February 24th, 2013: Trees Lounge

Trees Lounge

Cast and Crew:   Carol Kane, Mark Boone Junior, Anthony LaPaglia, Debi Mazar, Seymour Cassel, Kevin Corrigan, Michael Imperioli, Chloe Sevigny, Samuel L. Jackson, Daniel Baldwin, Mimi Rogers

What It’s About: Tommy (Steve Buscemi) loses his job, his girlfriend, and hope and spends his days drinking in Trees Lounge, the bar below his apartment.  Things only go downhill from there.

Why Watch it Today?:   Today is the Feast of St. Matthias, who is, among other things, the patron saint of alcoholics.  Trees Lounge is writer/director/star Steve Buscemi’s powerful character study of an alcoholic.

Other Choices: Many of the films we’ve featured over the years feature alcoholics.  Want a drama?  How about  The Lost Weekend or Angela’s Ashes?  Have a taste for the ridiculous?  Why not watch Viva Knievel which features Gene Kelly as an alcoholic mechanic, or The Attic with its alcoholic librarian?  Don’t think alcoholism can stop you from achieving great things?  You can go with Steele Justice, with Martin Kove as a rum bum who shakes the shakes in about two seconds when he gets a chance to indulge in his first love-righteously killing people.  Or maybe an alcoholic U.S. Marshall who doesn’t let the hooch stop him from taking out black hats is more your speed?  If so you can see either  Jeff Bridges or John Wayne as Rooster Cogburn.  Comedy drunks more your style?  How about Brigadoon, with its singing, dancing sidekick drunk?  Maybe you’d like to see someone lay off the sauce relatively easily?  Surely St. Matthias helped Dean Martin beat the habit in Rio Bravo.  Then, of course, there’s Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia, the film about an alcoholic on a mission made by an alcoholic, whose subtext is about the director’s own problems, including his alcoholism, which might sound like a boring Indy flick, only the mission in question is retrieving a man’s head for a crime lord, and this is in the Peckinpah-verse, so there is plenty of slow motion, squib laden carnage to go along with Warren Oates’ bravura Sam Peckinpah impersonation.

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