Fat City

I bought an Oprah magazine on my evening walk to read in the tub tonight (gotta do something to make this semi-invalid lifestyle palatable) but when I got home and checked my email, I saw (cursed Yahoo!) that Fat City was on at 7. So much for that hot bath.

Have you seen Fat City? It's one of the great American 1970s movies and, after Sierra Madre and The Misfits, my favorite Huston flick. Not only does it have the strong sense of place that more and more I think is the main common denominator of the movies I love, it's set in L.A., it's got a killer soundtrack and it sports one of the greatest performances by an actress (Susan Tyrell) ever caught on film.

Fat City is nominally the story of two boxers, one, played by a peachy-faced Jeff Bridges, on the way up and the other, played by a not-too-craggy Stacy Keach, on the way out. But it's really a story about dreams and choices and what happens to the former when you don't keep a firm hand on the latter. There's a real spirit of my boy, Bukowski, about the thing, probably the wine-soaked Oma (Tyrell), the dingy residence hotels, the fringe dwellers pulling shifts at hopelessly dead-end jobs in a vain attempt to get a hair's breadth ahead of the eight ball.

Oh, hell. Just watch it. If you've got the Sundance Channel, it'll be on again Wednesday, February 9th at 3:35p and again on Sunday, the 13th at 12:20am.

And really, if one of you rich folk would TiVo it for me, I'd love that. Mostly because I'm dying to see what other gems the magical electronic box might unearth...

xxx c