All My Stars (35)

By: Joanne McNeil
September 1, 2016

stars

One in a weekly series in which Joanne McNeil recommends books, films, exhibitions, and more. You can also subscribe to the All My Stars newsletter here.

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raging bull

Everyone knows boxing is a cliche in movies, but when I came back from a class last week, slumped into the couch with two big bowls full of the kind of comfort food I normally can’t eat, appended for my various food allergies — quinoa elbow mac+cheese, vegan ice cream — and was inspired to turn on Raging Bull, I felt like another kind of cliche. I’m somewhat surprised boxing gyms aren’t full of curious weakling cinephiles like me.

It’s always boxing. Not Krav Maga movies. Not Taekwondo movies. Because boxing movies are always ultimately stories of class and capitalism. It’s overrepresented in film for how it’s represented in culture at large. I can name dozens of boxing films easily but struggle to count basketball movies on one hand. “Is it time for boxing movies to throw in the towel?” asks EW, which points out that if you said yes last year there would be no Creed.

While I like Raging Bull, I can’t quite appreciate it like After Hours and King of Comedy, or Mean Streets and Taxi Driver. I guess I just don’t really care all that much about what it means to be a man. So while the dramatic aspects — manliness, manhood, and being emotionally stunted because of societal expectations of a man or whatever — don’t quite resonate, I appreciate how beautiful it is, Thelma Schoonmaker’s extraordinary editing, and all the tiny details — the budget for old fashioned flashbulbs! — that pay off and keep it from feeling like just another boxing movie. But after class, at which I was completely uncoordinated, I had a new appreciation for it, recognizing where his arms were going, “oh, that’s a 2 and a 3.”

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ALL POSTS IN THIS SERIES

CURATED SERIES at HILOBROW: UNBORED CANON by Josh Glenn | CARPE PHALLUM by Patrick Cates | MS. K by Heather Kasunick | HERE BE MONSTERS by Mister Reusch | DOWNTOWNE by Bradley Peterson | #FX by Michael Lewy | PINNED PANELS by Zack Smith | TANK UP by Tony Leone | OUTBOUND TO MONTEVIDEO by Mimi Lipson | TAKING LIBERTIES by Douglas Wolk | STERANKOISMS by Douglas Wolk | MARVEL vs. MUSEUM by Douglas Wolk | NEVER BEGIN TO SING by Damon Krukowski | WTC WTF by Douglas Wolk | COOLING OFF THE COMMOTION by Chenjerai Kumanyika | THAT’S GREAT MARVEL by Douglas Wolk | LAWS OF THE UNIVERSE by Chris Spurgeon | IMAGINARY FRIENDS by Alexandra Molotkow | UNFLOWN by Jacob Covey | ADEQUATED by Franklin Bruno | QUALITY JOE by Joe Alterio | CHICKEN LIT by Lisa Jane Persky | PINAKOTHEK by Luc Sante | ALL MY STARS by Joanne McNeil | BIGFOOT ISLAND by Michael Lewy | NOT OF THIS EARTH by Michael Lewy | ANIMAL MAGNETISM by Colin Dickey | KEEPERS by Steph Burt | AMERICA OBSCURA by Andrew Hultkrans | HEATHCLIFF, FOR WHY? by Brandi Brown | DAILY DRUMPF by Rick Pinchera | BEDROOM AIRPORT by “Parson Edwards” | INTO THE VOID by Charlie Jane Anders | WE REABSORB & ENLIVEN by Matthew Battles | BRAINIAC by Joshua Glenn | COMICALLY VINTAGE by Comically Vintage | BLDGBLOG by Geoff Manaugh | WINDS OF MAGIC by James Parker | MUSEUM OF FEMORIBILIA by Lynn Peril | ROBOTS + MONSTERS by Joe Alterio | MONSTOBER by Rick Pinchera | POP WITH A SHOTGUN by Devin McKinney | FEEDBACK by Joshua Glenn | 4CP FTW by John Hilgart | ANNOTATED GIF by Kerry Callen | FANCHILD by Adam McGovern | BOOKFUTURISM by James Bridle | NOMADBROW by Erik Davis | SCREEN TIME by Jacob Mikanowski | FALSE MACHINE by Patrick Stuart | 12 DAYS OF SIGNIFICANCE | 12 MORE DAYS OF SIGNIFICANCE | 12 DAYS OF SIGNIFICANCE (AGAIN) | ANOTHER 12 DAYS OF SIGNIFICANCE | UNBORED MANIFESTO by Joshua Glenn and Elizabeth Foy Larsen | H IS FOR HOBO by Joshua Glenn | 4CP FRIDAY by guest curators

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