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Clandestine Critic – A Life?

Have I been doing anything, then?

Well, I went to the theatre and saw Patrick Stewart and Joshua Jackson in David Mamet’s A Life In The Theatre. Stewart was great, and Jackson kept his own, even though he was mostly reacting to Stewart, as two actors in the theatre and their lives. It is odd but I felt that we didn’t really get to know the full story, not helped by the amount of changes in scene, going from one to the next, sometimes after a few lines, even if the dialogue was always interesting.

It was unlike other shows I’ve seen, where you get to feel as if you are witnessing significant parts of peoples’ lives, but similar to another Mamet play I saw on the stage, Sexual Perversity In Chicago, with Matthew Perry, Hank Azaria, Minnie Driver and Kelly Reilly (who acted all the former off the stage, it has to be said). The rapid scenes and the change to others seemed disorienting and random, giving an almost strobe-like quality to the lives witnessed. I confess that I might not be sufficiently well-versed in the intricacies of theatre, but it was slightly disconcerting and made me wonder if Mamet plays are all like this and if I’ve been dazzled by all the good films I’ve watched that he’s written.

I’ve also watched an Ashton Kutcher film, Dude, Where’s My Car?, and still feel slightly dirty and soiled. How did that film get made? Why were Brent Spiner and Andy Dick in it? The only worthwhile aspect was learning that ‘Sugayna!’ (or equivalent spelling) is the Japanese for ‘Sweet!’, which is hardly a ringing endorsement of a film. Why did I watch it, I hear you ask? Because I’m a weird cinematic masochist with a taste for watching absolute dreck even when there are more important things to do in the world, like getting a life.

I read at The Beat [EDIT: link no longer available] that Matthew Vaughan is going to direct X-Men 3 and am still stumped by that one. I’ll have to get Layer Cake out on DVD and find out what to expect. And I was only watching X2 on the weekend as well, wondering when the third film was going to move ahead …

Finally, I thought I should mention that a new block of flats is being built near where I live, called Lingham Court, which I find very amusing, as Lingham is a Sanskrit word for phallus.

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. tomthedog

    You survived one Kutcher film, but just, whatever you do, DON’T WATCH THE BUTTERFLY EFFECT.

    One of my favorite jokes ever from The Daily Show was when Jon Stewart said they were making a sequel to Dude, Where’s My Car? called Oh, There It Is.

  2. Greg

    Gee, The Butterfly Effect was a lot better than Dude, Where’s My Car? To each his own, I guess …

    Don’t talk about theater, damn you! Here in the cultural wasteland that is Phoenix, we never get a sniff of good theater. It makes me so jealous!

  3. David

    Thanks for the advice, Tom; I wasn’t going to go near another Kutcher film with somebody else’s eyes, but I appreciate the warning from a like-minded cineaste.

    Sorry to mention ‘theater’, Greg. I wasn’t boasting or anything 🙂 There has to be upsides to the expense of living in London, you know…

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