David Mamet

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domino harvey
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David Mamet

#1 Post by domino harvey » Wed Nov 06, 2013 6:31 pm

Image

DAVID MAMET (1947 - )

The ancient film wisdom is any film can be made better by burning the first reel-- and it's true. How many times you watched a movie and 12 minutes in you go 'Well, why didn't you fuckin' start there?'


F I L M O G R A P H Y - AS DIRECTOR

House of Games (1987) R1 Criterion

Things Change (1988) R1 Sony

Homicide (1991) R1 Criterion

Oleanna (1994) R1 MGM OOP

Ricky Jay and His 52 Assistants (1996)

the Spanish Prisoner (1997) R1 Sony OOP

the Winslow Boy (1999) R1 Sony OOP

State and Main (2000) R1 New Line OOP

Heist (2001) R1 Warners

Spartan (2004) R1 Warners

Redbelt (2008) R1/A Warners

Phil Spector (2013) R1 Warner Archives


F I L M O G R A P H Y - AS WRITER ONLY

the Postman Always Rings Twice (1981) R1/A Warners

the Verdict (1982) R1/A Fox

the Untouchables (1987) R1/A Paramount

We're No Angels (1989) R1 Paramount

Glengarry Glen Ross (1992) R1 Sony

Vanya on 42nd Street (1994) R1/A Criterion

American Buffalo (1996) R1 MGM OOP

Wag the Dog (1997) R1 New Line OOP

the Edge (1997)) R1/A Fox

Ronin (1998) R1/A MGM

Lakeboat (2000) R1 MTI

Hannibal (2001) R1 MGM

Edmond (2005) R1 First Independent


P A S T DISCUSSION
399 House of Games
486 Homicide
599 Vanya on 42nd Street
Edmond
the Legitimate Stage
Phil Spector
Redbelt
the Spanish Prisoner
Spartan
Last edited by domino harvey on Thu Nov 07, 2013 12:40 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: David Mamet

#2 Post by swo17 » Wed Nov 06, 2013 6:37 pm

Nice job Photoshopping Mamet from today alongside Rebecca Pidgeon from 20 years ago.

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Even here it ain't a David Mamet pic without Rebecca Pidgeon

#3 Post by domino harvey » Wed Nov 06, 2013 6:40 pm

swo17 wrote:Nice job Photoshopping Mamet from today alongside Rebecca Pidgeon from 20 years ago.
Have you seen Phil Spector? It is unreal how she does not appear to have aged at all in the twenty-plus years since Homicide

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Re: David Mamet

#4 Post by swo17 » Wed Nov 06, 2013 6:44 pm

Not yet. I see now that it came out on MOD DVD a couple months ago. I really need to stop relying on Netflix as the arbiter of release dates.

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Re: David Mamet

#5 Post by domino harvey » Wed Nov 06, 2013 6:51 pm

There's a 720p rip from the HBO airing you know where...

And visual evidence of Rebecca Pidgeon's deal with the devil (perhaps it was Satan, stopping by one autumn evening to finalize their bargain, who put the "You're a Republican, and not like a Jon Hunstman Republican" bug in Mamet's ear?):

Image

And 22 years later...

Image

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Re: David Mamet

#6 Post by mfunk9786 » Wed Nov 06, 2013 6:56 pm

Hey, Raquel, it's Rebecca. I was talking to Gina Gershon and she mentioned that you recommended the lord of darkness to her... do you happen to still have his number? She misplaced it. Yeah, I'll hold - really appreciate it.

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Re: David Mamet

#7 Post by domino harvey » Wed Nov 06, 2013 7:14 pm

This thread's creation was a long time coming (now that Soderbergh is retired I would go as far as to call Mamet the greatest working director around, and I would defend this to the death-- bring it), but it was jogged into fruition by me finally picking up a handful of Mamet plays I'd been waiting to read and I had some rare downtime at work to fit in some readings:

Race probably would have hit harder if I hadn't already seen Mamet cycle through the most interesting ideas with concern to the legal system in Phil Spector. Still, Race is filled with classic, angry Mamet lines ("That quote's out of context" -- "Yes, that's the definition of a quote!") and the racial instigation isn't as hokey as its critics made it out to be. The last line's regrettable, but the rest is on the higher end of Mamet plays. One I look forward to returning to soon.

Boston Marriage is decidedly minor Mamet, with the mashup of Victorian propriety and the occasional vulgar remark that never really exploits the disparity for dramatic gain but just feels awkward. I mean, I can imagine it might've been fun to see Felicity Huffman and Rebecca Pidgeon trade barbs about farting while dressed in lace chokers et al, but it looses something on the page. Still, a pleasant enough diversion for a quick hour's read.

I hadn't even heard of his latest play, the Anarchist, but after reading it and being absolutely bewildered at what the fuck just happened, I Googled and discovered it did, as the book accurately relays, open on Broadway in December of last year. What the intro to the play leaves out is that it closed within a day of officially premiering, which sounds unbelievable unless you've actually suffered through this either on page or on stage. Holy shit, what was Mamet thinking? It's not even actively bad. It's not actively anything. It takes over half the play to even figure out the premise, and even then nothing happens. Nothing happens. Like, at all. Period. A former counterculture Weather Underground-type is up for parole. Her (Parole officer? Nun? Sci-fi totalitarian guardian?) grills her before her hearing, and by grill I mean talks sideways at her. And for such a short play, it feels eight times longer than the not much lengthier Race. It's telling that the only positive review I could find was from TownHall! Avoid, even if you like me are a Mamet-apologist

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Re: David Mamet

#8 Post by Professor Wagstaff » Wed Nov 06, 2013 7:40 pm

I like to believe that Rebecca Pidgeon bathes in the liquidated dreams of Lindsay Crouse's 'what could have been' career, something akin to the fear soup from "Are You Afraid of the Dark?".

Thank you, Domino, for reminding me that I once had tickets to see "The Anarchist" in a failed attempt to see Debra Winger on B'way. Did you read "November" as well?

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Re: David Mamet

#9 Post by domino harvey » Wed Nov 06, 2013 7:48 pm

Not yet, it's in the stack of Mamets yet to be read, as is his "Why I'm a conservative now" book I got dirt cheap on Amazon. I guess now's the time to read November, calendar-wise! FYI Mamet also has a book of three war-themed short stories called, appropriately enough, Three War Stories, coming out next week. Mamet initially self-released one of the stories to Kindle et al earlier this year, though I'm not sure if the printed collection is a DIY affair as well-- the NYT article seems to suggest it is

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Re: David Mamet

#10 Post by Professor Wagstaff » Wed Nov 06, 2013 7:56 pm

Thanks for the heads-up. I'll definitely check out "Three War Stories" sometime soon. It will make for a nice Mamet-themed project when I revisit "Bambi vs. Godzilla" over the holidays as I planned.

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Re: David Mamet

#11 Post by matrixschmatrix » Wed Nov 06, 2013 8:10 pm

How does his writing compare to his screenwriting and film work? He's one of those guys where I love a lot of his output- I'm continually finding out that something like Ronin, where it seemed just smarter and more fun than it needed to be, was secretly something he rewrote- but his voice when speaking as himself in commentaries and articles and such is kind of unbearable, in a James Ellroy kind of way.

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Re: David Mamet

#12 Post by warren oates » Wed Nov 06, 2013 11:07 pm

Thanks for suffering through The Anarchist for us, domino. I myself only made it about 10 pages in before giving up. I'll be surprised if you get that far into his conservative screed, bargain purchase or not.

So I'm also curious, with respect to all your Mamet boosterism, if you've seen any of his work on The Unit? For me, seasons 1-3 of the show are seriously underrated in general, but especially amongst my more thinky friends and in these parts. Yet I'd argue that his contributions to the show and its place in his body of work can't be ignored and, for me, represent some of his very best storytelling.

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Re: David Mamet

#13 Post by domino harvey » Thu Nov 07, 2013 12:11 am

I haven't but I've been meaning to check it out-- cursory look on Amazon shows it's going for cheap. Have you seen Mamet's great (unfortunately all-caps) memo about the series?
"TO THE WRITERS OF THE UNIT

GREETINGS.

AS WE LEARN HOW TO WRITE THIS SHOW, A RECURRING PROBLEM BECOMES CLEAR.

THE PROBLEM IS THIS: TO DIFFERENTIATE BETWEEN DRAMA AND NON-DRAMA. LET ME BREAK-IT-DOWN-NOW.

EVERYONE IN CREATION IS SCREAMING AT US TO MAKE THE SHOW CLEAR. WE ARE TASKED WITH, IT SEEMS, CRAMMING A SHITLOAD OF INFORMATION INTO A LITTLE BIT OF TIME.

OUR FRIENDS. THE PENGUINS, THINK THAT WE, THEREFORE, ARE EMPLOYED TO COMMUNICATE INFORMATION -- AND, SO, AT TIMES, IT SEEMS TO US.

BUT NOTE:THE AUDIENCE WILL NOT TUNE IN TO WATCH INFORMATION. YOU WOULDN'T, I WOULDN'T. NO ONE WOULD OR WILL. THE AUDIENCE WILL ONLY TUNE IN AND STAY TUNED TO WATCH DRAMA.

QUESTION:WHAT IS DRAMA? DRAMA, AGAIN, IS THE QUEST OF THE HERO TO OVERCOME THOSE THINGS WHICH PREVENT HIM FROM ACHIEVING A SPECIFIC, ACUTE GOAL.

SO: WE, THE WRITERS, MUST ASK OURSELVES OF EVERY SCENE THESE THREE QUESTIONS.

1) WHO WANTS WHAT?

2) WHAT HAPPENS IF HER DON'T GET IT?

3) WHY NOW?

THE ANSWERS TO THESE QUESTIONS ARE LITMUS PAPER. APPLY THEM, AND THEIR ANSWER WILL TELL YOU IF THE SCENE IS DRAMATIC OR NOT.

IF THE SCENE IS NOT DRAMATICALLY WRITTEN, IT WILL NOT BE DRAMATICALLY ACTED.

THERE IS NO MAGIC FAIRY DUST WHICH WILL MAKE A BORING, USELESS, REDUNDANT, OR MERELY INFORMATIVE SCENE AFTER IT LEAVES YOUR TYPEWRITER. YOU THE WRITERS, ARE IN CHARGE OF MAKING SURE EVERY SCENE IS DRAMATIC.

THIS MEANS ALL THE "LITTLE" EXPOSITIONAL SCENES OF TWO PEOPLE TALKING ABOUT A THIRD. THIS BUSHWAH (AND WE ALL TEND TO WRITE IT ON THE FIRST DRAFT) IS LESS THAN USELESS, SHOULD IT FINALLY, GOD FORBID, GET FILMED.

IF THE SCENE BORES YOU WHEN YOU READ IT, REST ASSURED IT WILL BORE THE ACTORS, AND WILL, THEN, BORE THE AUDIENCE, AND WE'RE ALL GOING TO BE BACK IN THE BREADLINE.

SOMEONE HAS TO MAKE THE SCENE DRAMATIC. IT IS NOT THE ACTORS JOB (THE ACTORS JOB IS TO BE TRUTHFUL). IT IS NOT THE DIRECTORS JOB. HIS OR HER JOB IS TO FILM IT STRAIGHTFORWARDLY AND REMIND THE ACTORS TO TALK FAST. IT IS YOUR JOB.

EVERY SCENE MUST BE DRAMATIC. THAT MEANS: THE MAIN CHARACTER MUST HAVE A SIMPLE, STRAIGHTFORWARD, PRESSING NEED WHICH IMPELS HIM OR HER TO SHOW UP IN THE SCENE.

THIS NEED IS WHY THEY CAME. IT IS WHAT THE SCENE IS ABOUT. THEIR ATTEMPT TO GET THIS NEED MET WILL LEAD, AT THE END OF THE SCENE,TO FAILURE - THIS IS HOW THE SCENE IS OVER. IT, THIS FAILURE, WILL, THEN, OF NECESSITY, PROPEL US INTO THE NEXT SCENE.

ALL THESE ATTEMPTS, TAKEN TOGETHER, WILL, OVER THE COURSE OF THE EPISODE, CONSTITUTE THE PLOT.

ANY SCENE, THUS, WHICH DOES NOT BOTH ADVANCE THE PLOT, AND STANDALONE (THAT IS, DRAMATICALLY, BY ITSELF, ON ITS OWN MERITS) IS EITHER SUPERFLUOUS, OR INCORRECTLY WRITTEN.

YES BUT YES BUT YES BUT, YOU SAY: WHAT ABOUT THE NECESSITY OF WRITING IN ALL THAT "INFORMATION?"

AND I RESPOND "FIGURE IT OUT" ANY DICKHEAD WITH A BLUESUIT CAN BE (AND IS) TAUGHT TO SAY "MAKE IT CLEARER", AND "I WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT HIM".

WHEN YOU'VE MADE IT SO CLEAR THAT EVEN THIS BLUESUITED PENGUIN IS HAPPY, BOTH YOU AND HE OR SHE WILL BE OUT OF A JOB.

THE JOB OF THE DRAMATIST IS TO MAKE THE AUDIENCE WONDER WHAT HAPPENS NEXT. NOT TO EXPLAIN TO THEM WHAT JUST HAPPENED, OR TO*SUGGEST* TO THEM WHAT HAPPENS NEXT.

ANY DICKHEAD, AS ABOVE, CAN WRITE, "BUT, JIM, IF WE DON'T ASSASSINATE THE PRIME MINISTER IN THE NEXT SCENE, ALL EUROPE WILL BE ENGULFED IN FLAME"

WE ARE NOT GETTING PAID TO REALIZE THAT THE AUDIENCE NEEDS THIS INFORMATION TO UNDERSTAND THE NEXT SCENE, BUT TO FIGURE OUT HOW TO WRITE THE SCENE BEFORE US SUCH THAT THE AUDIENCE WILL BE INTERESTED IN WHAT HAPPENS NEXT.

YES BUT, YES BUT YES BUT YOU REITERATE.

AND I RESPOND FIGURE IT OUT.

HOW DOES ONE STRIKE THE BALANCE BETWEEN WITHHOLDING AND VOUCHSAFING INFORMATION? THAT IS THE ESSENTIAL TASK OF THE DRAMATIST. AND THE ABILITY TO DO THAT IS WHAT SEPARATES YOU FROM THE LESSER SPECIES IN THEIR BLUE SUITS.

FIGURE IT OUT.

START, EVERY TIME, WITH THIS INVIOLABLE RULE: THE SCENE MUST BE DRAMATIC. it must start because the hero HAS A PROBLEM, AND IT MUST CULMINATE WITH THE HERO FINDING HIM OR HERSELF EITHER THWARTED OR EDUCATED THAT ANOTHER WAY EXISTS.

LOOK AT YOUR LOG LINES. ANY LOGLINE READING "BOB AND SUE DISCUSS..." IS NOT DESCRIBING A DRAMATIC SCENE.

PLEASE NOTE THAT OUR OUTLINES ARE, GENERALLY, SPECTACULAR. THE DRAMA FLOWS OUT BETWEEN THE OUTLINE AND THE FIRST DRAFT.

THINK LIKE A FILMMAKER RATHER THAN A FUNCTIONARY, BECAUSE, IN TRUTH, YOU ARE MAKING THE FILM. WHAT YOU WRITE, THEY WILL SHOOT.

HERE ARE THE DANGER SIGNALS. ANY TIME TWO CHARACTERS ARE TALKING ABOUT A THIRD, THE SCENE IS A CROCK OF SHIT.

ANY TIME ANY CHARACTER IS SAYING TO ANOTHER "AS YOU KNOW", THAT IS, TELLING ANOTHER CHARACTER WHAT YOU, THE WRITER, NEED THE AUDIENCE TO KNOW, THE SCENE IS A CROCK OF SHIT.

DO NOT WRITE A CROCK OF SHIT. WRITE A RIPPING THREE, FOUR, SEVEN MINUTE SCENE WHICH MOVES THE STORY ALONG, AND YOU CAN, VERY SOON, BUY A HOUSE IN BEL AIR AND HIRE SOMEONE TO LIVE THERE FOR YOU.

REMEMBER YOU ARE WRITING FOR A VISUAL MEDIUM. MOST TELEVISION WRITING, OURS INCLUDED, SOUNDS LIKE RADIO. THE CAMERA CAN DO THE EXPLAINING FOR YOU. LET IT. WHAT ARE THE CHARACTERS DOING -*LITERALLY*. WHAT ARE THEY HANDLING, WHAT ARE THEY READING. WHAT ARE THEY WATCHING ON TELEVISION, WHAT ARE THEY SEEING.

IF YOU PRETEND THE CHARACTERS CANT SPEAK, AND WRITE A SILENT MOVIE, YOU WILL BE WRITING GREAT DRAMA.

IF YOU DEPRIVE YOURSELF OF THE CRUTCH OF NARRATION, EXPOSITION,INDEED, OF SPEECH. YOU WILL BE FORGED TO WORK IN A NEW MEDIUM - TELLING THE STORY IN PICTURES (ALSO KNOWN AS SCREENWRITING)

THIS IS A NEW SKILL. NO ONE DOES IT NATURALLY. YOU CAN TRAIN YOURSELVES TO DO IT, BUT YOU NEED TO START.

I CLOSE WITH THE ONE THOUGHT: LOOK AT THE SCENE AND ASK YOURSELF "IS IT DRAMATIC? IS IT ESSENTIAL? DOES IT ADVANCE THE PLOT?

ANSWER TRUTHFULLY.

IF THE ANSWER IS "NO" WRITE IT AGAIN OR THROW IT OUT. IF YOU'VE GOT ANY QUESTIONS, CALL ME UP.

LOVE, DAVE MAMET

SANTA MONICA 19 OCTO 05

(IT IS NOT YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO KNOW THE ANSWERS, BUT IT IS YOUR, AND MY, RESPONSIBILITY TO KNOW AND TO ASK THE RIGHT Questions OVER AND OVER. UNTIL IT BECOMES SECOND NATURE. I BELIEVE THEY ARE LISTED ABOVE.)"

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Re: David Mamet

#14 Post by warren oates » Thu Nov 07, 2013 12:17 am

Yes, I love that memo. He's written plenty about writing over the years (including when he's actually purporting to write about directing or acting), but nothing that more concisely or honestly distills his approach. Can you imagine writing an episode and just knowing you'd have to be handing it in to him? That pressure alone elevated the quality of the show way beyond what it might have been otherwise.

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Re: David Mamet

#15 Post by domino harvey » Thu Nov 07, 2013 12:37 am

All right, I picked up the first two seasons for ~$13 each, seems like a small enough risk!

And Matrix, if you have any interest in playwriting, I strongly recommend Mamet's Three Uses of the Knife-- Mamet is always confident in his essays/prose, but not necessarily in an overbearing "Look at me" fashion. In interviews and commentaries, he's more than happy to play the quote-dropping superior part, but it doesn't factor as heavily in the prose I've read (of course, I suspect that's not the case with the Secret Knowledge but I'll have to find out firsthand soon)

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Re: David Mamet

#16 Post by HJackson » Sun Nov 10, 2013 5:59 am

warren oates wrote:I myself only made it about 10 pages in before giving up. I'll be surprised if you get that far into his conservative screed, bargain purchase or not.
How bad is it? The article in which he outed himself as a conservative back in 2008 was hardly Oakeshott, but I didn't really find it offensively misjudged or ill-informed.

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Re: David Mamet

#17 Post by Mr Sausage » Sun Nov 10, 2013 6:40 am

This about sums it up.

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Re: David Mamet

#18 Post by domino harvey » Sun Nov 10, 2013 10:12 am

I started the book a couple days ago but haven't been overly compelled to pick it up again. No doubt I'll eventually get to it, as the chapters are short and self-contained, so I can read it at my leisure, but it's hard to be too excited about it. I had hoped that the book would be filled with interesting/provocative statements justifying Mamet's (full) turn to conservatism-- I have no problem reading something I disagree with so long as I can see where the other side is coming from. Unfortunately I've already encountered assertions that make no sense-- almost immediately Mamet makes fun of those who use arguments like "We fund NASA but can't solve poverty" (paraphrasing) by saying that there's only so much money and when you spend the money in one place you can't spend the money elsewhere, backing this up by saying "I know this because I have a checkbook." Anyone over the age of five can see the problem with this logic though: Mamet is a successful playwright and filmmaker but the US gov't still has slightly more money than him and does not spend everything in one place. It's a position my students would never get away with and yet his editors had no problem keeping it in. And he's already thrown Brecht and Marx under the bus, so it's kinda sad that the book is already shaping up to be not convincing arguments for a rebirth of political awareness but ego-bolstering arrogance more than anything. If Mamet wanted to write a book about how he's the world's greatest author, I would at least be willing to entertain that ego trip given that he has a better claim at that title than most. But based on the arguments put forth so far, he can't make the same claim as being one of our greatest political minds-- even Glenn Beck makes more sense than this (and backs his claims up with theological reasoning, which is at least evidence, however wrongheaded)

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Re: David Mamet

#19 Post by swo17 » Sun Nov 10, 2013 12:50 pm

domino harvey wrote:Anyone over the age of five can see the problem with this logic though: Mamet is a successful playwright and filmmaker but the US gov't still has slightly more money than him and does not spend everything in one place.
I'd wager though that David Mamet has more money to spend per Mamet than the U.S. government has to spend per citizen.

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Re: David Mamet

#20 Post by matrixschmatrix » Sun Nov 10, 2013 4:59 pm

It's frustrating when someone whose work is so relentlessly adult- the guy who wrote Oleanna and Sexual Perversity in Chicago- has such childishly reductive argumentation, and comparing affirmative action to the Dred Scott case makes me want to reconsider if his viewpoint in other places is actually much less complex than the text would seem to imply. Like, knowing that he's a Zionist of the school that believes that Jews in Israel are good and Arabs there are murderous zealots makes watching Homicide a different experience, and not in a good way.

edit: Haha, my lord, when Christopher Hitchens is shitting on your book for being underthought and underargued reactionary propaganda, that can't be good news

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Re: David Mamet

#21 Post by knives » Sun Nov 10, 2013 5:18 pm

I think Mamet is just a poor direct communicator. Something like Homicide seems more complex because it is. He's great at communicating ideas through others' mouths but pretty piss poor in an essay format. I also suspect he is more than a little bandwagon happy.

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Re: David Mamet

#22 Post by oh yeah » Sun Nov 10, 2013 5:44 pm

Speaking of Homicide that's easily my favorite Mamet-directed film out of the paltry three I've seen -- the Mamet-isms are all present, the dialogue's beautifully clipped and unnatural, but it also contains for me a surprising emotional wallop in the disintegration of Bobby Gold's identity, and his failure to belong to any one group at the end. The protagonist-gets-conned thing was powerful, because it was attached to some real potent real-life issues. The Spanish Prisoner just felt like empty narrative trickery by contrast; I do really enjoy House of Games, though. Anyway, what I'm wondering is did Mamet make any other films comparable with Homicide, or even Games? Stuff that possesses a strong emotional core despite the word-games. Also, something at least visually a little interesting. I love Deakin's work on Homicide, all burnished browns, stark black-and-whites and flaming, dangerous reds.

Also, this is a little tangential, but part of what I really like about those two films is the increasingly surreal plot where the protagonist (whom we know no more than) is taken on a wild goose-chase into deeper and deeper "hidden" worlds -- there is a hint at least that the whole thing is merely a charade, but it feels dangerous -- at the end coming out a different person. If this could be considered a sub-genre, it'd be one of my favorites; I'd also include After Hours, Eyes Wide Shut, The Game (which I find quite flawed but still a great ride), Blue Velvet, and maybe De Palma's Body Double (though maybe my mind's clouded from being obsessed with that film lately). This could be a thread of its own, but if you have any other suggestions of films that fit this somewhat vague description, feel free to add.

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Re: David Mamet

#23 Post by Professor Wagstaff » Sun Nov 10, 2013 6:24 pm

I've heard mixed things about the film adaptation of "Oleanna" over the years, but the recent surge of Mamet conversation on the boards has encouraged me to finally check it and "Spartan" out from the library since those are two blank spots for me with his directorial work. I've overlooked "Oleanna" for a long time and I'm hoping someone on the boards can give me some insight as to what didn't work in the play's adaptation to film.

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Re: David Mamet

#24 Post by domino harvey » Sun Nov 10, 2013 6:33 pm

Professor Wagstaff wrote:I've heard mixed things about the film adaptation of "Oleanna" over the years, but the recent surge of Mamet conversation on the boards has encouraged me to finally check it and "Spartan" out from the library since those are two blank spots for me with his directorial work. I've overlooked "Oleanna" for a long time and I'm hoping someone on the boards can give me some insight as to what didn't work in the play's adaptation to film.
I think Oleanna is his only bad film (and is the only time he adapted one of his own existing works, which might also have something to do with it) and the brunt of it falls on the lead actress. I have no idea why Rebecca Pidgeon wasn't cast, as she originated the role with Macy in the first productions, but the casting of Debra Eisenstadt is a disaster, and rather than playing with the film's shifting allegiances and unsure relativity of impressions, it makes it very easy to just side with Macy against her (and I think Mamet is in some part culpable for hiring her and directing her in this fashion). The end result then misses the point of the play (arguably his best) and becomes tedious and, frankly, a bit obnoxious. But you got Spartan, which will erase all doubts-- I just rewatched it and State and Main myself while sick in bed a few weeks back and they were perfect cinematic comfort food.

Re: Oh Yeah's comments, your best bets for "emotional" (or at least less cynical on the whole) Mamet are Things Change and Redbelt (and maybe the Winslow Boy)

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Re: David Mamet

#25 Post by oh yeah » Sun Nov 10, 2013 8:41 pm

Thanks, domino, I'll add those to my hypothetical list. I'm also quite interested in Spartan, regardless of any emotional weight.

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