Praying for Rain: Thoughts on Come Back to the 5 & Dime, Jimmy Dean (for Parterre Box)

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David Fox: Ah, Cameron. We—or at least, I—must now confront the folly of youth. Ed Grayczk‘s Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean (let’s just call it JDJD for ease, shall we?) and even clumsier dialogue (see below) was a youthful obsession of mine. Yes, even then I knew it was kitsch, a sort of amalgam of the worst excesses of Inge and Williams (“He is retarded in the brain!” was a favorite line), along with some even bigger excesses, courtesy of director Robert Altman and what is surely one of the oddest casts of its day: Sandy Dennis, Cher, Karen Black, Kathy Bates, Marta Heflin, and Sudie Bond. There’s so much more to say, but most of all, watching it today forced me to confront my own psychosis. What could I possibly have been thinking in 1982, when I saw it no less than four times within a month or two?

Cameron Kelsall: Like many artistic homosexuals, I’ve been through an Altman phase, a Cher phase, a Sandy Dennis phase and a Karen Black phase, so you needn’t explain yourself to me. JDJD was an idée fixe long before I even saw it—largely because, in the late nineties/early aughts, it was practically unfindable. I remember yawping with glee in my college dorm room when someone uploaded the movie (in 10 parts!) during the early days of YouTube. I easily watched it a half-dozen times in short order, mesmerized by its weirdness. So, it’s an obsession I understand. But we can both own up to the cold, hard reality that, once stripped of its camp sensibility, it’s pretty weak and derivative…

Read the full post at Parterre Box.

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