Douglas Road Goes Off the (Metro) Rails

This is not the first time Raul Masvidal has tried to snooker the county into a bad deal


A Voiceover Runs Through It
Filed under: Culture

Reading the New York Times a couple of weeks ago, I came upon Manohla Dargis's review of Old Joy, starring Will Oldham and directed by Kelly Reichardt, a Miamian. Dargis gushes that the movie is "a triumph of modesty and of seriousness that also happens to be one of the finest American films of the year." (Alas, it's not yet playing locally.) She also mentioned Reichardt's first film, River of Grass, which is set here in Miami. So I rented it and can only conclude that River of Grass was not one of the finest American films of 1995. Its narrative is heavily laden with voiceovers in which the main character, a disgruntled housewife named Cozy, asks ponderous and unanswerable questions about life and having children and driving the Palmetto Expressway.

The mix of extensive narration and prolonged silence indicates aspirations toward a subtropical Badlands, but the potency of Cozy's goth teenager philosophizing is diluted by a desperate avoidance of downers. Would-be criminals on the lam botch even their attempts to be bad guys (actual hot water could be depressing for the viewer), and we must suffer through a comedy of errors with very little comedy.

That said, the film is firmly planted in Miami-Dade County from the get-go: "I was born in 1962 at Coral Gables Hospital," says Cozy — voiceover, of course — and from then on we are treated to a visual ode to Miami. Aimless drifters drive zombielike past never-ending rows of low-slung bungalows; men in garish suits drink cocktails in dusky bars reminiscent of Fox's; an out-of-place visitor to the Miami-Dade Police Department balks at (real) photographs of gruesome Miami murders. Reichardt captures the aerial weave of highway interchanges against blue sky, and undulating ripples of tall grass in the Everglades waving in the wind. Like most of our days, the movie ends in a traffic jam.

To be fair, there were a few points that earned a guffaw, like when a getaway down Florida's Turnpike is thwarted by a lack of spare change for the toll. Or when Cozy is drinking domestic beer at a Broward bar and gives a dull glance at the man next to her.

"You're not from around here, are you?" she asks, taking a swig from the bottle and squinting like a bartender in a spaghetti western.

"No," he answers. He puts down his beer and shakes his head with the world-weary air of one who has been to Hell and back. "I'm from Dade." Emily Witt


Ript from the Blogs
Reynolds Rap
[We] remain OBSESSED with Al Reynolds, which is why we had to quickly report the latest rumor we hear: Al is PISSED at reports that he and Star have moved to Miami, when they indeed still live in NYC. In fact, Al has just been kicking up his heels vacationing in Miami for the past few weeks, but now Star is in town and they are going to make lots of appearances all over town together before returning to NYC. So strap on your Payless, Star’s in the hiz-ouse!
Taken from: The Dirt Miami (www.thedirtmiami.com)


More Riptide Read about the Design District photography show that includes Madonna, Sly Stallone, and Sharon Stone. CLICK HERE.

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