Fat City (John Huston, 1972)

This film’s opening sequence–where the remarkable Stacy Keach melts on his bed in droopy underwear, inserts a lazy cigarette in his nickel-slot of a mouth, lurches around and rummages through his sweaty room in search of a match, collapses frustratedly on his bed, stares blankly through hooded eyes at his clothing, shrugs on his pants, throws his beefy frame from his room and the building, and stumbles outside, only to stand there blinking in the glare of sunlight and briefly, momentarily, sure-footedly, dancing like a boxer or a ballerina, cigarette and reason for dressing and leaving and living long since forgotten–merely hints at the understated way Keach embodies the foolishly hubristic decisions of men whose wallets and apartments and hearts and bodies have emptied or crumbled or broken or shattered under the weight of living as if compromise were death.

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