wanting it both ways


janehu said: let’s do this in oakland!!

that sounds good! and i’d leave it up to you which tom cruise movies would or would not be involved

oh JR, let’s watch all of them!

Good writer’s block advice from a friend last night: you’re going to be writing so many essays for the rest of your life.

Jimmy Fallon really brings out the best in Tom Cruise

I think, in times of feeling misunderstood or misrecognized, we cathect to the strangest objects, and mine these days is Tom Cruise, who I feel so much strange fascination and empathy toward, partly because he seems so blocked—libidinally, personally—in his public life, but also because he still manages to communicate something pretty brilliant and often affecting in his performances. Also, maybe, because no one really seems to like him all that much, everyone seems convinced that my affection for him can only be read as camp. Which, ok? A friend called me “Tom Cruise’s Last Fan.” But he’s an outsider dork who seems still relentless in his attempt to be the best mediated self he can be. His devotion to authentic performances is admirable.

Went to watch Edge of Tomorrow again last night and while I know a lot of people have problems with the ending per se, it’s also one of the moments (I realized during the second viewing) that I was most excited to experience again. That is, not the “ending” as a loophole that allows Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt to reunite (though that’s not exclusive to this) but ending as in final five seconds of film. Where Tom Cruise’s eyes WATER UP with happy tears upon seeing Emily Blunt 1) cut him basically no slack for being an officer and 2) alive. I’d forgotten how long the camera pauses on his expression before he laughs and the editors cut to credits, but it’s that combination of really complex feelings that I think makes Edge of Tomorrow not just an action film, or a gamelike film, but a melodrama. I noticed upon rewatching that the first time Cruise drops from the fighter plane they focus a lot on his fall—a weirdly drawn-out in-between moment that is kind of representative of the elasticity of time spent on his “lives” and scenes throughout the film—and this final moment sort of felt similarly like a moment carved out of the film’s timeline. Except, instead of anticipating Cruise’s landing, we’re really left suspended with his affect (like Naomi-Watts’s-audition-in-Mulholland Drive-affect) just cuts through all the diegesis of that moment. I feel it with him! I could watch those few seconds over and over. Guys! I love this film.