Movie review: “Glengarry Glen Ross” (1992)

“I’ll cut you in on the $82,000 sale I just made!”

“Bruce and Harriet Nyborg? You want to see the memos? They’re nuts. They used to call in every week when I was with Webb and we were selling Arizona. Did you see how they were living? How can you delude yourself?”

“I got their check!”

“Yeah? Well, forget it. Frame it. It’s worthless.”

“The check is no good?”

“Yeah. If you want to wait around, I’ll pull the memo. I’m busy right now.”

“Wait a minute! The check is no good? They’re crazy?”

“You want to call the bank, Shelley? I called them. I called them four months ago when we first got the lead. The people are insane…they just like talking to salesmen.”

A salesman is, in practice if not by strict definition, an unwelcome stranger, a wraithlike apparition that materializes at inopportune moments in our lives to proffer offers we should refuse, then stubbornly loiters at front of both mind and eyeline until, by virtue of charm, pitch, and/or dogged tenacity, they wear our defenses to ribbons or finally slink away coated in disdain. The three weeks I spent as a telemarketer after graduating college 118 years ago began in confusion, ended in the closest thing I’ve had to a nervous breakdown, and instilled in me an understanding, however necessarily limited, of the inherent desperation that fuels and informs the salesman’s mindset. Continue reading “Movie review: “Glengarry Glen Ross” (1992)”

Movie review: “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” (2019)

“When you come to the end of the line, with a buddy who is more than a brother and a little less than a wife, getting blind drunk together is really the only way to say farewell.”

Earlier this August, I spent a fairly enchanting late morning exploring the Museum of the Moving Image in Queens, New York. An unassuming space compared to New York City’s many higher profile museums, MoMI packs so much tangible, three-dimensional history into its limited imprint that the effect can be a little overwhelming to first time pilgrims like me, wide-eyed true believers in the religion of film. There’s no other plausible way to explain my reaction as, standing in a room flanked by opposing processions, almost military columns, of all size and manner of antique movie and television cameras as they had been deployed through the years, I found myself getting a little choked up. Movies and all their attendant magic have been the indispensable fact and safe harbor of my life Continue reading “Movie review: “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” (2019)”