Tom and Jerry: Defenders of All Things Right and Good

Friday, August 08, 2008

A little David Mamet for Friday....

Of all the directors in Hollywood today, there's only one of whom I can say that when I see "Written And Directed By _______" on a movie ad, it is guaranteed that I will see that movie: David Mamet. Here's a sampling of his work:

Wrote And Directed:
House of Games (1987)
Things Change (1988)
Homicide (1991)
Glengarry Glen Ross (1993)**
Oleanna (1994)**
American Buffalo (1996)**
The Spanish Prisoner(1998)
State And Main (2000)
Heist (2001)
Spartan (2004)
Redbelt (2008)

** - Wrote original play, too.

Wrote Screenplay:
The Postman Always Rings Twice (1981)
The Verdict (1982) - Screenplay nominated for Academy Award
About Last Night (1986)
The Untouchables (1987)
The Edge (1997)

Wrote Stage Play:
American Buffalo (1975) - Won the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Play
Glengarry Glen Ross (1984) - Won Pulitzer Prize for Drama, Nominated for Tony Award
Speed the Plow (1988) - Nominated for Tony Award
Oleanna (1992)

Mamet is also the creator of the TV series "The Unit".

I saw Heist again the other night. I had considered it behind House of Games, The Spanish Prisoner, and Spartan on my mental list of favorite Mamet productions, but after another viewing, I am reconsidering. I had forgotten how entertaining the dialogue was in Heist. To wit:

Scene: Bobby Blane (played by Delroy Lindo), a veteran thief, and Jimmy (Sam Rockwell), a mobster's nephew on his first heist, are sitting in a van, about to initiate their roles in the job. Jimmy taps his lighter on the steering wheel.

Bobby: Sometimes adrenaline gives people the shakes...
Jimmy: I'm alright, man...
Bobby: No, I'm just saying sometimes, adrenaline gives people the shakes. Some other people mistake it for cowardice, maybe you'd want to pray about it.
Jimmy: I'm not a religious man.
Bobby: There's nothing wrong with prayer.
Jimmy: You think so?
Bobby: I'm in this fire fight, this trooper who always carried a bible next to his heart, we used to mock him. But that bible stopped a bullet.
Jimmy: No s--t?
Bobby: Hand of God, that bible stopped a bullet. It would’ve ruined his heart. And had he had another bible in front of his face, that man would be alive today.....

I laughed out loud at that last line. Woke up Lynda and everything.


  • As far as the only play I've read and watched from Mamet - Oleanna - I'd have to agree: Mamet is one of the most thought-provoking authors I've ever had the privilege to read. Twirling plotlines, suspicious characters, and shady settings: things are never what they seem with Mamet, and I'd lie to take the occasion to place him firmly among the most dialectic playwrights of today. Unfortunately for him, his dedication to playwriting (and admittedly, filming on an occasion) doesn't always allow him grasp the complete picture of the human life: walking carefully on philosophical clouds, he often underlooks more basic, biological drives. But that's my issue with philosophy as a whole...

    If you cherish it, Mamet is by all means your man. If you're into much harder evidence, try science fiction.

    Your fantastic guide to Toronto movie madness,

    By Anonymous Toronto realtor, at Monday, August 11, 2008 9:47:00 AM  

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