Wed, 09/07/2005 — Sak

Martin Scorcese's Tilt is an epic, whirlwind ride of a movie that takes one to the dank inner recesses of his or her soul and back. Brenda Louise Davenport (played to perfection by Brooke Shields) is a young woman with a wide array of psychological problems -- and physical addictions. Carried into the seedy underworld of latent drug currently making a splash onto the streets of urban American life known as Pinball (or P.B., Th' Ball, Pin, and Gottleb Gold) by the hands of the nefarious arcade hustler Harold "The Whale" Remmens (acted to perfection by a more neurotic than usual Charles Durning). Can Neil Gallagher (a well hung Ken Marshall, second cousin to Gallagher: Sledge-O-Matic.com and Gallagher: Overboard's Gallagher), a street-savvy pick-pocket with a heart of gold turn Brenda's life right-side over?

When released in 1979, audiences were uncaring, just coming down from a video-game-to-movie high with Star Wars: The Arcade Game: The Movie: Episode IV: A New Hope: The Home Version; Tilt ultimately proved to be too heady for audiences. French philosopher Jean-Luc Ryotard even went as far as to write a 352 page treatise regarding the movie, entitled Simulacra and Visions from Behind the Ball: Cultural Memory and the Post-Data-East Subject. A brief excerpt: "A trace left from behind the languid pinings of 19th century Germany, Tilt situates itself forever behind and yet immanently ahead of its subject matter. Scorcese has fufilled (and yet infinitely emptied) the Freudian vision of excess."

American audiences were baffled. One scene particularly perplexing to the audience (no doubt brought up on fireworks and cheeseburgers) was a now famous portrait of cinema wherein Shields's character defecates on a Dukes of Hazard pinball machine whilst Gallagher furiously masturbates utilizing only the gentle, lovingly hand-crafted levers of a Pong system. The twisted tangueidas of Astor Piazolla play furiously in the background. And foreground. Scorcese on his now immortal piece of art: "Dude -- I. Fuck, man. It was, what? '79? I just -- man, I am just going to say there was a lot of coke going around, alright? C'mon, I know she was like eleven, but that is no worse than the Blue Lagoon or that one movie where the dude bones her, right? Right? Shit, man, I can't even justify this to myself."

Tom"bo" Thompson(bo), director of the American-Bolivian-Canadian Institute of Pan-National Art, was recently asked if Tilt would ever be nominated for inclusion in the ABCIPN's annual pan-national cinematic preservation time capsule (sponsored by eight year old Jimmy Simpson and his backyard), "Bo" could only reply with, "Tilt? You've -- you've got to be kidding me, right? Seriously -- I? Tilt? I thought like six people saw that movie back in the day. Man, I -- that takes me back. Fingerbanged my first girlfriend at that movie. Later, we sparked up a J and listened to Jefferson Starship's Jane on loop." Bo released a tired sigh, and continued, "I was only thirty-seven."

Some, however, continue to debate the importance of this post-modern-pre-quasi-contemporary masterpiece. Ryotard, twenty-six years after the fact, apparantly has made an about-face regarding his opinion of Tilt. His death-related silence can only be attributed to a lack of enthusiasm regarding the chef-d'oeuvre of electronic-gaming-based cinema.


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