The only three things rich people talk about anymore are the houses they own, how to avoid permanent residency so they won’t have to pay taxes, and the exotic vacations they take to get away from it all. These are people on the move, settling nowhere, staying one step ahead of the rest of society, which gets sicker of them every day.
If you live in New York City, you are surrounded by their conversations, because in New York there are two things no one can avoid: seeing wealthy people and hearing strangers talk. Sitting in a restaurant in Brooklyn not long ago, I overheard from the booth behind me a foursome loudly discussing their recent trip to the Norwegian fjords. I could tell they’d had a great time because they were laughing so much. Of course they made me think of the ski vacation in Ruben Östlund’s movie Force Majeure (2014), even though that’s in the Alps. Along with fjord, another word kept leaping out at me as they laughed: McKinsey, the name of their employer, the management-consulting behemoth known for its work with authoritarian regimes and opioid manufacturers.
These four weren’t laughing for any particular reason, not really. Their cackling reminded me of something the comedian Don Rickles once said about Merv Griffin, the sleek talk-show host and media mogul. While Griffin was chuckling over one of the comic’s signature put-downs, Rickles turned to the audience and said, “Merv’s laughing because he’s so rich.”
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Drylongso: A Refuge of Their Own
Cauleen Smith’s debut feature celebrates the bond between two young Black women and the ways that they imaginatively, collaboratively choreograph their lives in the face of their common vulnerabilities.
Bo Widerberg’s New Swedish Cinema: Another Sweden
While frequently drawing from the depths of his private life, the writer-director also sought to shake Swedish cinema out of a state of complacency by engaging with the country’s turbulent social landscape.
Dim Sum: A Little Bit of Heart: Family Style
For the first of several domestic melodramas in his filmography, Wayne Wang drew on the influence of Yasujiro Ozu and the talent within his own San Francisco community to explore the relationship between a mother and her daughter.
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