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 HBO PhIl Spector Biopic (David Marmet)

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Largo's Shark
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PostSubject: HBO PhIl Spector Biopic (David Marmet)    Mon Sep 26, 2011 11:25 am

Not much to report here, other than that Al Pacino's playing Spector and Helen Mirren's his lawyer - Linda Kenney Baden



TBH, I'm only really interested in Marmet's involvement, and Al's wig.
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PostSubject: Re: HBO PhIl Spector Biopic (David Marmet)    Mon Sep 26, 2011 11:31 am

Will 'He Hit Me (It Felt Like a Kiss)' be featured on the soundtrack? :afro: \

BTW, is it Mamet or Marmite? Doesn't matter, I like both in small doses.

Here's the FT piece that caused all the fuss:

Quote :
Lunch with the FT: David Mamet
By John Gapper
Published: June 10 2011 19:19 | Last updated: June 10 2011 19:19

Even sitting at a banquette in one corner of the nearly empty Knickerbocker Bar & Grill, an old-style grill in Greenwich Village, with his orange Perspex-framed glasses lying on the table in front of him, David Mamet is at work.

We have met at the Knickerbocker because he is in New York with his producer to scout locations for a film he has written and will direct for HBO about Phil Spector, the legendary music producer. “We call it a red-booth restaurant in the movie. This is close. It’s ox-blood,” he says, prodding our leather-lined booth. “We’ll have to dye it.”

Spector, to be played by Al Pacino with Bette Midler as his lawyer, Linda Kenney Baden, was jailed for murder in 2008 after being convicted of the killing of Lana Clarkson, an actress, at his California mansion. “I don’t think he’s guilty. I definitely think there is reasonable doubt,” Mamet says briskly when I ask what interested him about the case. “They should never have sent him away. Whether he did it or not, we’ll never know but if he’d just been a regular citizen, they never would have indicted him.”

The crisp certainty and rhetorical force makes Mamet sound like one of his characters. At the age of 63, with close-cropped grey hair and a beard, he is not only one of the most celebrated of American dramatists but one of the most prolific. From plays such as American Buffalo (1975), a Pinter-esque drama about four petty thieves, and the Pulitzer Prize-winning Glengarry Glen Ross (1982), an intense clash of competing property salesmen, to harrowing films such as The Postman Always Rings Twice (1981) and the Oscar-nominated courtroom drama The Verdict (1982), to novels and essays, he rarely rests.

There are signs of the advancing years – he has a hearing aid in one ear – but he has the nervous energy and edge of a younger man. He has greeted me warmly but seems a little isolated as he sits before me, as if the ideas jostling in his head leave little room for other voices to penetrate. He is dressed in artisan filmmaker style – white trousers, a grey linen shirt and a waistcoat with pockets into which are tucked some notes and a glasses case.

He recounts the restaurant scene from the film, which involves Midler’s character. “Linda says, ‘You’ve known your husband a long time. You know he’s cheating on you.’ The woman says, ‘That’s preposterous’ and Linda says, ‘That’s called giving him the benefit of the doubt.’ The woman walks away and then she says, ‘OK. But what are you going to do when he kills the next girl?’” Mamet chuckles. “It’s a pretty good scene.”

Confrontation is often present in Mamet’s work, in which characters with opposing views argue with often unbearable intensity, trying to settle their differences by pounding each other’s personalities. He thrives on provoking his audience and has now done so in real life by becoming a conservative, and writing a book, The Secret Knowledge, that grinds into dust his erstwhile liberalism. Mamet’s Damascene conversion from one side of the bitterly divided American political culture to the other, which he first announced in a 2008 article for the Village Voice headlined “Why I Am No Longer a Brain-Dead Liberal”, shocked his fellow writers and artists.

“I saw things that horrified me in my own behaviour, positions I’d taken that were foolish and absurd,” he declares defiantly. I ask for an example. “Voting for big government. It has ruined our country as it ruined yours. As Churchill said, ‘We fought the war and now our country is giving away everything we fought and died for.’ California is broke, this country is broke, yet we keep on voting for it.”

This peroration, delivered in a husky voice with traces of his native Chicago, is interrupted by the waitress. Mamet switches seamlessly to ordering his food in Hollywood manner – he now lives in the Brentwood district of Los Angeles with his four children, the younger two with his second wife, the Anglo-American actress Rebecca Pidgeon. “Filet mignon rare, and no mashed potatoes please, and no sauce please. I’ll start off with the green salad with the balsamic vinegar on the side.”

I ask whether anything in particular prompted his change of heart and he cites the 2007-2008 film and television writers’ strike and The Unit, a TV show that Mamet created and produced. “All of a sudden, the show was off the air and everyone was thrown out of work – the stagehands, the grips, the costume designers, all the people who worked 16 hours a day ... I realised I had been screwed by unions as much as I’d been helped by them.”

The experience led him to start reading the work of free-market economists such as Friedrich Hayek, Milton Friedman and Adam Smith and philosophers such as John Stuart Mill and Thomas Hobbes. He also talked to Shelby Steele and Thomas Sowell, two conservative writers at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. “My dad was a labour lawyer and the ideas that I grew up with – bad management, bad capitalism, robber barons – when I applied this to my own life, I saw that we are all on both sides of the coin.”

Mamet’s book, with its dismissal of global warming, objections to state-supported spending programmes and scathing hostility to liberals, often reads like someone who is grappling with these well-worn topics for the first time. Later in our conversation, I ask whether he had read any economics before and he says not – he typically gets absorbed in a collection of books relating to his current play for two years at a time before moving on. I wonder what might have happened if he had picked up John Maynard Keynes instead of Friedman.

The Secret Knowledge has had some hostile reviews, including one from John Lloyd in the FT, and Mamet stands accused of turning conservative as he has grown older and richer. When I mention this, he bristles. “People say, Oh, Dave just wrote this book because he made a couple of bucks or because he believes in the state of Israel and he cast his liberal beliefs aside, but what about the arguments?” Mamet, who attends synagogue regularly, cites the Jewish mystical tradition of Kabbalah. “They say you can’t study Kabbalah until you are at least 40 years old. You know why? You have to have experienced at least one generation making the same mistakes as the previous one. Getting into my sixties,I have a certain amount of experience. I know very well what it is to be out of work and to be cheated by employers and I know what it is to be an employer.”

As we eat our salads – I have ordered beetroot salad with goats’ cheese, chives and shallots – I take the opportunity of having this master craftsman in front of me to ask about writing. He commences by defining where others go wrong. “Anyone can write five people trapped in a snowstorm. The question is how you get them into the snowstorm. It’s hard to write a good play because it’s hard to structure a plot. If you can think of it off the top of your head, so can the audience. To think of a plot that is, as Aristotle says, surprising and yet inevitable, is a lot, lot, lot of work.”

So what is the basis of drama? Mamet gazes at me blankly as if the question is naive, then elucidates in one long sentence. “The basis of drama is ... is the struggle of the hero towards a specific goal at the end of which he realises that what kept him from it was, in the lesser drama, civilisation and, in the great drama, the discovery of something that he did not set out to discover but which can be seen retrospectively as inevitable. The example Aristotle uses, of course, is Oedipus.”

We return to politics and I suggest that his intellectual journey from liberalism to neo-conservatism has been travelled before by Jews such as Irving Kristol and Norman Podhoretz. This triggers a long reflection on his own Zionism and how he thinks Israel has been betrayed by the American left.

“The speeches that Charles Lindbergh made and Oswald Mosley made in the 1930s are the same speeches that are being made today, only slightly more politely: ‘The Jews are bringing us to war. Perhaps we should give their state away.’ The liberals in my neighbourhood wouldn’t give away Brentwood to the Palestinians but they want to give away Tel Aviv.”

But attitudes in Europe to the Middle East tend to be more sceptical about Israel than American ones, I interject. Does he believe that anyone who disputes Israel’s land claims and believes in reallocation of territory to the Palestinians is anti-Semitic?

Uncharacteristically, Mamet hesitates slightly as he starts to answer and I wonder if he will back down, or at least hedge his answer. “Well, at some level ... listen ...” He throws his head back and looks briefly at the ceiling before emitting a grunt of relief as he abandons caution.

“Yes!” he exclaims. “Of course! I mean you Brits ... ” He smiles ruefully. “I love the British. Whatever education I have comes from reading your writers and yet, time and time again, for example reading Trollope, there is the stock Jew. Even in George Eliot, God bless her. And the authors of today ... I’m not going to mention names because of your horrendous libel laws but there are famous dramatists and novelists over there whose works are full of anti-Semitic filth.

“There is a profound and ineradicable taint of anti-Semitism in the British ... The paradigmatic Brit as far as the Middle East goes is [TE] Lawrence. That’s just the fact. Even before the oil was there, you loved the desert. It had all these wacky characters ... But there is a Jewish state there ratified by the United Nations and you want to give it away to some people whose claim is rather dubious.”

The elision of criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism strikes me as not only wrong but offensive, yet Mamet has delivered it almost amiably. He has a knack of combining character assassination with dry wit, as if only half-serious.

As the waitress brings Mamet’s steak and a hamburger for me, he exclaims with relish: “Yum, yum, yum.” Then he returns to safer ground. “The first time I met Tennessee Williams,” he recalls, “he showed up at a party in Chicago with two beautiful young boys who were obviously rough trade. He looked at them and then he looked at me and he said, ‘Expensive habit.’ So that’s kind of how I feel about liberalism. It’s a damned expensive habit.”

What does he think of Barack Obama? “The question is can he run on his record in 2012 and the answer is no, because it’s abysmal. He took a trillion dollars and where it went, nobody knows. He dismantled healthcare, he weakened America around the world, he sold out the state of Israel. All he’s got to run on is being a Democrat and indicting the other fellow.”

So who would he prefer as president? He replies that he is “not current” with the Republican contenders until I mention Sarah Palin. “I am crazy about her,” he answers immediately. “Would she make a good candidate for president? I don’t know but she seems to have succeeded at everything she put her hand to.”

Mamet compares Palin to a late friend in Cabot, Vermont, where he owns a “little cabin in the woods ... I like to hunt. I like to fish. Cross-country ski. It’s in the middle of absolute nowhere. A dirt-track road, a 200-year-old post-and-beam house. Gorgeous.” His friend, he continues, was “a hard-working guy, a man of honour who was looking out for the town’s interests. I thought of him when I saw Sarah Palin. She started with the PTA and then became the mayor and then governor [of Alaska]. I thought, well, OK. That’s someone who knows how to work.”

Why, if he so loves small-town America and its values, does he live in the liberal enclave of Los Angeles? “There is a lot of work. My wife works there,” he says and then he mentions his daughters. “They are very, very beautiful. It once occurred to me: being able to write is like being the pretty girl at the party. You can’t be diffident about it because that’s a lie but it’s nothing to be arrogant about.”

The waitress returns and Mamet asks if she has any fresh fruit. She offers us two plates of berries, bananas and sliced apples. “Yum, yum,” he says appreciatively as the fruit arrives a few minutes later. We are discussing Hollywood and his liberal friends and colleagues. “It is very amusing to listen to some people of my acquaintance who not only own summer homes but transcontinental jets going on about greed and how greed is ruining our country,” Mamet says with a laugh. “You get rich through luck. You get rich through crime. You get rich through fulfilling the needs of another. You can be as greedy as you like. If you can’t do one of those three things, you ain’t going to get any money.”

We close with his Phil Spector film and, as Mamet describes a monologue from it, it is clear how much he identifies with the defiantly eccentric and isolated producer – and with Lawrence of Arabia. “He [the Spector character] talks a lot about Lawrence. He loved Lawrence. Either he loved him or I do, I can’t remember. He says in the film Lawrence wanted the one thing that he couldn’t have, which was privacy. He simply wanted to be by himself. Did that make him a monster?”
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PostSubject: Re: HBO PhIl Spector Biopic (David Marmet)    Mon Sep 26, 2011 12:06 pm

As a digression, a good article on David Marmet vs. David Letterman by Gregory Solman.

Quote :
Mamet and Letterman Wage TV War at the Crossroads of 9/11

By Gregory Solman

David Mamet and David Letterman both turned 54 having traversed a similar cultural/temporal landscape when arriving at the post-9/11 crossroads. Letterman veered left, and Mamet moved right. Mamet is a religious man. Letterman, apparently, is not. More to the point, Letterman became a “believer” and Mamet listened, reasoned and read his way out of the cliché of Jewish-American socialism that was a profound Woody Allen joke by 1977 (Alvy Singer’s defense? “I’m a bigot, I know, but for the left.”)

“This is the essence of Leftist thought,” writes Mamet in The Secret Knowledge: On the Dismantling of American Culture, his new book of 39 short essays. “It is a devolution from reason to ‘belief,’ in an effort to stave off a feeling of powerlessness.”

Letterman came undone in Bush/Cheney apoplexy, fell to adultery, was extorted by one of those scrupulous producers at CBS News, adopted a surly, saturnine view of America often indistinguishable from the antiwar radicals of Code Pink and, irony of unfunny ironies, now yucks up CBS’s Late Show under threat of death, a frat boy with a fatwah on his head. Apparently, the Islamic radicals in his audience don’t get the joke, much less credit his appreciation of their worldwide “struggle.”

Mamet, showing shades of the emasculated and latently enlightened detective of his intriguing movie Homicide (1991), fiercely reverted to conservative Judaism—and an Old Testament thirst for justice that one can trace to the climactic summation in his screenplay for The Verdict and his revision of The Winslow Boy. Mamet cleaved to his family, traded required reading with Jon Voight, listened to Glenn Beck and Dennis Prager and absorbed economists Thomas Sowell and Friedrich Hayek. In his book, Mamet restates the angst of Salem Radio talk show hosts in his own voice—the cover of fiction lifted, the lilt of dramatic rhythm retained, no hiding behind ad hoc or dramatis personae but for the inventive use of parable and metaphor, literary techniques that make the book lucid and entertaining. It is a righteous jeremiad.

“We’ve lost 5,000 fellow New Yorkers, and you can feel it,” said Letterman on his return to air after a week-long comedy blackout, Sept. 19, 2001. “And it’s terribly sad.” With nary a mention of Islam or Muslims—a pattern on TV as recognizable as the Indian wearing a feather headdress—Letterman said the perpetrators “were zealots fueled by religious fervor—religious fervor. And if you live to be a thousand years old, will that ever make any goddamn sense?” His audience was left awkwardly unable to applaud on cue.

That same night, what seems more than a decade ago, a weepy Dan Rather praised President Bush for calling for firepower, willpower and “staying power.” He characterized al-Qaida (though not by name or religion) as a “hydra-headed operation in 55 countries around the world” and urged a focus not just on Afghanistan but on the Sudan, Iran, Syria, Libya and Iraq. That was shortly before the reliably wrongheaded New York Times suggested Afghanistan would be the next Vietnam quagmire. They might still be railing that it is, but for later declaring Afghanistan/Iraq as the good/bad wars. Had the Times likewise condemned the congressionally approved, Clinton-signed Iraq Liberation Act (1998), with its explicit goal of regime change? Like the best cons of Mamet movies, the switch takes place before your eyes.

In 2004, a perverse inversion was taking place at Black Rock: While CBS News was telling the demonstrable lies of Rathergate, CBS Entertainment was closer to the truth that’s always the value of good fiction. Thanks to The Unit, the series Mamet created, sometimes wrote, rarely directed and nominally supervised from 2006 to 2009, the network engaged in the rarest of realpolitik. With its deep source Eric L. Haney’s Inside Delta Force, Mamet’s show oozed authenticity and experience about the U.S. military mission, unavoidably entangled family lives, and its frisson with the intelligence apparatus and diplomatic corps (drop the “p”s, Mr. President).

Though it sometimes leaned on G.I. Joe the Explainer for its mass (and now military-distant) audience, The Unit just as frequently rewarded those in on the argot of soldier swagger: Sergeant Major Jonas Blane (Dennis Haysbert) barges into a hangar full of National Guardsmen awaiting orders during a terrorist hostage crisis and bellows with authority, “Who can show me a Ranger tab?”

Bouncing through the Serengeti, puffing cigars under boonie hats; puke-faced after being skyhooked a thousand feet from the ground to a HC-130 aircraft by only a harness; angrily pumping iron, minutes after a training-bullet grazing; defusing stray bombs matter-of-factly (not as a metaphor for insanity as in Kathryn Bigelow’s smug little contrivance, The Hurt Locker), it was a weekly shower of testosterone, impeccably cast with fresh scar-faced and smooth-cheeked stone-cold studs. And just for fun, the occasional bad guy gets plugged through the heart after yelling “Allahu Akbar!”

In the end, Mamet’s counter-terrorist drama was a bracing tribute to unceasing, unapologetic interventionism of necessity. Consigning prime-time P.C. to subplots (a soldier’s wife has a crisis of faith for what is apparently the dark 42 minutes of the soul; the obligatory paean to the homosexual veteran; the rescue of insultingly characterized Christian missionaries; the collusion of white-supremacist hillbillies—not university professors—with foreign terrorists), the show invariably overcame TV’s disastrous tendency to socio-political pandering. Even when it threatened to run off the rails by the third-season introduction of a gorgeous female unit operative—jogging memory of The Simpsons parody when Poochie joins Itchy & Scratchy—it satisfactorily resolved into something Howard Hawks, maybe even James L. Brooks, might approve of. Meanwhile, it maintained its credible survey of the threat map, down to the detail of an Iranian woman spy nervously working at her embassy under the picture of smilingly anti-Semitic Ahmadinejad.

Here’s what Mamet’s The Unit sees around the world: Latino drug dealers smuggle across the California border an Indonesian terrorist out to wreak nuclear havoc—like the real José Padilla, a name that would live in infamy if not for liberal media bias. Arab terrorists hijack business flights in Idaho. Biological weapons stolen from U.S. depots ride on autopilot toward Busch Stadium. The socialist Spanish government uses the unit through the CIA to absolve itself of assassinating a local terrorist—then hangs them out to dry. Russians try to sell nuclear technology to Iran. Twenty-two men fall to an RPG at an insertion point because one of the wives talked. Even the episode on “rendition” avoids David E. Kelley agitprop, counterweighted by a depiction of the real torture suffered by soldiers as part of routine SERE training.

Above all, The Unit rediscovered something television had lost since Vic Morrow was wounded a hundred times in Combat!: It thoroughly respected American soldiers, not just as men, but as men at war, fighting men—not as the uniformed peaceniks, wisecrackers and cranks of TV’s M*A*S*H—as well as the choices they made every day to remain worthy of tribal loyalty.

At the beginning, all late night rebooted in a patriotic mood. Leno paraded celebrities past a 9/11 charity Harley to sign—in Hollywood terms, it was practically equivalent to a loyalty oath. Letterman conspicuously elevated Fleet Week with a nostalgic panorama of audiences filled with sailors. Letterman seemed sincere, in contrast to leftists who pay lip service to our troops as a way of parading their moral superiority not just to the right but to ’60s radicals.

But eventually Letterman lost it. His 2008 interview with celebrated-and-discarded ex-Bush press secretary Scott McClellan (appropriately named, as it were, for Civil War buffs), pushing a self-aggrandizing turncoat’s memoir. Letterman found no more need to cloak his enmity in monologue tradition. Letterman’s unit—his increasingly liberal audience and fawning band members—applauded McClellan’s treachery and asinine effrontery, telling Letterman that Bush “doesn’t spend a lot of time reflecting. I think he should spend more time reflecting.”

“Is Cheney a goon?” Letterman asked. Would Bush defer to Cheney because “he was intellectually lazy?” “There is certainly a lack of intellectual curiosity on the part of the president,” McClellan sheepishly grinned. “My feeling about Cheney and also Bush is that he just couldn’t care less about Americans, and the same is true of George Bush,” Letterman bawled. “And all they really want to do is kiss up to the oil people so they can get some great annuity when they’re out of office. ‘Here you go, Dick, nice job, here’s a couple of billion for your troubles.’” McClellan smiled and nodded. “He pretty much put Halliburton in business and the outsourcing to private mercenary groups,” Letterman blathered. “Is there any humanity left in these guys?” Could an original 9/11 conspiracy theory be far behind? The usual intellectual self-deprecation aside—it’s only part of Letterman’s shtick—had he in fact become a “useful” idiot?

The transformation fit Letterman’s version of comic-turned-dramatic figures, trying Bill Maher-style band-wagoning before anything but tough rooms. Late-night stooge McClellan would go on to endorse Obama. Letterman would lose at least one career-long admirer.

Now it’s Mamet who lives in career limbo, risking retrojected condemnation of his recent stage plays November and Race, which will come as no surprise to the dramatist whose play about misogyny, Sexual Perversity in Chicago, was naturally branded misogynist by a female critic at The Village Voice. “That was,” Mamet recalled “my first personal experience of Political Thought in the Arts…to this day, nearly 40 years after that review, I am asked in lectures, classrooms and interviews why I hate women.” For his part, Letterman now routinely picks on-air fights with conservatives like O’Reilly—try sleeping on that blowhard vs. blowhard—and chases Jon Stewart’s Daily Show demagoguery, genuinely funny men who inflate their self-importance, then deflect criticism by claiming comic dispensation.

Yet, Letterman has yet to top Fox commentator Greg Gutfeld for political commitment: His response to a triumphalist mosque/madrasah near ground zero was to lease space to open a Muslim-themed gay bar across the street (he’s torn between calling it Suspicious Packages or Turban Cowboy). When The Secret Knowledge came out, Gutfield vowed to monitor what he predicts will be Mamet’s declining reputation among New York’s critical apparatchiks in light of Mamet’s much more courageous coming out. Trotskyite Christopher Hitchens, who usually writes for the socialist The Nation—43 issues for $32, all material copyrighted—already found a home at the Times to irritatingly, smugly slam The Secret Knowledge as “irritating” and “smug.”

In The Secret Knowledge, Mamet braves a political truth while mere entertainers like Letterman arrogate opinion vicariously via the cosseted Connecticut crowd and Hollywood’s dacha-on-the-Pacific socialists. What Mamet knows from history is no secret, that the “supposed intransigence on the part of the Religious Right is far less detrimental to the health of the body politic than the Left’s love affair with Marxism, Socialism, Racialism and the Command Economy which,” he writes, “one hundred years of evidence shows leads only to shortages, despotism and murder.”

Let’s see how that plays in Peoria.

http://cityarts.info/2011/09/13/david-v-david/
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PostSubject: Re: HBO PhIl Spector Biopic (David Marmet)    Mon Sep 26, 2011 12:52 pm


-"Hey. Kleinfeld. Let's make a baby."
-"OK."

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PostSubject: Re: HBO PhIl Spector Biopic (David Marmet)    Mon Sep 26, 2011 7:32 pm

Interesting piece, Sharky, thanks for posting.

I recall a decent fight between me and the then g/f (a NY prof, oddly enough) over Mamet as long ago as 1990, after he'd given a Guardian interview saying women didn't have real friendships, that comradeship was an exclusively male virtue or somesuch.
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PostSubject: Re: HBO PhIl Spector Biopic (David Marmet)    Thu Sep 25, 2014 4:48 am

Phil looks like he should be in a carehome not prison.

http://www.newsweek.com/two-phil-spector-mugshots-surface-nightmares-imminent-272891#.VCMC52htAs8.mailto

As an aside, what a shitheap Newsweek has become. Used to be an important title.
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