One Hour Photo

I watched “I Spy” at one o’clock. They were trying to find an atomic bomb somewhere in Italy. The episode of “The Bold Ones: The Senator” featured Will Geer. It reminded me of the end of “The Caine Mutiny.” I tried to get some work done. I took a break and listened to a few of Lesley Gore’s songs. All of her Top 20 hits came during the years from 1963 to 1967. After I returned home, I watched “One Hour Photo,” the movie with Robin Williams. It was interesting, tragic, and frightening. It combined the alienation of “Taxi Driver,” the voyeurism of “Peeping Tom,” and the horror of “Psycho.” It had a powerful performance from Robin Williams, possibly his best ever. He was Sy, a man who works at developing photos at a Walmart type store. He’s been handling the photos for the Yorkin family for about ten years. I wondered how he could hold that job for that long, considering his creepy behavior. He makes extra copies of the Yorkins’ photos and puts them on his wall at home. The movie is so fascinating because you can think about the content on different levels. You’ve see this man taking liberties with his position, violating other people’s privacy and making judgments about them. Some of the strange things are that his job is just about obsolete with people taking photos constantly with their phones but not making prints. Some of what he says about taking photos doesn’t ring true anymore, that you care enough someone to take a picture of them. There is the difference between the public image of a person and what they’re really like in private. The nice guys you see every day can frequently turn out to be wacky, and this movie just jumps right in and shows one of these individuals. We see a man who is too involved in his work, as if there’s nothing else in life. You can’t live for work. You’ve got to have something else. Sy is so far removed from reality that he determines whether people are acting rightly or wrongly. He sympathizes with the wife because he’s never met the husband. Maybe if it had been the man who’d come in to drop off the rolls of film, his sympathies would have gone in the other direction. It’s scary to think that people out there are deciding things about you without actually knowing anything. What’s really nutty is seeing people willingly sacrificing their privacy through Facebook and the like. They’re exposing details of their lives to millions of people like Sy. Michael Vartan, who was in the television series “Alias,” was the father. The mother was Connie Nielsen. It’s so very disturbing to see what loneliness does to Sy. What makes this film so unusual is that the main character doesn’t blurt out his every thought. He suppresses thoughts and comments. For all the praise that Robin Williams received for this movie, I’m not sure that he was the best choice for the role. It’s hard to think that he would behave in such an unnerving way. I could see Anthony Perkins in the part. I’m not too sure I could see Jack Nicholson in this movie, either. I didn’t like how the beginning of the movie revealed some things about the ending. I’m not too sure the story goes down the right path with Sy’s behavior. Does someone like him ever become motivated to act? He’s such a dreamer. Maybe he’d find someone else to be the focus of his attention. Someone who was really a criminal would be shrewder than he is. They’re masters of not getting caught. This is the type of movie that you could spend an hour talking about to a friend. It is more than the typical superficial nonsense you see in an ordinary movie. I like how it aspires to be something meaningful, and just about every scene is carefully thought out. It’s too bad that Robin Williams appeared in so many of those forgettable films, and did his familiar hyperactive shtick in so many of them. Some moments in “One Hour Photo” seem especially sad in light of Robin Williams’ suicide. I’m not sure that he had many, or even any, good performances left in him. He did it once, though, where so many people never reach a level that high. You have to see “One Hour Photo” if Robin Williams meant anything to you. The DVD came with some pretty good special features. One was a Charlie Rose interview with Robin Williams and Mark Romanek. Robin Williams did his usual bit of taking over and making everyone forget what they were talking about. I wondered if Mark Romanek really was amused, or if he was being polite where he was actually annoyed. After taking the bus home, I ate some blackberries and yogurt and watched the end of “The Six Million Dollar Man.” The bionic people did a lot of jumping around, and so did Wonder Woman in the 1970s. This episode had another of those plots about a laser. Steve Austin’s attempt to be romantic at the end was the least convincing in television history. I watched a Dragnet episode that had a mysterious person stealing movie memorabilia. The culprit was a 23-year-old living with his mother and pretending to be someone called the Crimson Crusader. The episode of The Avengers that followed had Honor Blackman in a house, and the story was exactly like an episode with Diana Rigg. I guess you can’t come up with a fresh idea for every single episode. It’s rather difficult to watch “I Spy” these days with the thought of all that’s been said about Bill Cosby in recent months. There were a lot of spy shows on television during the 1960s. I wasn’t too anxious to get back to the classroom. I missed the eleven o’clock news. Some of the people who died on February 19 include Michael Powell (1990), Charlie Finley (1996), and Stanley Kramer (2001). Today is a birthday for Benicio Del Toro (48), Jeff Daniels (60), and Smokey Robinson (75). According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for February 19, the Beatles recorded “You’re Going to Lose That Girl” at EMI Studios in London in 1965. In 1972, Harry Nilsson reached Number One on the singles chart with “Without You.” In 1995, Pamela Anderson married Tommy Lee after knowing him for four days.

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