If you feel lately like an incredible shrinking man or woman, here’s a mix for you. May it be the antidote for your poor mood.
Taking Time- Arthur Russell
Real Good Time Together- Lou Reed
Planet Health- Chairlift
Standing In Your Line- Telepathe
Figure 8- Blossom Dearie
Jamie- Hedge & Donna
If You Can’t Learn From My Mistakes- Moby Grape
Joy In Repetition- Prince
Ghost Song- Jim Morrison
Joe Buck Rides Again- John Barry, Midnight Cowboy OST
Time Love Hope Life- Peter Sarstedt
Untitled- The Cure
Nite Life- Willie Nelson
Everybody Wants To Live- Brian Wilson
Tin Man- America
Time Of The Last Persecution- Bill Fay
The first movie I remember seeing in the movie theater was The Incredible Shrinking Woman with Lily Tomlin and Charles Grodin, both of whom I think are so underrated. Grodin always plays such a great cad.
My brother and I would race by foot across Interstate 10 to get to the movie complex at The Lake Forest Plaza Mall, an already-dying mall which was finally picked off by Hurricane Katrina. The fascinating website deadmalls.com discusses The Plaza and many other closed malls across America.
Here’s the beginning of The Incredible Shrinking Woman, which has a great titles sequence. It’s also one of Joel Schumacher’s first films. Written by Tomlin’s long-time partner Jane Wagner, the film is an attack on American consumerism. Lily Tomlin’s character shrinks due to “multiple chemical sensitivity disorder” when she is exposed to a heady mixture of everyday household chemicals and products.
The Incredible Shrinking Woman is less gloomy than it’s predecessor, Jack Arnold’s The Incredible Shrinking Man. Lily Tomlin finds the antidote which will make her full-grown again. Not so for the shrinking man, who after struggling against a predatory spider shrinks into nothingness while delivering this existential voiceover:
I was continuing to shrink, to become… what? The infinitesimal? What was I? Still a human being? Or was I the man of the future? If there were other bursts of radiation, other clouds drifting across seas and continents, would other beings follow me into this vast new world? So close – the infinitesimal and the infinite. But suddenly, I knew they were really the two ends of the same concept. The unbelievably small and the unbelievably vast eventually meet – like the closing of a gigantic circle. I looked up, as if somehow I would grasp the heavens. The universe, worlds beyond number, God’s silver tapestry spread across the night. And in that moment, I knew the answer to the riddle of the infinite. I had thought in terms of man’s own limited dimension. I had presumed upon nature. That existence begins and ends in man’s conception, not nature’s. And I felt my body dwindling, melting, becoming nothing. My fears melted away. And in their place came acceptance. All this vast majesty of creation, it had to mean something. And then I meant something, too. Yes, smaller than the smallest, I meant something, too. To God, there is no zero. I still exist!
Truly an amazing ending:
To God, there is no zero.
Enjoy the mix.