Recently, I have found myself gravitating towards the work of Nicolas Cage. This shouldn’t be all that surprising given I have a movie blog, right? It isn’t even particularly new ground for me: I’ve covered the obligatory Nicolas Cage fare, like Face/Off, The Wicker Man, and Vampire’s Kiss, and a good number or less-remembered flicks like Army of One, Drive Angry, and Snake Eyes. Of course, I like Nicolas Cage movies. It makes sense that I would watch them from time to time.
However, this recent gravitation hasn’t been by choice. It feels elemental. Like a cosmic thrall that has drawn me back to Cage: something celestial and potentially foreboding. In the past few weeks, I have “coincidentally” stumbled into watching Moonstruck, Adaptation, Prisoners of the Ghostland, Pig, and Willy’s Wonderland. I can’t think of a wider range of films that better collectively encapsulates the essence of Cage. Pig features an inspiring, emotionally engrossing, quietly dramatic Cage performance that is easily one of the best of the past year. Willy’s Wonderland is an absolute train wreck of an action-horror movie where Cage perplexingly doesn’t utter a single line of dialogue. Prisoners of the Ghostland is a wild, visionary science fiction film that feels like suffering a fever dream in the worst possible way, propelled by an appropriately unhinged Cage performance. Adaptation is debatably the gold standard of Nicolas Cage, who flawlessly and comedically portrays two fictional(ish) central characters who are writing the unparalleled screenplay for the film within the world of the movie. Moonstruck features early Cage, long before his descent into self-parody, but still exuding inexorable, deeply compelling weirdness, all while matching the tone of the off-beat romantic comedy.
Each of these films has gotten my gears turning about Nicolas Cage as one of the great, enigmatic fixtures in the world of screen acting over the past four decades (and who looks to continue being one for the foreseeable future). I’m still ruminating on what to do about the apparent sword of Damocles over my head that is the career of Nicolas Cage: is this my next great destiny? Is this sign a klaxon call to action, or a siren’s song to my demise?
Currently, I’m still wrapped up in graduate studies, which is leaving me very little time for this blog. Outside of the occasional Ivy On Celluloid, I haven’t had much time to write for fun (though I’m doing a ton of writing for not-fun). However, I am still finding some time to watch movies, and I think Cage might be drawing me back here. I suppose we’ll see. I can definitely feel gravity’s pull.