The viewer is offered a glimpse into a few weeks in the life of an elderly man named Lucky as he goes about his simple routines: morning rituals of exercise and coffee, crossword puzzles and game show viewings, truncated and awkward conversations with people who share mostly tenuous emotional connections.
The takeaway message that comes across very strongly from Lucky for Disaster Amnesiac is the elemental nature of aging. By that, I mean the way in which we are very much reduced by aging. Harry Dean Stanton does an incredible job of illustrating this fact. It seems not as if he's really acting at all, but simply making statements, statements which are boiled down to an elemental simplicity that is devoid of pretense. The man is there, and he says exactly what he is thinking. He's old, so why bother with an act, right? There is so much to be considered within this message, at least for Disaster Amnesiac, as I approach the middle of middle age.
Lucky's cinematography seems to echo this message. So many of the shots show worn down, aged structures and topography, and these shots' quiet simplicity offer the viewer a visual complement to the stripped down dialogues. The film's desert setting itself belies this.
Disaster Amnesiac does not want to venture into hyperbole, but I really do think that Lucky is a damn masterpiece of cinema. I can't recommend it highly enough for anyone over the age of forty, that is for sure. For those of us "over the hill", the message seems clear: you're fading away, but you're still present, wherever you find yourself to be. Don't fuck around with your old act. Say it straight, play it straight, and perhaps, once in a while, you'll find a little bit of luck with which to work.
Lastly, a belated RIP to Harry Dean Stanton, you always kicked major ass in your work.