I can’t bear to let Legion sit at the top of that page, great fun though it is, so let’s finish this post up.
A week ago Friday, for all of 6 bucks, I got to see Rebel Without a Cause in a sold-out theater, bookended with remarks by screenwriter Stewart Stern, and shown with a short film cut together from the production reunion ten years ago.
God, I love Seattle.
Stern spoke of course about James Dean (improvements he brought to the film, the impact of his death, their utterly charming first meeting) and just when I was thinking I would have loved to see the film with a predominantly queer crowd, he took what turned out to be his only audience question, one regarding the development of the character of Plato.
The answer turned into a meditation not only on Plato and Jimmy (including autobiographical elements), but on masculinity in general, male intimacy in particular, and his experience at the Battle of the Bulge specifically. Such a gift!
(And people wonder why I can’t get interested in spending $15 on Avatar. I have 9 bucks left! I’ll get a coffee and see Truffaut’s Small Change for my birthday. It’s not a difficult decision. Except for being a little concerned for myself, going to a children’s film festival without an actual child.)
…wait, I suppose I should say something about Rebel itself. Maybe. But we all know it’s great & influential, and if you haven’t seen it, you probably should. It’s certainly a weirder movie than expected, a teen melodrama where, watching it over 50 years later, you really wish everyone would get some intense family therapy.