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‘…one hitchhiker goes on what is presumably a states-long rant about consumerism, the environment, and the hidden costs of late capitalism’

Peggy Nelson accidentally reveals everything that is f*cked up about The Left in an article ostensibly about Five Easy Pieces, when she adds:

All of which is right but none of which you can imagine yourself wanting to hear when trapped in a car together for days.

***
Uh, see, “right” or not, that character is clearly supposed to be insane:

(“Clearly,” that is, to any of us who wasted more of our youth than we care to remember surrounded by such women — not only in cross-country car rides, either — and who came out the other side more or less sane. In fact, once in a while when one of them was prattling on, I’d lean over and whisper to someone: “There’s dirt and then there’s filth and we’d snicker.)

But hey, other than that, keep cheering on OWS over at HiLowBrow!

PS — if anyone knows the answer to this let me know:

I happened to catch About Schmidt because my mother in law had it on. In one scene, Nicholson’s character stops to make a pay phone call at a gas station. It’s impossible not to be transported back to the finale of Five Easy Pieces while watching that. Was this an intentional “nod” by the …Schmidt director?

Is About Schmidt basically the sequel to Five Easy Pieces?

Also: at the very end of …Schmidt, Nicholson’s character reads a letter from his African foster child, which contains the child’s primitive drawing. Did anyone else flash on the haunting last shot of Seconds? (Which will probably be the last thing I think of when I die, it’s so searing.)

I still can’t decide whether the ending of Schmidt is supposed to be charming and life-affirming or searingly, horribly cynical, possibly because I kept thinking of Seconds. The music suggests the former. But maybe even the sucky music is a cynicism cue.

I mean: the nun couldn’t really have been reading Schmidt’s letters to the kid — which are really letters to himself – all this time. The kid wouldn’t understand them. The nun’s letter is a form letter and frankly, if these “African foster child” enterprises were so great, we wouldn’t still need them after 50 years, so it’s all a scam.

Schmidt really hasn’t made a difference in anybody’s life, but he’ll die thinking he did — based on a polite form letter thanking him for sending money.

That’s all just me, huh? Probably.


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