You all don’t know this, but this is our first recorded episode in about six weeks and I’m so glad we have Equinox to take that blow. Equinox is two films, the first made by a bunch of kids who would grow up to be the best visual effects artists in American film, the second sold to Jack Harris with additional footage shot by Jack Woods. It’s a ridiculously bad film in either cut, but one with astonishingly good visual effects.
In a way Burden of Dreams reminds me of Black Narcissus, or at least Werner Herzog's calling the Amazon "obscene" as a balance against his star Klaus Kinski's insistence that it is "erotic" reminds me of the Archers' argument that India is too weird for westerners to manage living in. Director Les Blank, to his credit, is more sympathetic to the native peoples, even as his film focuses on Herzog's seemingly doomed production of Fitzcarraldo.
Robert Altman adapts nine Raymond Carver short stories and a poem into a huge ensemble drama that, if about anything at all, seems to be a condemnation of toxic masculinity on par with Catherine Breillet's Fat Girl. It's got a lot going on, and Altman's decision to transport all the narratives to LA and interconnect them both helps and harms. Ultimately, fidelity to the source material isn't the point, and can't be -- as we discuss in regards to the portions based on "So Much Water So Close to Home" short stories are, by their nature, doing different things than film scenes -- but Carver's spirit still exists here. At least as far as we can tell, as neither Pat nor Adam have read any Carver.