Thursday, 27 September 2007

Anonymous Dwarfs

Heist was on TV last night; an under-appreciated, does-exactly-what-it-says-on-the-tin, little gem, which I highly recommend.

It also has a very weird association for me, because when I was on the committee for my university's film society we invited the director, David Mamet, to give a speech shortly before we screened it - and he graciously accepted. (He was in the area at the time, I hasten to point out - he didn't fly in just to speak in front of a lecture theatre full of greasy students.)

But to our surprise, rather than talk about the film, he chose instead to - and I swear I'm not making this up - deliver a psychoanalytical reading of the fairytale 'Rumpelstiltskin'. And it was an hour-and-a-half long. And he wasn't even joking.

And it was so dull, you would rather have flogged yourself with a Cat O' Nine Tails than have to listen to it. I remember at one stage turning to whisper "let's get out of here" to my friend Alan, only to find that he'd folded his coat into a makeshift pillow, laid it out on the desk in front of him, and gone to sleep. And was actually drooling.

It was a mercy when it was over with, and we could watch a snappy, entertaining little film. (Come to think of it, the main reason why I like Heist so much might have been because it followed such a load of drivel. You could probably have sat me down in front of Earth Girls Are Easy after that speech and I would have put it in my Top Ten Best Ever List.)

I did notice a link between the film and Mamet's speech last night though: there's a piece of dialogue right at the end that goes something like this:

Mickey (played by Danny Devito): We're going to stay right here until you can guess my real name!

Joe (played by Gene Hackman): What is it?

Mickey: Rumpelstiltskin!

Joe: What was it before you changed it?

Perhaps Mamet has anonymous dwarfs on the brain.

Anyway, full of great dialogue, as you'd expect from a Mamet film, although maybe you have to have a certain sense of humour to appreciate lines like "Everybody needs money! That's why they call it 'money'!"

No comments: