David Mamet

Discussion and info on people in film, ranging from directors to actors to cinematographers to writers.

Moderator: DarkImbecile

Message
Author
User avatar
domino harvey
Dot Com Dom
Posts: 28734
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:42 pm

Re: David Mamet

#51 Post by domino harvey » Fri Feb 13, 2015 12:03 pm

I'm still kinda sorta making my way through the Secret Knowledge, which is helpfully structured in such a way that pick up/put down is about the only way to read it, and there's still almost nothing of contributory value here. There is a pretty funny chapter on Mamet's time as a guest lecturer at a university wherein he faced off against the PC student body in his class with predictable but still entertaining results (so far it's the only thing I've actually enjoyed about this disastrous book). I also liked Mamet's claim that Jews complain all the time as a kind of beacon to spot and consort with other Jews, even if it makes no actual sense. But I had to stop reading this morning once I hit upon the double-sized chapter entitled "Feminism," because I'm not sure I'm a strong enough person to handle that one yet.

User avatar
RobertAltman
Posts: 764
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2007 8:34 pm
Location: Stavanger, Norway

Re: David Mamet

#52 Post by RobertAltman » Tue Apr 07, 2015 12:11 pm

Mamet is adapting Speed-The-Plow for the big screen. No word on director and/or cast, but Irwin Winkler is one of the producers.

User avatar
flyonthewall2983
Posts: 8682
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2005 3:31 pm
Location: Indiana
Contact:

Re: David Mamet

#53 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Mon Sep 28, 2015 10:33 pm

Watched Glengarry Glen Ross again this morning, and pondered if there's any kind of gay/romantic subtext going on between Ricky Roma and James Lingk. That Lingk is trapped in a loveless marriage to a controlling wife (from what I gathered when he comes into the office the next day) and quite possibly closeted, and here he meets this man (who's quite possibly taking advantage of this weakness) in a restaurant seemingly listening to him for hours go on and on about the smell of trains and absolute morality. It's at best a pet theory and maybe just me projecting onto something that was intended as much simpler by Mamet and Foley.
Last edited by flyonthewall2983 on Mon Sep 28, 2015 10:42 pm, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar
domino harvey
Dot Com Dom
Posts: 28734
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:42 pm

Re: David Mamet

#54 Post by domino harvey » Mon Sep 28, 2015 10:40 pm

Roma is absolutely playing on what he (correctly, based on what follows) perceives to be latent homosexuality in his mark

User avatar
flyonthewall2983
Posts: 8682
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2005 3:31 pm
Location: Indiana
Contact:

Re: David Mamet

#55 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Mon Sep 28, 2015 10:46 pm

It's kind of embarrassing how that completely slipped me by watching it before. I think I saw it for the first time when I was a teenager and didn't give it much more thought than it being just this great assemblage of actors, delivering dialogue at such a pace that it jolts but it doesn't leave anyone paying attention behind.

User avatar
domino harvey
Dot Com Dom
Posts: 28734
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:42 pm

Re: David Mamet

#56 Post by domino harvey » Thu Dec 17, 2015 2:13 pm

Mamet's latest Broadway play, China Doll, is receiving some of the most effusively negative reviews of not just his career but that of any playwright who ever lived. Though it still stars Al Pacino, so it's been raking in over a million each week regardless of notices and audience repulsion (reportedly sometimes as much as half the audience has been leaving during intermission). Having now read the play, I can understand. This is not just Mamet's worst play, it is without exaggeration the worst play I've ever read. I can not even compute how someone as talented and smart as Mamet could think this would fly, pun intended. The "story" of an old billionaire who spends the entirety of the play on the phone with his lawyer, his fiancee, and people associated with his recent purchase of a private jet. If you ever wanted to thrill to the excitement of an old rich guy bitching about the American tax system for an entire first act of a two act play, good luck! Along the way cronyism comes into play, as does preferential treatment for the rich. Sort of. I don't even know, really, and I had the advantage of holding the script in my hands and could double-back to check things. I would never have figured out anything had I seen this live.

Mamet has seemingly forgotten all of his golden rules of drama. He's also forgotten everything that makes him one of our greatest playwrights and a master of dialog and speech patterns: there are zero memorable or clever lines here. None, at all. Here's the closest we get: "He's bottled water. You know what bottled water is? Water." That's legit the best line here. And it's awful and sounds like your aunt trying to retell a Jim Gaffigan joke. And then there's the ending (which I won't spoil, because experience it yourself). Holy shit you guys, the ending to this play would be bad enough on its own, but Mamet already did this ending for one of his best works, where it made sense and was suitably disturbing. Here it is laughably embarrassing-- I was not surprised to hear it inspired unintentional Barmy-esque guffaws from early audiences and may have been tweaked since this script was published. I sure hope so. I felt sorry for Mamet and wondered what he could have been thinking when he wrote the Anarchist. With China Doll, I'm worried he might legit have some kind of undiagnosed mental disorder and no one in his circle is brave enough to challenge him. This play is that bad.

beamish13
Posts: 749
Joined: Sun Oct 14, 2007 5:31 am

Re: David Mamet

#57 Post by beamish13 » Thu Dec 17, 2015 4:35 pm

Thanks for that review, Domino. I don't feel so bad skipping out on my yearly winter NYC trip and Broadway splurges! I did see The Anarchist while it was in previews, and even then a few people walked out in the middle of an 80-minute work. A horrible, right-wing knock off of the 1991 film Closet Land, and completely lacking in any meaningful characterization. Debra Winger was continually getting tripped up with the dialogue, too. I couldn't finish reading November.

User avatar
matrixschmatrix
Posts: 5931
Joined: Tue May 25, 2010 11:26 pm

Re: David Mamet

#58 Post by matrixschmatrix » Thu Dec 17, 2015 4:39 pm

When did Mamet's politics begin taking over his work? I haven't seen any of The Unit but Spartan (which seemed like a right wing screed at first) wound up being as pleasantly intelligent and non-fascist as pretty much any Bush era action movie that comes time mind, as well as giving Val Kilmer one of his last few really good roles.

edit: Whoops, I just realized this is actually the same thread where Spartan got recommended to me, and where I then managed to confuse everyone posting about it. At any rate- are there any other late gems or did he pretty much walk off the Jon Voight end of the diving board?

User avatar
domino harvey
Dot Com Dom
Posts: 28734
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:42 pm

Re: David Mamet

#59 Post by domino harvey » Thu Dec 17, 2015 4:43 pm

Play-wise, I'd say no. I think both of the films he's directed since Spartan, Redbelt and Phil Spector, are excellent and among the best of the year they were released. YMMV on the latter, though!

beamish13
Posts: 749
Joined: Sun Oct 14, 2007 5:31 am

Re: David Mamet

#60 Post by beamish13 » Thu Dec 17, 2015 5:02 pm

matrixschmatrix wrote:When did Mamet's politics begin taking over his work? I haven't seen any of The Unit but Spartan (which seemed like a right wing screed at first) wound up being as pleasantly intelligent and non-fascist as pretty much any Bush era action movie that comes time mind, as well as giving Val Kilmer one of his last few really good roles.

edit: Whoops, I just realized this is actually the same thread where Spartan got recommended to me, and where I then managed to confuse everyone posting about it. At any rate- are there any other late gems or did he pretty much walk off the Jon Voight end of the diving board?

I think his one act plays School and Keep Your Pantheon are both pretty solid, with the later being very funny.

User avatar
copen
Posts: 100
Joined: Fri Feb 06, 2015 5:43 pm

Re: David Mamet

#61 Post by copen » Thu Dec 17, 2015 5:18 pm

matrixschmatrix wrote:are there any other late gems
Redbelt (2008)
Edmond (2005)

These are both good. Edmond seems to be lost in the shuffle because he didn't direct it, but it's based on his play from the early 1970's, and is quite powerful.

The Unit is unwatchable, and Phil Spector (2013) is a waste of time for everyone involved, including the viewer.

User avatar
knives
Posts: 14040
Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2008 6:49 pm

Re: David Mamet

#62 Post by knives » Thu Dec 17, 2015 5:32 pm

I'll second the rec for Phil Spector (which I wrote about a little in its thread) while putting a negative touch on Edmond (sorry Copen). Everyone in the later is trying their best to render the film into something, but the script is just a lost and confused run at an After Hours type of story without any sort of critical examination on the characters making the moments, especially the ending, where examination seems to be the point ridiculous non-sequiturs.

User avatar
RobertAltman
Posts: 764
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2007 8:34 pm
Location: Stavanger, Norway

Re: David Mamet

#63 Post by RobertAltman » Thu Dec 17, 2015 5:52 pm

I watched all of The Unit over the course of a few years, and though there's certainly some filler episodes - particularly in the early seasons - there are plenty of really good episodes too. And more than a few of them are expertly plotted, as should be expected when Mamet is the showrunner. Far from unwatchable, though not up there with Spartan, which is the Mamet-film it feels natural to compare it to. I third the recommendation of Phil Spector, and wonder if we'll ever get to see Blackbird.

User avatar
domino harvey
Dot Com Dom
Posts: 28734
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:42 pm

Re: David Mamet

#64 Post by domino harvey » Thu Feb 18, 2016 5:51 pm

Take the Glengarry Glen Ross Obscenity Quiz (NSFW / Spoilers for the film/play). I must admit, to my great shame, that I guessed wrong, though I was close

User avatar
whaleallright
Posts: 887
Joined: Sun Sep 25, 2005 12:56 am

Re: David Mamet

#65 Post by whaleallright » Thu Feb 18, 2016 10:18 pm

In other David Mamet + obscenity news, apparently he has endorsed Ted Cruz.


User avatar
The Narrator Returns
Posts: 1450
Joined: Tue Nov 15, 2011 6:35 pm

Re: David Mamet

#67 Post by The Narrator Returns » Fri Feb 23, 2018 12:56 am

His next play will be about Harvey Weinstein, which, um, okay, sure.

User avatar
Big Ben
Posts: 1081
Joined: Mon Feb 08, 2016 12:54 pm
Location: Great Falls, Montana

Re: David Mamet

#68 Post by Big Ben » Fri Feb 23, 2018 3:13 am

The Narrator Returns wrote:His next play will be about Harvey Weinstein, which, um, okay, sure.
Seeing that he endorsed Ted Cruz just above you makes me think this is going to be as nuanced as a pipe to the head. "Um, okay, sure" is literally my reaction too.

User avatar
HJackson
Posts: 459
Joined: Wed Jul 20, 2011 7:27 pm

Re: David Mamet

#69 Post by HJackson » Fri Feb 23, 2018 3:30 am


User avatar
Randall Maysin
Posts: 189
Joined: Tue Apr 02, 2013 12:26 pm

Re: David Mamet

#70 Post by Randall Maysin » Fri Feb 23, 2018 8:51 am

The first part of that quote may indicate that Mamet feels sympathy for Weinstein, that isn't of the normal, I-am-writing-a-play-about-this-person-so-let's-be-nuanced variety but of the I-am-Harvey-Weinstein variety, but the second part seems fairly apt. So who knows.

User avatar
domino harvey
Dot Com Dom
Posts: 28734
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:42 pm

Re: David Mamet

#71 Post by domino harvey » Fri Feb 23, 2018 8:57 am

As someone who has actually read the last couple Mamet plays, to say I am doubtful he could pull off this kind of tightrope walk is an understatement. Mamet is just not Mamet anymore. At least he left the film world on top, even if he keeps dancing on the dirt of his playwriting grave

User avatar
mfunk9786
Posts: 11796
Joined: Fri May 16, 2008 4:43 pm
Location: Philadelphia, PA

Re: David Mamet

#72 Post by mfunk9786 » Thu Mar 15, 2018 9:35 am

Mamet is on WTF today.

EDIT: I like much of Mamet's work that I've seen, but man oh man can he bloviate as if he's the only authority on whatever he's talking about. A dying breed, of sorts. I was somewhat on board until "I was listening to my good friend Dennis Prager on the radio today," ( #-o) and it was all downhill from there

User avatar
knives
Posts: 14040
Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2008 6:49 pm

Re: David Mamet

#73 Post by knives » Thu Mar 15, 2018 1:04 pm

A dying breed? Pretending you're the authority of everything seems to be the only thing on the Internet besides porn.

User avatar
flyonthewall2983
Posts: 8682
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2005 3:31 pm
Location: Indiana
Contact:

Re: David Mamet

#74 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Thu Mar 15, 2018 1:17 pm

He seems to be a very gracious host, in the domestic sense of the word, so I'm interested in hearing if former Air America personality Marc Maron kowtows to Mamet's conservatism.

User avatar
Lost Highway
Posts: 565
Joined: Thu Aug 29, 2013 7:41 am
Location: Berlin, Germany

Re: David Mamet

#75 Post by Lost Highway » Thu Mar 15, 2018 2:24 pm

knives wrote:A dying breed? Pretending you're the authority of everything seems to be the only thing on the Internet besides porn.
...don’t forget about cats !

I used to listen to WTF religiously but Maron is better with people who are in his wavelength and since Obama he attracts bigger celebrities who often aren’t that interesting. The last one I listened to was Sharon Stone, which was a snooze.

Post Reply