Speculative poster design by Chris Thornley.

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We watched Mean Streets the other night. No: had never seen it. Do not be surprised. There are all sorts of omissions like this, when one grows up in the middle of a prairie nowhere, with three channels (one in French) and no idea.

Anyway: I enjoyed it, in that sense of seeing a kind of cultural artifact, the fountainhead of all that dirty glamour that was to come. Really, the weight of thing is no more than a short story, and went on a bit too long, but so what.

Unfortunately, we then misplaced our trust in the TVO feature and watched the 1997 romantic comedy In & Out. Kevin Kline, Tom Selleck (sans moustache), Matt Dillon, Debbie Reynolds, Wilford Brimley, Bob Newhart, Lauren Ambrose ... what a shallow, trivial mess. About as funny as wet wedding cake. And yet: a commercial success!

C says this kind of movie reflects a certain appetite, that there's a sizable population out there that just wants ephemeral fluff, and nothing deeper. Okay, fine. But there's also an audience for Leni Riefenstahl flicks, and that doesn't make them right either.

Are you going to stay up to watch Personal Best? C asked me.

No, I said. Those chicks are too skinny for me.


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