Monday, August 15, 2011

The incredible expanding actor

I'm back from seeing The Guard. Any movie with Brendan Gleeson and Don Cheadle in it stands a fair chance of being worth watching, and The Guard (not to be confused with Ken Bruen's novel The Guards or any production based on it) was; I may put up a post about it one of these days. But first a bit about the pre-movie matter.

It had been a while since I'd seen a movie in a theater, and I was gobsmacked that the first five or seven minutes of coming attractions were all for television programs. The theater is an art house; does its management subscribe to the belief, occasionally expressed in reputable circles, that television, rather than movies, is where intelligent viewing is now to be found?

We did eventually get trailers for several movies, one described as "quirky" and another as "charming." (Both, I need not add, were French.) And Gérard Depardieu is not so much getting fatter as he is, like the universe, expanding rapidly in all directions.

P.S. The guy who did the voice-over for the Depardyew trailer should work on his French pronunciation.

P.P.S. At least two of the movies could also safely have been described as "life-affirming."

© Peter Rozovsky 2011

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32 Comments:

Blogger Linda said...

This has nothing to do with detective fiction, but I figured I could slip it in under "international" apropos Gêrard Depardieu, who truly is becoming almost as large as his nose. His range is brilliant though. Jean de Florette is very dark; The Closet, with Daniel Auteuil is hilarious; and La Tête en Friche, which looks like your "hymne à la vie" movie, is just that. I think. I got it on eBay from the Netherlands, subtitled, but the subtitles are, naturellement, in French! Duh.

August 15, 2011  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

I remember him as far back as "Get Out Your Handkerchiefs" in 1978. Yes, "La tête en friche" is the movie in question, called "My Afternoons With Marguerite" in English. It looks heart-warming AND life-affirming.

August 15, 2011  
Anonymous Elisabeth said...

...movies, one described as "quirky" and another as "charming."

Movies described with these adjectives are destined for cable's IFC and/or Sundance channels. Oh, and those described as "grim, but...". We avoid them like the plague.

Speaking of M. Depardieu... is he the only working French actor? Given the steady, predictable stream of his films that have made it to US screens over the decades, I've often thought so.

August 15, 2011  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Movies described with these adjectives are destined for cable's IFC and/or Sundance channels.

Unless they have Audrey Tautou them.

I was surprised that, of three French movies in the coming attractions, two of them did not include Gérard Depardieu.

August 15, 2011  
Anonymous Linkmeister said...

I went to see the final Harry Potter film in a theater last week and was unsurprised to see 20 minutes of "coming attractions," although they were all for films.

I was appalled to see when watching the next-to-last Potter film on DVD that I had to fast-forward through similar "coming attractions" trailers to get to the movie.

August 15, 2011  
Anonymous Elisabeth said...

...two of them did not include Gérard Depardieu.

Sacré bleu, Peter! Can it be so?! Well, I guess even he can't be in all of them, since the days of playing the handsome, trim, romantic lead are evidently behind him.

Linkmeister, I'm afraid "coming attractions" trailers on DVDs are the standard. Heck, every once in a while one of them leads to a film worth checking out. A bit like the "if you like X, you might like Y" of online sales sites.

Is Blogger psychic? My v-word = constat.

August 15, 2011  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Movie listings in France would include both the time of the séance -- when the lights go down and the commercials begin -- and the time that the movie starts. But then, that country is so backward that the price advertised for a product or service is actually the price the customer pays!

How many European visitors over the years have thought Americans thieves because meal whose menu price is $30 costs them $40 with tax and tip? Or a hotel room advertised at $100 that winds up costing $140 with all the hotel taxes? God forbid those folks should ever buy a car in this country. Mandating that retailers of all kinds advertise the price the customer pays would be interfering with the American system of free enterprise, of course, but it would be nice if we in America decided on our own to advertise prices honestly.

August 15, 2011  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Elisabeth, coming attractions on DVDs are bloody annoying, but they do make sense from the seller's point of view, and one can easily fast-forward through them.

This reminds me that TLA Video, which closed my longtime video store a few years ago, is now closing the branch to which I transferred my account. No surprise there; an air of impending failure had clung to the store for a long time -- lots of DVDs for sale, and that sort of thing. But I really will have no place to rent movies now. As a matter of principle, I want to resist Net Flix as long as I can.

August 15, 2011  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Elisabeth, Gérard Depardieu may be handsome, but he was never trim. I think that once he turned 60, he decided to cut back to six or seven movies a year.

Apropos of nothing, doesn't he look a bit like William bendix -- or like New Jersey's Gov. Christie?

August 15, 2011  
Anonymous Elisabeth said...

But I really will have no place to rent movies now.

My original reply got eff'ed up in the transmittal so I'll be brief (good, huh?).

Try the Free Library of Philadelphia. They can prolly satisfy most of your DVD needs.

And I guess I'd have to say more like Bendix than Christie (who, like John Boehner, is usually hiding behind a podium).

August 15, 2011  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

I've been using the Free Library more than usual recently, mostly to get my Bouchercon homework, but I had not thought of checking out their movie selection.

Here in Philadelphia, we get to see Christie from a variety angles. Put 10 years and a bad haircut on him, and he'l look like Depardieu does in the still I included with my post.

August 16, 2011  
Anonymous Arlene said...

I have always thought JP slightly over rated as an actor (although I have loved him deeply in some roles).
Daniel Auteuil and Jean-Hugues Anglade are magnificent French actors that deserve – in my humble opinion– more recognition. If you ever get a chance to see a film called La Reine Margot ( 1994) do make a drink, cook some popcorn and settle into a comfy chair for a fantastic film.

August 16, 2011  
Blogger Linda said...

I have to agree w Arlene about Daniel Auteuil. He is a very good actor. .

August 16, 2011  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Thanks for the recommendations, Arlene. Do you know any good recipes for popcorn?

If JP is Depardieu, one reason he might be overrated, at least in America, is that he may be the only French actor people know about since Delon, Belmondo, and that kid who made the Truffaut movies, Jean-Pierre Leaud.

August 16, 2011  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Thanks, Linda. I had noticed that Arlene's was the second vote for Daniel Auteuil.

August 16, 2011  
Anonymous solo said...

A short clip of a trim Depardieu with the great Patrick Dewaere. One for the ladies.

August 16, 2011  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

For a while I thought that every French movie had to have both these guys in it, or at least one of them.

August 16, 2011  
Anonymous Arlene said...

http://thedailyedge.thejournal.ie/gerard-depardieu-relieves-himself-on-flight-headed-for-dublin-203312-Aug2011/

I laughed when I read this today though.

August 17, 2011  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

“Je veux pisser, je veux pisser.”
...
“I will only confirm that he, in effect, urinated in the plane,” a spokeswoman for the Air France-KLM subsidiary CityJet told the Times of Malta.


Arlene, how does one "in effect" urinate on a plane? Either one does, or one doesn't. Or so I've been told.

In my role as a sub-editor, I'd place an exclamation point after "Je veux pisser!" Wouldn't you?

August 17, 2011  
Anonymous Arlene said...

I would. The 'in effect' threw me a little too, odd. I believe the good GD was a little 'ow shall we say, three sheets to the wind.

August 17, 2011  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Arlene, for the benefit of readers who might wish to, in effect, urinate on a plane, the polite form is "Je voudrais pisser! Je voudrais pisser!"

August 17, 2011  
Blogger The Celtic Kagemusha said...

Bad timing for Depardieu; I'd just a couple of nights ago watched him in Beineix' film version of Goodis' 'The Moon in the Gutter', which isn't anything like the disaster the critics claim it to be.
In fact, I might even prefer it to 'Diva', and its a movie that's crying out for a cult.
I've a feeling Beineix got the Goodis feel right; I haven't read the book, but I also got a sense of 'The Iceman Cometh', and Bukowski
(who I don't really care for)

As for Depardieu's acting: there was a time in the late 70s, through mid 80s, where he was possibly the finest screen actor in the world.
Check out his work for Maurice Pialat, especially 'Police', and 'Sous le soleil de Satan'
(he would have given himself ten decades of the rosary, as penance for his Cityjet sins)

'skeholy', eh?
be the hokey, what a coincidence, coming immediately after a paragraph about a priest, and confession

August 17, 2011  
Blogger The Celtic Kagemusha said...

solo, have you seen the great Patrick Dewaere in 'Serie Noire', a French adaptation of Jim Thompson's 'A Hell of A Woman'?
Appropriately great in that one, also

August 18, 2011  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

TCK, he would be fine if he just stopped pissing in planes.

I may look for those movies in my library, since my local video store is about to shut, and I know of know adequate alternatives.

August 18, 2011  
Blogger The Celtic Kagemusha said...

I presume he wasn't 'doing a De Niro': getting in character, for his next big-budget production?

August 18, 2011  
Blogger The Celtic Kagemusha said...

btw, Peter: have you read 'The Moon in the Gutter'?

August 18, 2011  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

TCK, "Raging Bull" crossed my mind, too, but I'd guess there's no parallel in this case. Depardieu ahs always been a big guy, and think he's been expanding for years. This role looks as if it requires him to look late middle aged and maybe a bit unkempt, but not necessarily fat.

August 18, 2011  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

TCK: I've read just Black Friday and "Black Pudding."

August 18, 2011  
Anonymous solo said...

the great Patrick Dewaere in 'Serie Noir'

TCK, I don't think much of actors as a rule but that was a really tough part to play and if he hadn't been as terrific as he was, the film would have been a disaster.

I rewatched The Grifters the other day. Next best Thompson adaptation after Serie Noire. Westlake did a hell of a job in adapting it.

August 18, 2011  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

You gents are doing a fine selling job for Serie Noir.

August 18, 2011  
Blogger The Celtic Kagemusha said...

Peter, I was referring to the 'pissing in plane' bit.
(De Niro reference)
But speaking of the 'incredible expanding actor', I was amazed at how slim he was in 'Gutter'
And how less Cyrano-like his nose was

(hmm, speaking of 'getting in character')

August 18, 2011  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Ah, I thought you meant the fattening up, as DeNiro so famously did for Raging Bull.

August 18, 2011  

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