Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Jersey girls and onion rings--UPDATED

Maybe Paris Hilton was the next one through the door--Never one to let a cultural phenomenon go unanswered (and coming from North Jersey, which gives me a particular insight into all of this) I feel obliged to comment on the last episode of the Sopranos. I loved it, and the more I think about it, the more I loved it.

It's a bit like Kubrick's 2001, A Space Odyssey. You get to put in your own explanation and it is just as right as everyone else's. I, of course, would be happy to explain that movie to anyone needing an explanation. Just think Nietzsche. Here, we have something else going, but it still can be defined as art.

To be actually serious for a moment, I think that episode will wind up in every film class in the world as a lesson in how to build inexorable tension with absolutely nothing actually happening. Nothing happened. The family met for dinner at a restaurant and Tony ordered onion rings. People came and went. (The only sour note was Meadow's inability to park her car properly--every Jersey girl knows how to parallel park). And I'm sure when the unpleasant guy at the counter went into the bathroom everyone thought immediately of Godfather, which is, of course, the reason David Chase sent him there. Even the songs on the jukebox seemed to have some ominous meaning, even if they really didn't. And it ran 5 minutes late, just to build the tension. I kept looking at my watch. My God, he has only two minutes left to do something.

Want to know what happened? At least four times in the last minute of the program, Tony looked up and every time the camera showed what Tony saw. We see what he sees. So when Meadow walked into the restaurant, Tony looked up and then the screen went blank. Obviously we see blank because Tony saw blank. He obviously got whacked.

Works for me.

UPDATE: And apparently, I'm not alone. See here.


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