When you grow up, your heart dies. (Or so The Breakfast Club tells us). Oh, if only that were true. Life’s disappointments would be a lot easier to bear if you were heartless. You wouldn’t feel envy, or loneliness, or what it is to feel judged. Ghost-like, you could stop changing; remain in your favourite place. You wouldn’t need to untie your heart when you spoke. You’d be what Roger Greenberg (the man at the centre of Noah Baumbach’s new movie) wants to be. Dead. Unconnected to anyone. Here is a man who wants to withdraw from the world, but who is rescued by his anger. His need to withdraw frustrates him. He is intelligent, good-looking, and not shy about speaking his mind. Anger reminds him he should be a success.
Is there a movie more parodied than Apocalypse Now? Something about that movie seems to speak to wags in the movie business. Maybe it’s because even the making of Apocalypse Now lends itself to parody; all the self-important madness of Hollywood condensed into one film: the egotistical director, the deluded star, spiralling costs and a set caught mid-Tet offensive. Ben Stiller’s new movie, Tropic Thunder, is a satire of war movies, and it features (lo and behold) a lot of images that may remind you of Brando and co. lost in the jungle. No-one lashes out at their reflection this time around, but most actors will recognise “the craft” in this mirror.