Hello, Failure

Of all the enemies of literature, success is the most insidious

Thursday, April 17, 2003

Failure of the Day: Everything that is not Stardust Memories

Every once in a while I wonder if that is still my favorite movie or if my list needs to be revised. But it was on cable yesterday, and really, it's still right there at the top of my list.

I had a job interview a few years ago to be a writer for, I think, Listen.com, and the interview was going gangbusters because I had mentioned that the Replacements is one of my favorite bands, and my main interviewer was a huge Replacements fan. But that guy's boss came to interview me and he asked me what my favorite movie was and I said Stardust Memories, and he asked why. And I was fucked. I had never thought to put it into words before and I totally flubbed the question. And I didn't get the job and I'm totally convinced that it's because I couldn't articulate what I liked about my favorite movie.

So OK. After watching it again, now I know precisely why it's my favorite film. Ready? Here goes:

It's the only piece of art I've ever seen that is able to conclude, in a way that is not intellectually bankrupt, that it is not morally bankrupt to find a way to make yourself happy.

That's why.

(I know, I probably still wouldn't have gotten the damn job. They're bust now anyways.)

But I still feel squidgey about it being my favorite film, and I think that's because the movie is a great paean to self-absorption. And we're gonna get into a great spinning spiral of self-loathing here because then I have to say "if my favorite film is a great paean to self-absorption, what does that say about me?" And already you see my problem.

But maybe it helps that my second favorite movie is a tie between Wings of Desire and The Adventures of Buckaroo Bansai.


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