Thank God? No. Thank Cage! Nicolas Cage Saves The Week In News
At a time when all eyes are hyper-focused on the big man down south, we could all use use some serious escapism. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Nic Cage.
The first part of this story is that there was a Nicolas Cage Film Festival called CAGED. The second part is that it's been going on for four years. The last part is that Nicolas Cage just showed up for it unannounced.
Cage sat in on five of his films: Bangkok Dangerous, Joe, Bringing Out the Dead, and Army of One. The fifth Cage picked himself, Lord of War (because one has to assume that when Nic Cage crashes your festival you just ask, “Uh, you wanna pick one?”).
To finish off, he read for ten minutes from Edgar Allan Poe’s The Tell-Tale Heart in classic Cage, ramping it up with each passage, until…he just Cage’s it.
Now I don’t know how you feel about Nicolas Cage. Quite honestly, I don’t care. Because how I feel is entirely unreasonable. I admire the man. He’s so unequivocally bats*** courageous. You know, when those movie stars get up on stage at awards shows and preach (to all of us lucky folks who get to watch their little club’s patting themselves on the back party), it’s a bit self-indulgent. Nic Cage is the kind of self-indulgent I can get behind. He takes himself so seriously that he can name his son after Superman (specifically, Superman’s alien name, Kal-El) and do it thinking it’s the best name, hands-down, for the child. I bet he picked that child up everyday and whispered, “You will see my life through your eyes, as your life will be seen through mine. The son becomes the father, and the father the son. This is all I... all I can send you, Kal-El.” If you had a fanboy friend who named their child Kal-El and didn’t do this everyday, your friend is a coward. Nic Cage is no coward. He gives everything he has to a bit.
Nic Cage is among the most under appreciated actors of our time.
Exhibit number one: Cons Face Off On The Rock.
They may not fall into the category of high brow art (also, they really are just one kick-ass movie) but for a time, they broke up the quadrumvirate of action stars in the 1990's. Schwarnegger, Stallone, Van Damme, Snipes...Cage? It didn't matter that Arnie was more muscle-bound nor had better one-liners. Who cared that Stallone was an intense meatbox with adorably imperfect pronunciation? It didn't matter that Jean Claude and Snipes could kick over their head. Nobody – and I mean nobody – made action characters come to life like Cage. How can one forget the plethora of moments he made Sean Archer, Cameron Poe, or Stanley Goodspeed jump out on screen and dance a shindig right on your eyeballs?
Cage wasn’t a part of the action; he made the action matter.
Exhibit number two: he played two versions of himself in Adaptation.
The screenplay is really the star here, but it wouldn’t come together without Cage. His work as the Kaufman brothers is a prime example of Cage’s mastery of both the insane and mundane. The Cage most dislike is in his performance as Donald, wild, goofy, and over-the-top. Then he reals it all back in as Charlie, crippled by self-consciousness. It’s like Cage playing the two different public perceptions of him. Adaptation is so smart!!!
Exhibit three: Leaving Las Vegas breaks you.
So devastating. I still feel devastated to this day. It devastates me thinking about this movie. Likely Cage’s best performance, his performance personifies what giving up looks like.
Exhibit four: WIld At Heart and Raising Arizona
Listen, if David Lynch and the Coen Brothers, treasures of cinema, cast you in their films, you're good. Moreover, you've got some hidden quirks that make you unique amongst your peers. Moreover, they like you. Moreover- do I need to go on?
You know what makes me sad about Nic Cage? It isn't to see this fine, upstanding gentlemen insulted by memes, YouTube compilations, and slander, I say, SLANDER! It's that I missed this history-defining event! The closest thing I can get is watching The Rock.
Wait. That's a brilliant idea. I'm watching The Rock tonight.
Rhys Dowbiggin @Rdowb
Rhys has worked six years in the public relations industry rubbing shoulders with movie stars (who ignored him) to athletes (who tolerated him). He likes tiki-taka football, jelly beans, and arguing with Bruce about everything.