Wednesday, June 18, 2008
No Culture Icons: The Hold Steady "Stay Positive"
In Opening Night, Gena Rowlands plays a Broadway actress who witnesses the accidental death of an adoring young fan as she tries to snag an autograph from the star. This experience both traumatizes and enlightens Rowlands's character to the point where she questions the very nature of what she does for a living. Her lack of actual responsibility for the death is slightly outweighed by her guilt for indirectly creating the situation that led to it; her fame brought the fan there, after all, and caused her to look "upwards with wonder" from the start. When Craig Finn of the Hold Steady sings, "Some nights it's just entertainment/And some other nights it's work," on the song "Slapped Actress," which references the John Cassavetes film, he's talking about the moments in which the fantastic escapism of the entertainment world meets harsh reality.
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