I could never take the place of your man.
“the perfect blockbuster for America under gerontocracy. Our ancient ruling class is clinging to power like a dementia patient clutching its nurses’ sleeve, and the old Hollywood studios, like Top Gun’s Paramount, are teetering, with theatrical attendance yet to return to pre-pandemic numbers amid competition from streaming and apps. “Time is your greatest enemy,” an old friend says to Maverick in the new film, which rolls back the years with an even more hysterical fantasy of American push-button world-policing and cinematic spectacle.”
Gambling as the Western myth of America as the open road and the promise of reinvention—just drive and drive until you’re someone new—vs gambling as the latter-day Western reality of tribal gaming licenses:
“Washa Casino, what kinda name is that?”
“Then where’s all the Indian shit?”
Where indeed? America’s got debts no honest man can pay. Paul Schrader’s guilt-ridden men in rooms—Vietnam veteran Travis Bickle; semi-reformed druggie John LeTour; Toller; Tell—live monastic existences but keep diaries in which they…