Don’t call it a popcorn flick. The motion picture industry is brewing up a new movie described as a “celebration of alcohol.”
In an interview with the Hollywood Reporter, Danish director Thomas Vinterberg explains the untitled project as a response to “the very medical and chaste way of living that is spreading like a disease…. It’s an acknowledgement that when you start drinking, the conversation expands. World War II was won by a huge boozer; some of the best literature on the planet was written by drunk people. Drinking, on the one hand, makes life grow. On the other hand, you die from it. But the story of how you die from it has been told many times.”
He’s right, of course. We’ve all seen Leaving Las Vegas. The whole dying-from-alcohol thing is so depressing. And he’s right about the conversation expanding, too. Start us off with one good drink, and we could go on and on. Oh, and his point about literature? Spot on. Just imagine how much more clever and eloquent this very post might be if we were drinking right now.
You can’t blame Vinterberg for looking on the bright side of a very nuanced subject like alcohol. His other film, Kursk, depicts a submarine disaster. It’s about moderation, people!
But if Vinterberg really wanted to devote a whole film to some unique angle on alcohol, then maybe “celebration” isn’t the right focus. After all, cinema has done plenty to glamorize drinking culture over the years. Think of the 2004 wine-country drama Sideways, for instance, or the entire 26-film James Bond series. And who could forget Tom Cruise in the saucy 1988 flick Cocktail, a film that helped to recast the fusty old bartending profession as a sexy, artistic endeavor?
While we await more of Vinterberg’s insights on the subject, let’s take a look back at what Cruise’s character had to say about it, waxing poetic from atop the bar like some fitshaced Shakespearean.