND save all the good guys and gals, in one gigantically clever act. You can almost hear "Que sera sera" in the background.

You don't need to read, dear readers. Just keep watching television and all will be revealed in due season. Que sera sera.

Posted by shea0017 at 11:53 AM