Singing Loudly: Quickie Reviews

Singing Loudly

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Quickie Reviews

I just wanted to post some quick thoughts on the movie version of David Mamet's Oleanna. I think that Mamet should be (and often is) considered one of the best writers of American dialogue ever to write. He understands drama like very few writers. However, I often think that the translation of his theater into plays falls short. This is no doubt what happened in Oleanna.

This was a version was done in 1994 and starred William H. Macy and Debraoh Eisenstadt. Both actors did just what you would expect out of two of the most talented actors in their profession -- fell short. They are both great at handling character roles because they are such versitile actors. This is especially true when speaking of Macy, who is probably the most talented of the true actors there are in Hollywood. His training is in theater and it shows.

The actor's backgrounds are part of the reason this movie seems so awkward. It feels like they should either be doing this on the stage or they shouldn't have such starring roles. Ultimately, I think that it falters under the weight of the script. Part of what Mamet does is write in such a way that it over-exaggerates the human responses in speech. This works very well on stage but seems unnatural on film.

I'm still of the persuasion that Mamet has written two movies that are essential for everyone to see: The Spanish Prisoner and Glengarry Glen Ross. Wonderful films, but I think he has a lot of other hidden gems. Everyone should give his films a try after they read/see the play versions.

Second, Spoon has a new album out called "Gimme Fiction." Spoon is a band that deserves a bigger audience. The song, Me and the Bean is one of the best songs ever written. It isn't on this album, but I think it's from their first album released on Merge Records. Download the single if you want to get a taste of Spoon.

This album doesn't fall short of expectations. It is a good rock album that doesn't ever come out boring. Check it out if you want to hear a band that deserves all the acclaim it gets, yet hasn't become a household name.


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