Monday, September 13, 2004

the insider

this superlative film deserves a lengthy essay. too busy just now so here's an 'insider'-inspired poem i wrote this arvo. beginning with a word from rimbaud.

The last innocence and the last timidity. It’s settled. Not to display my betrayals and disgusts to the world.

How much this short-lived stance
informed what the 20th-century’s best
rallied against:
forgetfulness in settlement,
omnipresent in our country since
so many millions got penned in
above the burning plain.

Al Pacino was right to rip
into Russell Crowe the way he did.
Such timidity in stuttering
he could never become a man of science
because of his wife & kids.
Such innocence in that asthma
you cure & propagate.

Which is The Insider’s great
update to an age-old
confessional debate –
occupational confidentiality (comfort)
troped as a betrayal of what trust
disgust prefigures in the first place:
yr mind does the ideological stuff
& you're meant to be a mouthpiece.

The day we learnt complaint
(about the price of petrol, let’s say)
& forgot the (somewhat florid) skill
inherent in confession & polemic
was the day everything bourgeois
sought recourse in suburbia.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

What sort of poem is that?

It doesn't even ryhme!


5:06 PM  
Blogger focy said...


7:09 PM  
Blogger Cassie said...

I watched The Insider the week I quit smoking. Brilliant motivation to stay quit. Russell Crowe is superb in that
film. You're right Will, it's a masterful film.

12:28 PM  
Blogger focy said...

cheers again for commenting cassie! i always watch the insider less concerned with the anti-smoking message than with the (very male vs. male) 'character study' - a tired term but it also applies to michael mann's other male epic - 'heat'. such a classy, stylish filmmaker (measured style in the kubrickian sense, not in the hyper-styled tarantino sense).


10:04 AM  
Blogger Cassie said...

Will, you're right about the classiness & the
male vs male subtleties (so much subtler analyses
of power and 'mateship' than movies like The
Terminator!) These definitely add to the power of the anti-smoking message. I guess I also was moved by
the courage and integrity of the Crowe character - what an extremely hard thin he did.

11:59 AM  

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