A little ‘cinema verite’ glimpse into the sleazy world of Mad Men

falling man

A couple of years ago my brother very kindly put on DVD my parents’ old home-movies. My father was an inveterate, if not particularly ‘good’ documentarian with his old 16 mm camera. But, he went out and captured everything from the time we were little children and right through to our gawky adolescence and early adulthoods,

My God, did my first wife, when she was very young really wear skirts that short. “Darlin’, I can see your underpants.” That’s OK, I can look. We were once married. canera

Most intriguing – in a way – but also a bit disconcerting are the ‘cocktail party’ flicks. Ah, the cocktail party. A way of fulfilling a social obligation with people you really have no desire to invite to dinner. It’s a social convention that I am quite happy to have seen die out by-and-large.

What was a cocktail party? A social event in which large numbers of disparate people get shitfaced drunk, smoke like furnaces, decry pot-smoking young hippies, attempt to establish either trysts or later liaisons with people to whom they’re not married. Sometimes they even successfully ‘tryst’ (using the polite term) right at the party if the house is big enough and they can find room amongst the piled coats in a bedroom. Not saying that actually happened other than I know from (ahem) experience that it did. Sometimes the young aren’t so foolish when single and an opportunity presents itself.draper

Hmm, this is all beginning to sound a bit like Mad Men. And it does because MM has been a success due to the fact that a goodly number of people who actually lived through the era – and some did live through it despite the liver assailing alcohol abuse and lung-ravaging smoking – and can testify to its veracity.

I look at those movies. I see everybody smoking up a storm, the booze flowing like the cheapest water and artificially-induced jollity amongst a lot of people I honestly didn’t find all that jolly in real life. Very few – like mainly none – are around any more. Some I miss, others I have not emotional feelings for at all. And when they are carousing they look like assholes. But, most people do.joan

So, Mad Men is shortly to pass from the scene, as that era in real life will too. What will happen to Don Draper? Do I care? Not really. He deserves all that karma throws at him in the end. He has spent his life – through many seasons – being a fraudulent, narcissistic shit who views the world through power and a bank account and not through friendship and loyalty, and views women solely from the parameters of his penis.

In fact, I realize that I don’t care for any of the people in the series (which has been splendid in its way) and feel they will deserve whatever befalls them. Indeed the only one I really care about is ‘Joan’ (Christina Hendricks) the superbly cantilevered and beautiful woman who is not, absolutely not about big tits and a beautiful face, but actually has integrity. She deserves to come out the winner.

The rest deserve their own particular versions of Hell.

But, in my own way, I’ll miss the series when it comes to an end. And that end is coming soon.

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4 responses to “A little ‘cinema verite’ glimpse into the sleazy world of Mad Men

  1. I for one would love to see your films.

  2. I’m not sure Joan has all that much integrity. She seems to though when you look at the people she hangs around with.

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