Which brings me to Enter the Dragon, from which -- try as I might -- I can glean no incisive social commentary, except perhaps that the nameless refuse of waterfront bars sure can kick ass when they need to. The first time I saw this movie was at a revival house, as part of a double bill with a Jackie Chan movie. I came for Jackie Chan, but I stayed for Bruce Lee. The movie is schlocky, disjointed, and campy, and if it's about anything at all, it's about what makes a movie star.
What is Central Station about? It's about the occasional similarity between writing a letter and saying a prayer. So much depends upon whether you believe the person on the other end will receive your communication.
I read an article a while ago in which a screenwriter remarked that The Iceman Cometh and The Music Man were essentially the same story. What she produced with that discovery isn't especially interesting to me, but the comparison she made is interesting to me, because I think she's right. Both stories are essentially about the human need for illusion, or self-delusion, or hope. What's most interesting to me, when I consider the comparison, is that The Music Man ends up with a more mature, and a more human, vision of that condition than The Iceman Cometh. That wouldn't have occurred to me when I was seventeen and in love with Eugene O'Neill and his dark, poetic prose and his romantic disillusionment; he was like an intellectual Janis Ian. True comedy is for grown-ups. And I've grown up a little since I was seventeen. Now? I always think there's a band, kid.