Gene Hackman

..and why not?
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Davey the Fat Boy
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Re: Gene Hackman

Postby Davey the Fat Boy » 02 Sep 2017, 03:04

I doubt he's in the habit of discussing the meaning of his films in general. I've never seen him do that. Most filmmakers don't.

But boy...you really are into received wisdom, aren't you!
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Re: Gene Hackman

Postby Matt Wilson » 02 Sep 2017, 03:47

You do know what received wisdom means, right? He's right there on the commentary track explaining everything about the film, including the meaning. Perhaps if you listened to him, rather than dismiss the thoughts of the filmmaker himself, you might actually understand his intentions rather than posit your own above his.

Hey, if you want to see the picture as being about a guy who no longer is the best at what he does and is slipping rather than an exercise in paranoia and the effects of Catholicism on a man who was instrumental in the deaths of people in the past and who doesn't want that to happen again, then by all means, knock yourself out.

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Re: Gene Hackman

Postby Davey the Fat Boy » 02 Sep 2017, 04:24

No Matt...I don't see those as an "instead of" proposition. I think it's all of those things.

Again - I don't know how you justify the inclusion of all of the things I mentioned if you narrow the theme down the way you do. Is that shit in there accidentally? Is it there to kill time?

Beyond that - we've had versions of this debate before where you insist that we all must stay within the lines of what the artist has gone on record as intending when grappling with a film. But honestly, I'm not that interested in Coppola's intention anymore. Once he filmed it and released it, it's ours to interpret. Most filmmakers intentionally create ambiguity in their films to allow audiences to bring themselves to the work. I'd hate to live in your head, where the artist is granted the kind of artistic fascism you seem to prefer.

What a drag.
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Re: Gene Hackman

Postby Matt Wilson » 02 Sep 2017, 04:45

It's artistic fascism to believe the filmmaker rather than some clown on the internet? Sign me up, bro!

But in all seriousness, Christ, I'd forgotten what a pain in the ass you are. You presume so much when you argue. Where to begin? How am I 'narrowing down the theme' when you're not? You said the main point of the film was that he was not as good as he thought he was. How is that not reductionist? I tell you what Coppola says and of course, you try to spin it so that I'm saying that any other interpretation is ridiculous. It's not, of course, but if you were writing an essay you'd need to back up your thesis, correct? You haven't. You ask with a straight face and with no irony why the scene exists where Harry is surprised that his apartment manager has a key to Harry's apartment. How is this an example of Harry 'slipping' as you put it, and not about how paranoid Harry is? Or when the hack gives Harry a pencil which records a conversation of Harry's for five minutes and Harry doesn't like it. Again, how is that Harry slipping? He's a great surveillance man, are you saying that he's supposed to always be on guard for people surveying him as well? That's not really in his job description, is it? I guess you think the hack is better because he pulled one over on old Harry. Except the problem with this notion is that the hack thinks Harry is better too. Not to mention Harry doesn't think much of the hack's talents either.

You never even mentioned Harry's Catholic guilt over the deaths of people that he helped kill some years before the film begins, which Coppola goes over and over in the commentary track. There's all kinds of Catholic imagery in the picture and it's much more obvious and Coppola makes much more of a point of illustrating this as a fulcrum for Harry's actions than any notion of believing that he's better at surveillance than he actually is. But still you think your thesis is the main point of the picture rather than perhaps one of the many points (if it's even one at all). Yet I'm the one who's narrow-minded, right? You've got the all-important Todd Lawrence view of the film and to doubt your interpretation and present Coppola's views is 'artistic fascism.'

You're too much!
Last edited by Matt Wilson on 02 Sep 2017, 05:15, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Gene Hackman

Postby Davey the Fat Boy » 02 Sep 2017, 05:10

There aren't enough eye-rolling emotions.
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Re: Gene Hackman

Postby Matt Wilson » 02 Sep 2017, 05:16

:roll:

Didn't think you could respond with anything resembling coherence.

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Re: Gene Hackman

Postby Davey the Fat Boy » 02 Sep 2017, 05:27

You know Matt - anyone can read the exchange we had. It's not invisible.

I made a simple observation about the character. You informed me that I was wrong. I pointed to more evidence...things actually in the film. You dismissed them as meaningful. I made an open ended comment about Harry Caul beginning to slip saying, "in many ways it's the point of the whole movie" (which I then follow by stating ("Mind you, I don't want to reduce Harry Caul to just the Roger Ebert interpretation. I think there's more to him than just a portrait of a guy who was the top but is beginning to slip. He's also having a moral crisis that is making him hate the version of himself that was "the best" at a very dirty job"). You ignore that. Then you act like Woody Allen in Annie Hall by pulling Francis Ford Coppola out from hiding.

But for the record, I haven't offered a full reading on the meaning of the film here, so you playing that "you never mentioned catholic guilt" shit is both comical and pathetic.

I could talk about the film more, and I'd be happy to do so with anybody else. But you don't need anyone to talk to. You've got the commentary track on your DVD, so just sit tight with that and leave the rest of us to it.

Sorry if you think I'm being a pain. Next time if you don't want to have someone accuse you of artistic fascism, don't step in and tell them that their interpretation is wrong as if you were the keeper of the great secrets of the commentary track. You raging dick.
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Re: Gene Hackman

Postby Matt Wilson » 02 Sep 2017, 05:45

Boy, you must be serious, since you underlined "wrong" and mentioned it twice! You're right, Todd, anyone can read our exchange, and anyone who isn't the complete idiot that you are can see I never once (make that once) used the word. Feel stupid, yet? I "dismissed them as meaningful?" I'll assume that since you're so emotional about this you mistyped that little part. Lol... Anyway, what I actually said, was that I didn't feel that your thesis was a theme at all. Yes, Oh wise one, I was just expressing my opinion, and then backing it up with the words of the director himself. You immediately start with the eye-rolling emoticons, and calling me a 'dummy.' I mean - isn't anyone who disagrees with the mighty Davey a dummy? And one doesn't have to 'offer a full reading' of the film to mention the Catholic guilt aspect - you did mention your thesis was the "point" of the picture though, so I'm hardly being 'comical and pathetic' by reasoning that you feel your thesis to be more front and center than Coppola's himself. How fucking pathetic is that?

Now fuck off, Todd. I don't give a shit what you think about the film anymore. I'm sure you understand his work better than he does anyway.

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Re: Gene Hackman

Postby Davey the Fat Boy » 02 Sep 2017, 06:33

Now I'm actually thinking that Caul is a less interesting character than you.
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Re: Gene Hackman

Postby Loki » 11 Sep 2017, 05:00

Loved him in this too

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Re: Gene Hackman

Postby sloopjohnc » 11 Sep 2017, 17:11

Jeff Bridges?

But he can be kinda showy too, I guess.
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Re: Gene Hackman

Postby Matt Wilson » 12 Sep 2017, 20:09

Nah, Bridges is great. I dunno if I put him on Hackman's level, but it's close. He's certainly worthy of his own thread.

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Re: Gene Hackman

Postby sloopjohnc » 12 Sep 2017, 21:19

Matt Wilson wrote:Nah, Bridges is great. I dunno if I put him on Hackman's level, but it's close. He's certainly worthy of his own thread.


After posting it, though, I thought he can be pretty deceptively hammy.

As opposed to Hackman, who can stand out with hams like Beatty, Dunaway, Estelle Parsons and Michael J. Pollard.

I read an interview about Mitchum and Holden being in the same movie and each tried to be lower key than the other to gain the upper hand on the screen.
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Re: Gene Hackman

Postby Matt Wilson » 12 Sep 2017, 23:33

If Bridges can be hammy, then pretty much any actor can. And I'd call Holden natural more than anything else. Mitchum can be very low key, of course.

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Re: Gene Hackman

Postby Davey the Fat Boy » 13 Sep 2017, 07:34

They all had hammy moments. But that's a pretty strong collection of screen actors.
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Re: Gene Hackman

Postby sloopjohnc » 13 Sep 2017, 18:14

Davey the Fat Boy wrote:They all had hammy moments. But that's a pretty strong collection of screen actors.


In Stalag 17 and Sunset Blvd., Holden has some hammy moments for him. Especially the former.
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Re: Gene Hackman

Postby sloopjohnc » 14 Sep 2017, 04:15

Watching Cinderella Liberty and thinking James Caan falls into the same meat and potatoes, yet compelling, category.
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Re: Gene Hackman

Postby The Great Defector » 14 Sep 2017, 12:16

sloopjohnc wrote:Watching Cinderella Liberty and thinking James Caan falls into the same meat and potatoes, yet compelling, category.


I'm probably alone in this, but the more I watch it the more I think he's the odd one out, actor wise, of the Corleone brothers.
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Re: Gene Hackman

Postby Jeemo » 14 Sep 2017, 13:50

The Great Defector wrote:
sloopjohnc wrote:Watching Cinderella Liberty and thinking James Caan falls into the same meat and potatoes, yet compelling, category.


I'm probably alone in this, but the more I watch it the more I think he's the odd one out, actor wise, of the Corleone brothers.


You're probably alone in understanding what the fuck you're on about.

1)You think Caan is brilliant and the other two are shite
2)You think Caan is shite and the other two are brilliant
3)Does Duvall count?
4)Caan is the odd one because he has curly hair?
5)anybody?
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Re: Gene Hackman

Postby Matt Wilson » 14 Sep 2017, 14:31

I like James Caan. He didn't have the career that perhaps he might've, but then he had leading man looks and went for the matinee idol roles sometimes in the '70s as well. Perhaps lacking in superstar charisma, he nonetheless served up a few great roles. I haven't seen Cinderella Liberty since I was a kid but recall enjoying him in that. I've never seen The Gambler either but would like to.

I love Thief, by the way.
Last edited by Matt Wilson on 14 Sep 2017, 16:00, edited 1 time in total.