Friday, February 08, 2019


Pop's not dead!

•   I have opened another issue of the Roy Edroso Breaks It Down newsletter to the public at large (that's you) (subscribe, why don't you? It's cheap), this one announcing a new conservative-but-not-that-kind of conservative magazine, The Bulshit. Plz enjoy.

•   RIP, Albert Finney. As a youth he was wonderfully handsome and charming, which he used to fine effect in his early films -- his Tom Jones is hilariously callow and on-the-make, but so pure in his pleasure that we always side with him. That fine animal energy never left his acting, and as he outgrew romantic leads he used it to illumine from within his classic character roles. His performances in Annie, Murder on the Orient Express, The Dresser, et alia are almost ridiculous -- bigger than we're used to anymore, played to the balcony in an age of tiny multiplexes and home theaters, but fascinating because they have a strong internal logic, are built with a craftsman's purpose, and have that light inside, showing all the affect and prosthetics are just the armament of the man. My own favorite Finney performance is from a mostly-forgotten 90s film, A Man of No Importance, in which he plays Alfie Byrne, a thoroughly closeted small-town Irish bus conductor and off-hours theater director who endeavors to put up a production of Wilde's Salome (which he pronounces voluptuously like "baloney") and falls hopelessly for a young actor. I'm allergic to phrases like "struggles to embrace his sexuality," but the scenes in which he does just that -- never has a middle-aged man been so terrified to enter a gay bar -- are by turn humorous and heartbreaking. The light inside was very strong indeed.

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