I rarely remember dreams and when I do, often get a kick out noticing how my day’s reality contributed to the fantasy’s creation. So last night’s doozy came after an interesting concoction of a Netflix political documentary created by Philip Seymour Hoffman called The Party’s Over, found on some sites as Last Party 2000 and a short video of Gordy Hoffman’s Blue Cat Screenwriting tips.
But first, the movie:
Our first thought when we hear the word violence is the man vs. man type, so the self-inflicted drug variety often seems incomprehensible. We opine about Heath Ledger and Philip Seymour Hoffman, ‘But they had young children, they had talent, they had money.’
And so it was very poignant to see Philip Seymour Hoffman interview an African American woman steeped in the important issues of the then present day 2000, chagrin that those same issues weren’t being spoken by either Bush or Gore. Her comments about heroin trafficking being a big business were especially ironic given PSH’s ultimate demise.
What struck me most about this doc is that the concerns of those marginalized were exactly the issues we’re still fretting about, yet apparently not able to change; gun violence (I had forgotten about Rosie O’Donnell and the Million Mom March), campaign finance reform that Gore promised he was going to change, and the need for drug rehabilitation centers numerous enough to take care of the multitudes addicted.
Being a Rochester resident and age equivalent contemporary, Philip Seymour Hoffman’s death threw me for a loop. The fact that my son’s major at Suny Geneseo is Musical Theater also played a part in its impact. I realize there are temptations in most professions, but performance art has to be near the top as far as drug availability.
The Party’s Over illuminated Philip Seymour Hoffman’s as a passionately concerned citizen. His epiphany, or perhaps simply a confirmation and why he made the film in the first place, was that the Democrat and Republican conventions contained speeches and ideologies that were eerily similar and hollow.
I can’t help but see PSH as a defeated man, done in by his own addictive behavior. And it’s equally difficult not to see Barrack Obama as equally impotent on a political level, given that he ran on a campaign of hope and yet now even in his elocution seems to be totally disillusioned. If men with so much passion and promise can not overcome addiction and the wealthy selfish stubborn respectively, what is the future of the United States?
I’ll end with my lighthearted dream, proving we can have fantasies and wishes of happy endings and that we must in the end, maintain our optimism for human evolution for our children’s sakes at the very least.
Thematically there’s a ‘bad boy’ fixation subtext going on here for me, having always preferred gentlemen who buck the conventional, have a lackadaisical view of fashion and are more passionately introverted than the male norm. In addition, the secret crush I always had on PSH.
So how much fun it was in this nocturnal illusion to be an actress vying for Mr. Hoffman’s romantic attention, against a terminally ill woman, hence ‘winning’ the competition. Boy, do I know how to fix a bias on a dream level, or what? The resolution culminated in my ballsy dinner date request for the following week and my apologizing for the only problem that I’d have to come in costume, “But not an alien costume with antennae at least,” I reassured. In an adorably wrinkled, untucked Oxford shirt (as he wore in The Party’s Over) Mr. Hoffman put his arm around me and replied, “That’d be fine.”
Rent The Party’s Over and you’ll be wanting to slumber to a sweet dream state, too, anywhere instead of our country’s deepening hole fourteen years later!