Over the last 6,000 years of recorded civilisation, mankind has asked, and attempted to answer, several important questions:
Is there a God?
Does life exist on other planets?
Can society ever be truly egalitarian?
And yet, so far, no-one has attempted to answer this:
Is it possible to win the lottery by watching Nicolas Cage films?
Watching every screen appearance of Nicolas Cage, chronologically, could constitute a ritualistic act of magic with the power to affect the fabric of reality.
I will watch every screen appearance of Nicolas Cage. After each viewing, I will enter the next main UK National Lottery draw, choosing numbers inspired by the latest instalment of Cage. And if I am right, I will win. Eventually.
Why do I believe this is going to work? Because a Nicolas Cage performance is itself a magical act. I’m not just speaking metaphorically, Cage is on record as saying that part of his process — which he has referred to as the ‘nouveau shamanic’ — includes sewing ancient Egyptian artefacts into his costumes and walking around sets in “voodoo” face-paint scaring his fellow actors.
Ordinarily one could reasonably put this down to either pretension or an attempt to wind up interviewers to alleviate the endless boredom of press junkets, but it’s fairly obvious from watching Cage’s performances that whether from within or without he’s successfully summoning something. His performances are so powerfully ludicrous (to, admittedly, somewhat variable effect) that it’s difficult to imagine that they’re the result of a rational thought process.
So I’m going to believe him, accept him as my personal shaman, and let him lead me on a magical journey through the last 35-odd years of cinema. And I am going to win the lottery.