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August 12, 2003

What's next? "It's Turkey Time!" on the Gigli poster?

Daniel Radosh

Here's an actual ad for Masked and Anonymous.

Sorry, but is this really the best tag line? Especially for a movie with, um, mixed reviews? Even hardcore Dylan fans acknowledge its reputation. (My exchange with the ticket taker went like this: Me: "One for Masked and Anonymous." Him: "It's a great movie." Me: "No, I said Masked and Anonymous.")

The tag happens to be a quote from the movie, which I'm not sure makes it any better. Personally, I think most people got this film wrong. I'm not going to make any grand claims for it. Certainly it's for fans only, and yes, it's an, incoherent mess. But the particular rap it's gotten, that it's cheap, antiquated surrealism, clichéd allegory, labored aphorisms and overblown portentousness, is 180 degrees wrong. I think it's pretty clearly a goofy let's-get-together-and-put-on-a-show lark. Naturally a lot of it crashes and burns, but nobody's taking themselves too seriously, so that's no big deal. And some of it is pretty hilarious. Plus, the music is scorching. Too bad only half of it is on the CD.

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