Wednesday, December 13, 2006
The Trim Bin #51
- Hearing about the death of Peter Boyle, my mind immediately jumped to two scenes. The first is Boyle as the cabbie guru Wizard waxing philosophical to Travis Bickle in Taxi Driver (a scene largely improvised by Boyle). The second is the "Puttin On the Ritz" scene in Young Frankenstein; the monster's indecipherable yelps are one of the film's highlights. It's hard to imagine anyone but Boyle playing either role so memorably, and for that he will be missed.
- I'm planning on beginning the next gauntlet (suggestions for a new name are welcome) starting on January 1st. This time, we'll be determining which film is the worst of all time. Feel free to leave a comment here with your bottom ten anytime between now and January; I look forward to judging the worst of the worst.
- The awards season has begun, with most major critics' groups having announced their choices (you can find a handy guide to the NY, Boston, LA and Washington picks here). The biggest winners this year appear to be Letters From Iwo Jima, United 93, The Departed and The Queen. Two of those films are among my favorites this year, and Letters could join that list (I'm indifferent to The Queen despite Helen Mirren's pitch-perfect performance). All in all, not a bad year for the critics, as it was probably too much to hope for a sudden surge of enthusiasm for The Fountain. I'm neither qualified nor interested in doing much awards speculation, so this is probably it until the Oscar nominations. I just figured I'd mention that yes, I do think about these things.
- More on The Departed: this piece from Film Comment (page 1 page 2 page 3 page 4) is the strongest written on the film so far, and offers some provocative ideas about the film (I took Queenan at face value, but perhaps he is shadier than he seems).
- Finally, in honor of the new David Lynch/Laura Dern collaboration Inland Empire (I'm seeing it at the Brattle this weekend, and I can't wait), here's a scene featuring Dern's brilliant work as Lula in Wild at Heart. "Holy shit, it's night of the living fuckin' dead!"