Monday, March 03, 2008

David Mamet's Red Belt.

You know what I like -- fancy dialogue and ass kicking. It is one of the reasons Kill Bill appeals to me so much. And now David Mamet has a mixed martial arts movie coming out. Awesome.



I do not know what the guy from Home Improvement is doing here, or Paolo from LOST, but I trust me some David Mamet, and I know I like the guy from Serenity and Dirty Pretty Things.

I have been watching 24 and The Unit on DVD and my head keeps coming back to this fantasy football idea: I wish David Mamet would write 24. That way I could get large scale plotting, and also dialogue I can remember. Right now those traits are isolated one on 24 and one on The Unit, and never the twain do meet.

On the subject of David Mamet, I recently got into a conversation with a friend about Mamet's wife, Rebecca Pidgeon. My friend Erin, and Sara, hate her because she is stilted and weird, and, they say, an awful actress only in these movies because she is Mamet's wife. But to me, David Mamet creates an alternate universe where everyone can talk in this fascinating, mannered way, a style practiced with a metronome. Like the overblown dialogue of Sin City many actors get it, and many do not, but Pidgeon, to my ear, is one of the few who appears to be a native of whatever alternate universe land this language comes from. A land where words are made up of distinct syllables carefully weighted and measured, and curse words are the stuff of poetry. These clips involving her are not great, but they are all I could find on YouTube.

The trailer for the Spanish Prisoner:



A scene from State and Main:



[If you have not seen these films, or Spartan or the underrated The Edge, you should see them immediately if these clips interest you even only a little.]

It is something about the way she pronounces vowels and weighs the syllables. Everything is distinct -- giving the impression that language, you know, matters, as more than a vehicle for getting stuff communicated.

12 comments:

Marc Caputo said...

Thank God - someone else out there who shares my love of Pidgeon.

The Spanish Prisoner is one of those films that I haven't had a bad return on recommending - everyone I pitch it too ends up loving it.

Of course, I only recommend it to cool people.

So there's that.

Voice Of The Eagle said...

My favorite Mamet line?

"Everybody loves money, that's why they call it money."

I love the nonsense logic of that.

Mitch said...

Tim Allen is probably in this movie because "Galaxy Quest" is one of David Mamet's favorite movies.

And no, that's not the most creative thing I've ever made up. At the end of his new book "Bambi vs. Godzilla," Mamet has an insane list of his favorite movies of all time. I was MYSTIFIED to find Galaxy Quest in there; he praised it for it's tight story structure and smart humor.

patrickryanmoler said...

That MMA movie concept looks pretty stupid. No fighter would ever agree to that arm strapped down thing and no Athletic commision would allow it, Based on this and Never Back Down. I doubt any director has ever seen MMA. hahaha..eh..though Randy Couture is in it. He's the greatest.

Mario said...

"Don't you want to her my last words?"


"I just did."

Marc Caputo said...

Re: "The Edge". If I remember correctly - I saw it in the theaters on a Monday afternoon in the fall - I thought it was really intense, but a little obvious for Mamet. Then I checked - he didn't direct it. I'm thinking he directs his scripts better than others do. Hmmmm...

pla said...

You know, I watched the trailer before I finished reading the post, and the first thing I thought was "Hey, no sign of Rebecca Pidgeon. Maybe I'll see this one." Clearly, I side with your friend Erin.

Kenney said...

Wow, a movie based on MMA that has a chance to be good? I'm there!

I'm pretty new to Mamet, only having seen one of his movies(Glenn Ross), but I enjoyed his overblown dialog. I tend to enjoy writers who write people in a way where your first inclination is to think "People don't really talk like that." That's what makes it fun.

Kenney said...

Mitch, I can't say I am. While it seems cheesy on the surface, Galaxy Quest is one of the better scifi movies to come out of the late 90's.

A definite overlooked classic.

But then again, I love Starship Troopers so what do I know.

Geoff Klock said...

Marc -- everyone I have shown it to too.

VoE -- one of my favorites too. Also the "What one man can do another can do" speech from The Edge.

Mitch -- I am with Mamet. Galaxy Quest is a great movie, in part because it is a spoof with real heart, and in part because it is just a well scripted movie. I get choked up when Alan Rickman gives the "Vulcan" last rights to dying alien dude from -- is it the guy from Just Shoot Me or someone else? It is a really persuasive moment where he goes from hating all that stupid dialogue to realizing that while it is stupid, it really matters to people, and that is more important.

Mario -- oh! Good one too!

Marc -- he does

Kenny -- GG is great play, but I prefer his movies that started as movies.

Who does not like Starship Troopers?

Mitch said...

Jack Nicholson says vote for Hillary:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tsweXFpfa28

Jason Powell said...

"I get choked up when Alan Rickman gives the "Vulcan" last rights to dying alien dude from -- is it the guy from Just Shoot Me or someone else?"

I do too! (It is someone else. The "Just Shoot Me" guy lives -- and goes on to be the dad on Veronica Mars.)