“Which puts me six up on the lot of you.”
Joseph Gordon-Levitt is the only actor of my generation I feel comfortable characterizing as really good. I can’t think of anyone else in their twenties who is even close to his league. Add to that his determination to be in “good movies,” and his presence in a preview can convince me to see a film. It’s not just that he’s a good actor, it’s that I trust him to make good movies. There are plenty of good actors who make a lot of bad movies, no matter how good Alec Baldwin or John C. Reilly are, I’m not convinced by their names that any given movie of theirs will be good. Not so with Gordon-Levitt (I was thinking for a shorter nickname for him, but JoGoLe sounds fucking ridiculous).
He’s got a new movie out this weekend called (500) Days of Summer co-starring indie princess (who cannot be referenced in any sort of review or article without the modifier “indie princess” or one of its derivatives) Zooey Deschanel. It’s a romantic comedy about a couple with differing views on love with some benign-sounding gender-role reversal – the girl is the one who doesn’t believe in love! – and it looks good. Plus it uses parentheses in the title.

One of the problems with not having a romantic partner is finding a way to see movies like (500) Days. They are specifically designed as date movies, but casual dating went out with the rotary phone. Asking someone to go see a romantic comedy seems to be a weighty step with implications it shouldn’t necessarily have. Going alone is a bit odd in a theatre full of couples; I’ll probably see Hurt Locker alone sometime this week, but the same doesn’t go for (500) Days. Of course this whole thing is tied up in all sorts of bullshit gender politics and ideas of masculinity and femininity, but working through it is a process. I remember dragging an ex to E Street to see Under the Same Moon because it looked great – and it was! – but date movies are for dates and I didn’t feel right going under different circumstances. This isn’t good, it’s very very sad. It’s probably a part of the grand movie studio plot to reinforce monogamous hetero relationships.
Anyway, more reasons why Joseph Gordon-Levitt is awesome: HitRecord.org. This is a site he runs where he posts his more experimental film work that isn’t fit for public distribution. Get that? He has experimental work. He describes the site as “a mass collaborative RECording arts project in progress.” For a taste, watch the video of RegularJOE (as he calls himself on his site) reading page 439 of Joyce’s Finnegan’s Wake with a series of images. Unfortunately it’s not embeddable, but please go watch it, it’s quite cool. So Joseph Gordon-Levitt not only starred in Brick, but has probably read Finnegan’s Wake. Awesome.
He’s also starring as Cobra Commander in G.I. Joe, so maybe none of this post is true, but as my mom always said, “… all the way to the bank.”

Update: Forgot to mention the video montage was done by Brick and Brothers Bloom director Rian Johnson. Awesome.