Spiritual Surf: “Flight” and 5 other titles that are giving addiction a buzz
From Denzel Washington’s contender for an Oscar to the Scientology allegory, The Master, Hollywood’s biggest box office is hooked to addicts
Joaquin Phoenix plays a sex addict and violent drunk who seeks salvation from a guru who is part-Werner Erhard and part-Ron Hubbard. Director Paul Thomas Anderson (Boogie Nights, Magnolia, There Will Be Blood) screened the film for the world’s most famous Scientologist, Tom Cruise.
America’s oldest addiction juiced every clan from the Kennedys and the Seagrams to iconic U.S. Treasury Secretary Andrew Mellon, according to HBO’s flagship series.
Transformation through trauma is the apparent storyline of Flight, which is a fictional screenplay that draws on the real-life flight of Alaska Airlines 261 — crashed near L.A. mid-way between Puerto Vallarta, Mexico and San Francisco (all on board died).
In the Denzel Washington vehicle, which made $25-million in U.S. box office opening weekend, the high-functioning alkie and druggie pilot actually saves most of the souls on board with a high-tech twist. His transformation is a Jesus moment where he sacrifices his own needs for the honor of his lover.
Oliver Stone’s Savages
: Why it’s more real than Traffic: Grow-houses and meth-labs are underground businesses that most Americans can imagine starting in a recession akin to The Great Depression (see previous entry about Boardwalk Empire, Prohibition and bootleggers).
Fifty Shades of Grey
The id also rises. A book about fetishes allows the public to project some urges buried in our collective psychic basement.
A scholarly book becomes a classic: The Anatomy of Addiction
And Freud? Yes, even Freud. In his case, cocaine.