Movie Note:
Ironing to George Clooney
28 November 2018

¶ The overall theme for November was Overwhelmed Paralysis. That’s not the best way of putting it, but there isn’t, and oughtn’t to be, such a word as “overwhelmence.” Having too many items on my to-do list (which existed only in my addled mind), I did almost nothing. I read and I wrote, because those are things that I like to do, but I neglected the writing project, and I took no notes on the barrage of thoughts about liberalism that have sounded in my head more commonly than music. Above all, I let the ironing pile up.

“The ironing” is a stack of pillowslips, napkins, and handkerchiefs that mounts higher every Friday, when I retrieve the wash-and-fold laundry from the conciergerie downstairs. As everything is neatly folded, there is no real need to iron anything, and when, as sometimes happens, I run out of pressed napkins, I filch a few from the stack. But I am not yet prepared to “let go” of this venerable chore, and, by last weekend, it had become a matter of running out of room for “the ironing.” The stack was wobbling, spilling over.

So I put on a movie. Michael Clayton, a random choice. Well, a random choice that I decided to go along with. I pulled out a drawer of DVDs and pulled up a sleeve: Michael Clayton. Sounds good, I thought. And it was good. 

George Clooney has a reputation for being a really cool guy, and he plays that kind of guy in the Ocean movies, but in most of the films that I know, he is either harried or crazy. Crazy: O Brother, Where Art Thou?, The Men Who Stare at GoatsBurn After Reading. Harried: Up in the Air, SyrianaThe Descendants. For a matinée idol, Clooney has played a lot of unhinged men. And then there are the characters whom it is rather hard to like: The AmericanThe Ides of March. And let’s not forget the scamps: Three KingsGood Night, and Good Luck, roles that play Clooney’s inarguably adult masculine features against immature impulses. 

Before everybody gets too old, I would like to see a heist film in which Crazy George teams up with The over-the-top self-parody presented by Jason Statham in Spy

I got all the ironing done before Michael Clayton was overOr so I thought. Only when I put the ironing board back in its closet did I realize that I’d forgotten to open last week’s wash-and-fold. 

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