Archive for the ‘mamet’ Category

David Mamet: Redbelt

June 7, 2008


The film has gotten mixed reviews. Am going to see it at the Lyric tommorrow after selling popcorn last night. Will let you know what I think. Chiwetel Ejiofor won the 2000 London Evening Standard Theatre Award for Outstanding Newcomer for his performance in British playwright Joe Penhall’s Blue/Orange which was reviewed by Philip Fisher, who interestingly tied the performance back to Mamet:

David Mamet’s Oleanna showed how a decent, educated man could be brought to ruin as a result of what many would regard as relatively minor prejudices. In Blue/Orange, Joe Penhall attacks a similar subject slightly differently. In this case, the two major issues are race and madness. As with Oleanna, this play not only shows how an individual can be brought to his knees, it also raises interesting moral questions with regard to what is acceptable and unacceptable behaviour and what punishment should be meted out to a person who oversteps the limit.

Having seen Oleanna (I’m thinking at the Barter Theatre in Abingdon, and then there is the 1994 film with William Macey and Debra Eisenstadt), I looked up the Guardian’s interview of Penhall to learn whether he mentioned Mamet as an influence. He didn’t. But in contrasting the resources available for up and coming playwrights in Britian v.s. the U.S., he did provide what is my nomination for quote of the day:

In America they won’t give you the steam off their piss. It’s like boot camp. They seem to think that by tormenting and abusing and pissing on their aspiring writers they’ll eventually find the next Arthur Miller.

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David Mamet Comedy "November" Opens January 17

January 12, 2008


Caricature of playwright David Mamet © Zach Trenholm (website, drawing demonstration) from “David Mamet’s New Political Play: The playwright discusses his campaign comedy opening on Broadway and his writing process,” by Robert J. Hughs, Wall Street Journal, January 11, 2008 from which comes my Quote o’ the Day…

WSJ: Do you find a difference between working on Broadway versus in Hollywood?

Mamet: The main difference is that in New York they treat the writer like a human being, and in Hollywood they treat him like a discarded, diseased whore. Other than that, it’s very similar.

Rehearsals began at the end of November for Mamet’s new comedy of the same name starring Nathan Lane as a president whose popularity rating is, as Mamet put it, according to BarbaraHoffman of the New York Post,

lower than Gandhi’s cholesterol.


Boris Katchka in his New York Magazine interview on the play of January 10,2008 describes Lane’s character, Charles H.P. Smith, as

a cash-poor incumbent on the verge of losing reelection…in a venal class all his own, deploring the job as “too much stress, too little opportunity for theft,” and lighting on the annual Thanksgiving-turkey pardon as a potential fund-raising scheme.

Knowing Mamet’s mastery of dialogue, this may have more substance than the actual primary coverage.

See also:

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Going to the National Theatre on Pennsylvania Avenue in the District of Columbia with my parents, I remember the Hirschfeld covers for Playbill (archive from NYT). Five years ago on January 20, Hirschfeld died in his sleep at the age of 99. I think San Franciso illustratorTrenholm, whose work is featured above, may be his heir. Take a look at his depictions of Stallone, Samuel L. Jackson and Kurt Vonnegut (my post on Vonnegut is here.)