West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933
Volume 77, Number 22 | Oct. 31 - Nov. 06, 2007

Talking Point

Blurbo ergo sum: Eat this movie — it’s that good!

By Daniel Meltzer


Peter Travers, Rolling Stone
(Blurb quoted in an ad for the film “The Darjeeling Limited”) 

This is the greatest movie ever made, anywhere, by anyone, ever! Ingmar Bergman, Roman Polanski, Federico Fellini, Sergei Eisenstein, Sir Charles Chaplin, Billy Wilder, Alfred Hitchcock, Francis Ford Coppola, David Lean, Michelangelo Antonioni, Werner Herzog and all the rest have merely paved the way for Wes Anderson. 

I am madly in love with this movie. If this movie were a woman, I would take her home to introduce to my mother, had she not vanished 11 years ago with my collection of baseball trading cards with an Amway salesman in a red Mustang convertible. Nonetheless, I want to prostrate myself before this movie and beg it to marry me. I would build for it a home to dwarf and shame the Taj Mahal.

I want to sleep with this movie, to make love to this movie, to fill this movie with the passion it has aroused in me. I want this movie to bear my child. 

If this movie were a meal, it would be superior to any ever prepared by Mario Batali, Jamie Oliver or Wolfgang Puck. I want to assimilate this movie into my being, graft it onto my genetic code. I want to eat my movie and have it, too, to keep eating it to the end of my days.

If this movie were a car, it would be a Bentley Continental Flying Spur. I would drive it only on the world’s most beautiful roads — the French Riviera Corniche, the Amalfi Drive, California’s Highway 1. When I am not driving her, I would devote my life to detailing her, tuning her engine, greasing her underbody, and hand-rubbing her unbleached burr walnut dash and buttery leather upholstery.

If this movie were a candidate, I would not only vote for it for president, I would abandon my career, home and family to travel the nation singing its praise and raising cash for its campaign. I would steal, even kill, for this movie. If this movie were president, we would have no more wars, disease, poverty, hunger or division within our nation. I would decree that everyone in the country must view this movie at least once a year. This is the MOST IMPORTANT movie ever made. 

Forget the Oscars. To award a best movie Oscar to this movie would reduce it to the level of all those which have gone before, with which it cannot be compared. I want to nominate this movie for the Nobel Prize. Forget that there is, as yet, no best movie Nobel category. Nor will there be in the future, as no one could possibly produce anything to compete with this movie, whose story and plot are both complex and transparent, its acting so realistic that to call them “actors” diminishes their accomplishments. The mise-en-scène is both imaginative and indistinguishable from reality. The depth and duration of laughter threatens the physical well-being of viewers, whereas the profundity of the despair of the movie’s darkest moments could imperil your will to live. It is a film for the strong, a film for the ages. Its deft balance of light and dark creates a heartbreaking and simultaneously uplifting chiaroscuro that leaves us levitating on a magic carpet of insight and reflection, empathy and ecstasy.

I want to be buried with this movie, playing endlessly on a portable DVD player resting on my chest, with a cord running to an aboveground renewable energy source. One copy should also be sent into the farthest reaches of outer space on the next available NASA mission, as exemplar of our civilization’s highest achievements.

But most of all, I intend to eat this movie at the earliest opportunity, and to contrive somehow, with the help of the best medical, cryogenics and mummification experts I can find, to hold it inside me forever. Amen. 

Meltzer is a playwright (“The Square Root of Love,” “Movie of the Month” and “Intermission”), a columnist for Newsday, The Villager and Baltimore Sun and an O. Henry and Pushcart Prize-winning fiction writer. His forthcoming memoir is “Nothing Happened Here, Volume I.”

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