Thursday, August 21, 2008

Affinity

This "feature" will be an ongoing series of pictures of artists (writers, filmmakers, actors, musicians...you know, artists) that I not only like, but who I, you know, really like. In other words, artists I have a special affinity for. See? Anyhow, apart from this brief introduction, they will, I think, be picture-only posts. This sort of thing is known as "padding". So let's begin...



26 comments:

Jonathan Lapper said...

Padding's a good thing. Seriously, though, putting up pics may be an easy post but it often kickstarts a good discussion. Too many bloggers think every post has to be an intense dissertation on the semiotics of film language and how one evaluates the ontological ramifications of Algerian cinema's preponderance of tracking shots used within montage to symbolize the ... Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz...

I'm not 20 anymore, I don't want to attend film class again. I want to discuss my love for film with people who also love it dearly and I want it to show in every post I do even if it's intended only for humor.

As for padding I'll let Homer have the final word, spoken to Bart after Bart declared work is for chumps:

"Son, I'm proud of you. I was twice your age before I figured that out."

Jonathan Lapper said...

Oh yes, and how did I know the first pic you'd put up would be Mamet? I must be psychic.

Fox said...

Love it. Not only do I like Mamet, the man, but I've always thought he had a very uniquely shaped head. (I'm not being goofy about that either, I really think it's an interesting looking head.)

bill r. said...

Jonathan - Knowing my e-mail address probably helped you puzzle that one out.

Speaking of e-mail, I got your last one. Holy smokes, that's a lot to digest. I'll have to get back to you, but thanks for making me aware of all the things I still need to do.

Fox - Yes, he's a uniquely shaped man.

Jonathan Lapper said...

Yeah, sorry. It was kind of an electronic book more than an electronic mail. None of that stuff is "immediate attention required", just kind of a "so you know" thing. I think I was blogging for a couple of months before I even knew what technorati was or bothered to set up a sitemeter account.

Fox said...

Bill, maybe you read this already, but I loved this recent little article about him in TIME that talks about his obsessive obsession with martial arts (it's really short):

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1738510,00.html

bill r. said...

Okay. I won't sweat it for now, then.

But back to Mamet: word is that his masterpiece (his film masterpiece, anyway) Homicide will be Criterion-ized sometime next year.

About goddamn time. Also, woo-hoo!!

Fox said...

That's welcome news on Homicide. I too love that film. When I got into Mamet I started in order, House of Games, Things Change, Homicide... and still, when I got to Homicide I was like "this is weird, why are these people acting so bizarre??" That was initially brought about by the performance of Lindsay Crouse in House of Games which I still like to defend as a really great performance.

bill r. said...

Well, defend away, Fox, because even a die-hard fan like me has trouble with Crouse's performance. I actually did like it quite a bit more the last time I watched the film, after Criterion released it, and I know that's not her normal style, so it must have been deliberate, either on her part or Mamet's. But it's a hard performance to love.

Some of the supporting work in Homicide really does make me cringe a little, like the rich doctor who sees someone on his roof. But I think some of that has to do with working with what ya got.

I will defend Rebecca Pidgeon's work in Mamet's films until I'm blue in the face, however.

Fox said...

Whoa... you swooped in at the last second and stopped me from possibly getting into deeper water with you.

I was gonna say that I often get into friendly spats with my wife over defending Rebecca Pidgeon (I love her in The Spanish Prisoner and Heist). But then you said it first! Hi-Five! Watch, now Lapper's gonna come in and ruin the love by saying Pidgeon can suck an egg.

Fox said...

p.s. See how right Lapper was about "padding" stirring up talk?

Sadly, I get more comments when I put up a pick of some chick's boobs then when I write a thoughtful (thoughtful to me...) review.

ok... that was a sidenote... don't let me distract the attention from Mamet.

bill r. said...

You put up pictures of boobs?? Sweet!

I really think Pidgeon is great. I honestly haven't seen a performance of hers that I didn't like to some degree. And my wife likes her, too, so no spats on our end.

Have you seen Oleanna? I love the songs she and Mamet co-wrote, and which she sings, in it, and I wish she hadn't gotten knocked up, as she was originally going to star in that opposite Macy. She would have been a lot better than Deborah Eisenstadt (who wasn't terrible, but I would have preferred Pidgeon).

But anyway, as much as I love Mamet as a director -- and I do -- I think everyone can agree that the single greatest film made from his work is Glengarry Glen Ross. Frickin' James Foley should only make Mamet films. He gets that dialogue like nobody else. He's has a fairly undistinguished career outside of that film (I know that At Close Range has a lot of admirers, but I'm not really one of them), so I think he should do whatever it takes to get hold of more Mamet properties. I would love to see him tackle more of that.

Marilyn said...

Don't blame Crouse. Mamet can't write women characters for shit.

Jonathan Lapper said...

I thought Pidgeon was utterly bizarre in State and Main and it completely worked for me. That fishhook line, "I'm right proud of you" is so weird especially with her delivery. It's like her character is taking part in different conversations than those who think they're talking to her.

bill r. said...

Marilyn, I was going to say, "Now hold on there!", and then offer examples showing you why you're wrong. But I couldn't really come up with any great female Mamet characters. I don't think they're that bad (and, in fact, would offer up Pidgeon's role in State and Main as maybe the exception that proves your rule), but that's certainly not his strong suit.

Although, he does have a play, which is supposed to be quite good, called Boston Marriage, which is a three character play, all female. I haven't read it or seen it performed myself, but that might be worth looking into.

Jonathan - I love every reading that Pidgeon gives to the line "Go you Huskies!"

Marilyn said...

He's gotten marginally better over the MANY years he's been writing. Remember, Crouse starred in his early works, when he was clueless. Probably why she divorced him.

Boston Marriage is either a turkey or has manly women. I've just never seen a fully realized woman in any of his works, and I've seen just about everything he's done.

bill r. said...

"Boston Marriage is either a turkey or has manly women."

Are you saying that based on having read, or seen, the play?

Marilyn said...

No, and I'd be delighted to read or see it. I'm basing it on my experiences with Mamet's works. I'd like to be proven wrong, but the concept smacks of Mamet trying to prove "yes I can write women." I reserve judgment, but I doubt it.

bill r. said...

I need to read it. I have it, and it would only take me an hour or so. I don't know what I'm waiting for.

Just out of curiosity, do you like Mamet, despite that weakness of his?

Brian Doan said...

I blow hot and cold on Mamet, but I really like The Spanish Prisoner, an absolutely tight and darkly funny thriller that uses Steve Martin and Campbell Scott as well as they've ever been used in films.

I also wanted to weigh in on J-Lapp's initial point-- padding is a good thing, but I'm also not sure it's padding. "Writing" on a blog, methinks, is as much about images and sound as it is words, especially if you are writing about movies and tv (I love writing and reading lengthy posts, but the snobbery I've seen on some blogs-- the condescension, let's say-- about the primacy of the word can really grate after awhile). So, yeah, bring on the pictures!

bill r. said...

Scott and Martin -- particularly Martin -- are fantastic in The Spanish Prisoner. God, Steve Martin is so great in that. "We're not electing him Pope, are we?"

As I said, this is going to be a series, maybe once a week, something like that. So there will be pictures! I wanted to have pictures in the Dostoyevsky post, but I guess I was doing something wrong, because it never looked smooth. I'll have to tinker around with it.

Rick Olson said...

I like padding. And pictures. And Mamet. And especially Rebecca Pidgeon.

There. Did I cover all the bases? That's what I get for going to Birmingham. A day late and a dollar short.

Oh yeah, and I think Marilyn's right and he doesn't write female characters for shit. You can take the gun off me now ...

Rick Olson said...

Oh yeah, and The Spanish Fly, I mean Prisoner

Marilyn said...

Would I diss a hometown boy? Mamet's my man, and I've loved all of his stage work and quite a few of his films, especially the underrated The Winslow Boy. He's just so plugged into the world of men, though, that he's tone-deaf to the way women think and sound. That's ok, and also why American Buffalo and Glengarry Glen Ross are his best works.

bill r. said...

Yeah, I knew you were from Chicago, so the idea of you disliking Mamet seemed odd.

I wish I could have seen the production of American Buffalo with John Savage, Kenneth MacMillan and Robert Duvall. That must have been amazing. The film version, I thought, was a real letdown.

And I agree - The Winslow Boy is extremely underrated.

Jonathan Lapper said...

Did you guys know that coffee is for closers? Cause it's true. It's for closers.

Man, I hope I win that set of steak knives!

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