Review: ‘Don’t look up’: seen and forgotten | Culture


I reread the final pages of Truman Capote’s extraordinary book Music for chameleons, the dialogue that he establishes with himself trying to decipher himself, remembering the sensations, moments, people and circumstances that have marked his life, giving his very depressed existence a bit of company and warmth, a disturbing question. I think I remember him saying something like this: what have been the most alarming things that have happened to you? Capote responds: “Betrayal and abandonment.” I gather that he refers to the betrayals he suffered in his compulsive existence, not the one he committed with the murderers of Cold-blooded, longing for his intimate confidants to be executed for the fucking time. He no longer needed them, but his masterpiece could only be published when they were cold cuts. And I wonder, reading that memorable Capote self-confession, what is the misfortune that most alarms me now. It is clear to me: Alzheimer’s and dementia, monsters that paralyzed people as close as they were loved and who have already left. For this reason, believing in genetics and that the disease can be inherited, I get very nervous when noting the accelerated damage suffered by my memory, which was prodigious for so long.

It happens to me with movies and books. It is not that I only frequently forget their titles, the arguments, the names of the interpreters, it is that they are quickly erased. Okay, it can happen because they seem infamous to me or you have abandoned your vision or reading in the middle. Even within half an hour. It also happens to me if I have reached the end with useless patience. It didn’t happen to me before. And I don’t know if having a memory of such mediocrity or foolishness is of any use, but what scares me the most is that it could happen to me with the art that has enraptured me.

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Happens to me with Don’t look up. I saw it at a show three weeks ago, although at the time that I reluctantly write about it, I discover that I don’t remember almost anything that happened in it. Worrying amnesia. Yes from the boot. It had a certain grace. A scientist dedicated to astronomy, who plays an ugly and very rare Leonardo DiCaprio, and a terrified student discover a comet is going to crash into Earth. And that is going to happen in six months. Consequently, they try to keep the rulers of their country informed of the impending disaster. But nobody pays attention to them. Those who run the shed are as stupid as they are disbelievers. It includes the president of the government, her slimy son, who acts as chief of staff, the presenters of a famous television program and the immense public obsessed exclusively with social networks. Initially, the satire has some funny moments. Although I suspect that the alleged ingenuity exhibited by the director and screenwriter Adam McKay soon began to bore me with such abusive footage. And as I said at the beginning, everything has been erased. So I can’t judge her. If viewers find it very funny, I am able to see it again.

And it is populated, in addition to the always solid and credible Leonardo DiCaprio, by eminent actresses like Jennifer Lawrence, Meryl Streep and Cate Blanchett. But his work remains in the haze for me. I recognize that the much lauded director Adam McKay has never been too funny to me, not when he was funny in his forgettable comedies or when he becomes caustic when he talks to you about the corruption of power. I talk about the scams that caused the savage financial crisis of 2008 and the smart guys who got even richer with it in The big bet and the portrait he made of the creepy and disgusting Vice President Dick Cheney in The vice of power. He is a very pretentious director, convinced that he is very clever. But I don’t get the point.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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