Quote of the Day postsWednesday May 20, 2009
"The Graduate": Not Starring Robert Redford
[Mike] Nichols, who had championed the idea [of casting Robert Redford as Benjamin Braddock in The Graduate], surprised himself by turning the actor down. "We were friends, we had done Barefoot, I was playing pool with him, and I said, 'I'm really sad, but you can't do it. You can't play a loser,'" says Nichols. "He said, 'Of course I can play a loser!' I said, 'You can't! Look at you! How many times have you ever struck out with a woman?' And he said, I swear to you, 'What do you mean?' He didn't even understand the concept. To him, it was like saying, 'How many times have you been to a restaurant and not had a meal?'"
— from Mark Harris' "Pictures at a Revolution," pg. 237
SWJM, 27, Looking for Work
“Nonetheless, by the beginning of 1965, [Dustin] Hoffman was twenty-seven, seriously demoralized by his inability to land an acting job, and considerng a change in careers. ... [Susan] Anspach, who met him during that production [of A View from a Bridge], recalls a lunch for the cast and crew of the play at which he told her with bravado, '”You know, if I were older, I'd be playing Bobby's [Duvall] part.“ and I said, ”Sure, right, Dusty.“ And he said, ”What do you mean? I'm fuckin' talented! Ask Bobby! He'll tell you himself!“ I said to Bobby, ”Is he putting me on? He's the sweep-up guy!“ And Bobby said, ”No, it's true, he's the most talented guy among all of us.“'”
— from Mark Harris' “Pictures at a Revolution,” pg. 164
Quote of the Day
"Building is interesting, because it's ultimately impossible, I suppose, but killing is boring. It's easy to see through something—to show how stupid it is, or how wrong—but that doesn't take very long, and then you're finished. ... Killing doesn't solve the problem of boredom."
—Wendy O'Flaherty, professor at the University of Chicago's Divinity School, in Janet Malcolm's "In the Freud Archives," pg. 155
Overstates the case but it reminds me of the emptiness I feel after writing a movie review. It also reminds me that it's always easier to write a negative review than a positive one—in part because you want to do justice to the good film ("The Soloist") and could give a crap about the bad one ("Wolverine"). Writing a negative review is more freeing; you're not beholden to anything but the truth. The above quote also reminds me of most things on the Internet.
Postcard of the Day
"Heighdy! See how I'm picking up the local jargon? Things going extremely well for us. Found the graves of Clyde and Buck in abandoned cemetery overgrown with weeds. One of the strangest sensations we ever had—standing six feet over Clyde. On Monday we'll see Bonnie's. ... Bob is taking a lot of pictures. Perfect Bonnie and Clyde locations! Quite uncanny to see cities and towns that look like 1932 this year."
— David Newman (with Robert Benton), in East Texas for further research for their script, "Bonnie and Clyde," May 1964. From "Pictures at the Revolution" by Mark Harris, pg. 60
Quote of the Day
""Anvil!" owes much to Penelope Spheeris’ "Decline of Western Civilization, Pt. II: The Metal Years" and “American Movie.” In all three, the rawness of people chasing -- not living -- dreams is uncomfortable to watch, because they’ve bought the concept that what they do isn’t valid unless they become big stars... Anvil plays gigs, makes records, and has a small but avid fan base. But they always want more, they rarely talk about artistry or what they want to do with their music, and whatever success they have is contingent on how others see them."
— Jim Walsh in his MN Post review of "Anvil! The Story of Anvil."
This gets to the heart of it even if Jim, who's a friend, is, I believe, overstating his case. It could be the boys in Anvil feel that what they do isn't valid unless they make a living at it. And they don't. At 50. That's when you begin to wonder if it's all worth it. But in general I concede Jim's point—for Anvil, for our culture, for me—even if I know that, with me anyway, I'll forever be trapped between doing the thing for the thing and needing a little something in response.