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Bigger Than Life

I’m halfway through the Queerty movie series, but I couldn’t face watching another one of those … er … worthy … movies tonight, so I’m watching a couple of blurays I got in the mail from Criterion instead.

I’ve almost forgotten how good blurays look after watching streaming movies for a couple of months. All that grain that’s been smoothed out to make the movie compress better, and correct aspect ratio, and no banding.

I mean, it’s 2-5x the streaming bitrate, so it’s just… prettier.

This is a very odd movie, though. I mean, I have absolutely no idea what it’s going to be about, and we’re ten minutes into the movie.

I just seen a couple of Ray movies before — Johnny Guitar and Rebel Without etc — but I think Ray was celebrated by the Cahiers crowd? And I can see why: This is very interesting. I mean, the framing of the shots and stuff.

This is very odd, though. It’s just about some random guy getting cancer? Or something? So it’s like a Sirk weepie, but without any… context?

I mean, it’s too bad that James Mason is all hopped up on cortisone… but… I feel like we haven’t really been given any reason to care? Douglas Kirk is always very careful to introduce the characters and make us feel for them. Ray seems to be taking it as a given that we’re caring about James Mason?

The cortisone’s kicking in!

The mirror shatter’d!

He’s so high.

Oh, OK, now I get what Ray’s doing — the more insane he’s getting, the more people agree with him. So subversive!

This movie’s got something for sure. But… it’s neither gripping not entertaining. It’s like the movie itself is an abusive spouse.

I love the cinematography and stuff, but.

Is Ray’s point here that American politics and religion is literal drug induced psychosis? Well of course it is. I guess this was a very subversive movie and all in the 50s, so you have to give props to Ray for that, but.

It just feels like a movie that’s making a point that could have been a tweet.

I’m such a Gen Z. Er.

Bigger Than Life. Nicholas Ray. 1956.

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