I Feel Truly Ashamed

Paul Newman passed away on the 26th of September. May the man rest in peace.

My work colleague and blog regular Matt Etheridge alerted me to this sad fact today, I hadn’t heard, it’d been a busy weekend. He followed up with “you’ll be doing something about him on the blog then?” to which I initially thought, “yeah, of course I will”

Tonight, as I sat down to pen (or type) a comprehensive and heartfelt tribute, the realisation hit me……..

I haven’t seen a Paul Newman picture since I was a little boy….. And that was TOWERING INFERNO

He’s an actor I’ve always seemed to miss. I’ve only got 2 of his films in my collection, THE HUSTLER (Which I’m definately watching as SOON as I’ve finished here) and TORN CURTAIN. I’ve watched The Hustler once but it doesn’t count as I was really drunk and I’ve tried to watch Torn Curtain 3 times but can never get through it. The phone always goes, I have to go out, I GET BORED!

I can’t begin to answer how I’ve managed to miss BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID, and THE COLOUR OF MONEY is literally the only Scorsese movie I’ve not seen.

So…. I’m sorry Paul, what can I say? Not much with any authority or knowlege.

I’m a new man learning about Newman, tonight it starts with THE HUSTLER. I’d appreciate a recomendation of where in his career I should go next.

………. I can almost hear Matt sharpening his knives of disdain on the grindstone of contempt.

RIP Paul.

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17 responses to “I Feel Truly Ashamed

  1. Oh the shame!! I feel lessened as a himan being just by knowing you.

    You should however knock off some of that French tat from your LoveFilm list and replace immediately with The Sting, Hud, The Verdict, Sweet Bird of Youth, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Road to Perdition and The Hudsucker Proxy!!

    I think Redford said it best “There is a point where feelings go beyond words. I have lost a real friend. My life – and this country – is better for his being in it.” how very true.

    The best of his generation and an example to all that follow him.

  2. No more commenting on work time Matthew, you just get yourself worked up!

    French tat? Do you mean Tati, their answer to Chaplin whos classics include JOUR DE FETE (1949), MON ONCLE (1958) and LES VACANCES DE MONSIEUR HULOT (1953)??…. Probably not eh? I’d give you some mind changing French cinema to turn your opinion but I’ll bet you’ve STILL not watched BURDEN OF DREAMS yet have you?…. AND THAT’S IN ENGLISH! 🙂

    I’m on a Coen Brothers binge at the moment so THE HUDSUCKER PROXY is coming very soon. They’ve got it on VHS in the college library but even I’ve moved on from VHS….. Just.

    All good shouts on the Newman front. All have been added.

  3. When you say their answer to Chaplain do you mean hugely over-rated, unfunny and with a disturbing fetish for very young girls?

    Just because it’s in a foreign tounge doesn’t give it added value.

    Now away with you and watch Slap-Shot!

  4. I saw the Colour of Money for the first time recently and wasn’t too impressed. I only watched 3/4s but it seemed pretty formulaic and LESS believable than Marty’s gtangster romps, despite this one being largely about pool (or nine-ball).

  5. Old comedy has to be taken in context. I don’t think you can under rate someone who entertained and amused generations of cinema goers without actually saying anything. Same goes for Tati. These guys have more inventiveness and talent in one finger than Judd Apatow has in his ENTIRE EVERYTHING.

    I’ve never ONCE said that subtitles immediately give a film kudos. Countless foreign films have bored me to tears. Heading east for your cinema however, be it Europe or farther beyond, reveals freedoms lost in the USA….. *on the whole*

  6. Mike: Do you have a copy? Have you seen THE HUSTLER?

    Yeah, I read Scorsese on Scorsese not that long ago where this film was mentioned at length. Not his best by many accounts but it’s gotta be better than BOXCAR BERTHA?

  7. Color of Money is a fantastic movie but doesn’t really come together until the final act.

    Has to be watched after seeing the Hustler too to really apreciate whats happening with Eddie and what is motivations really are.

    The movie is not a simple as it can first seem and the depth of character Newman creates is a wonderfull thing.

    As for you Mr C you may not have “said” subtitles add kudos (although I think you mean chachet) but we both know your preference is for films in a foreign language shot in black & white and directed by someone the vast majority of people have never heard of, not because the films are better but you feel it makes YOU superior to the rest of us.

  8. I’m in the middle of something but feel compelled to respond……

    “(although I think you mean chachet)”…. Ok Matt, you knew what I meant!!

    As for my reasons for liking foreign films… You know that’s not the case, I speak about the films in the hope that if someone comes across them, they might take a look. Shame on you for casting doubt on my cinematic motives!

  9. Tounge was firmly in cheek my friend.

    I would NEVER dream of bespoiling your good name. Heaven forbid.

  10. “I would NEVER dream of bespoiling your good name. Heaven forbid.”

    Tongue firmly in cheek?……

  11. Not at all!

    Just consider me the language police.

    I mean where would all your subtitled “masterpieces” be without good use of the Queens?

  12. Exactly!

    Which makes your rejection of such cinema all the more baffling.

  13. Rejection?

    Don’t make me laugh. I was championing Del Toro in the early 90’s after Cronos and Nakata and Tsukamoto long before that.

    Don’t even get me started on Kurosawa, Otomo or the frankly devine Studio Ghibli.

    I have no problem with foreign language cinema as a viewing experience (especially that of the far east)…..just foreign language cinema as a life-style choice.

    And whilst you may not be personally guilty of such a thing you are an “Art Student” and thus must take responsibility for your beret wearing bretheren.

  14. I’ll give you that one. You do indeed champion some mighty decent stuff produced in a foreign tongue.

    You definately seem to have a general dislike of French cinema though. One mention of Godard or Truffaut and you’re spitting like a mad cat.

    How so?

  15. I guess to answer that I’d have to refer you back to my earlier posts.

    I cannot abide the lofty, self congratulatory, pretentious “cine-philes” that will sit through impenetrable Avant-garde nonsense or some pedestrian character piece that wouldn’t get a second look in English and would be dismissed for the self indulgent cobblers it is but will, solely due to its foreign origin, discuss it as if it were the Godfather as they seem to feel it makes them look (and more importantly feel) superior to those around them.

    I can barely contain myself when confronted with some “Frasier Crane” type who will try to attach a deeper sub-text to some 1940’s French comedy nonsense that doesn’t use dialogue effectively just because they feel they will seem clever as a result.

    Hey if you genuinely like the work of the former mime (and I’m sure in your case you do) then good for you it’s clearly my loss.

    Someone who has a genuine affection for a film can, I think, be seen in the way the movie is talked about. And I say “talked about” as opposed to the loftier “discussed”.

    Now I appreciate that French cinema isn’t the only means to an end for these fools and Italian and Swedish cinema could be lumped in there too but it seems to me, from experience, that these phonies seem to have a special link with French cinema and I guess, in the same way that hearing UB40 reminds me of the mindless thugs from my school days who would like nothing more than a Friday night fight topped off with a touch of teenage date rape, French cinema appreciation always sounds like poseur posturing to me.

  16. It’s a shame your view of a whole raft of amazing cinema has been tarnished by the beret wearers. I know what you mean though.

    I wouldn’t say that Tati would even get into my top 5 French directors. In fact the only reason I referenced him is you mentioned the word “tat”. I have the 3 films of his I listed but they don’t get much airplay, they are quite sweet though.

    The fact of the matter is that the likes of Jules Dassin (Rififi), Henry-Georges Cluzot (Les Diaboliques, Wages of Fear), Louis Malle (Lift to the Scaffold), Jean Luc Godard (Alphaville) François Truffaut (Jules et Jim, The Man Who Loved Women) were all making films that are BLOODY GOOD, the examples I’ve given only scratch the surface. There are further examples from Sweden and Italy of course. It doesn’t end with the classic examples either, there’s good stuff coming out of all those countries to the present day, Francois Ozon, Michael Haneke, Jacques Audiard and others are producing exciting engaging movies that can be viewed purely as entertainment.

    I don’t think there’s anything wrong with “discussing” cinema. Like any art form, the times in which the films were made are inevitably saturated into the picture itself which makes further investigation interesting, Vittoria de Sica’s THE BICYCLE THIEVES for instance. As long as the reason for looking beyond the picture, or deeper into the structure etc. is born of passion and not of a desire to impress bystanders, I’m all for it.

    And of course, these people exist in all artistic mediums. I’m equally sick of muso’s and art critics sucking the life out of the work by droning on in a self serving manner.

  17. Ah, Jules et Jim. That would be the “Red, Red Wine” of my analogy. Seems to always come up as the weapon of choice of the poseur. I’ve seen it a couple of times, both in the presence of said poseurs, and it didn’t resonate with me, maybe due to the company, but I think due to the characters. Jules makes me want to punch him in the face (but again that could be down to displaced rage given the company) and I fail to see what they see in the girl (Catherine?) beyond the obvious.

    Bicycle Thieves seems to be highly regarded in the same circles too to be honest but that’s Italian isn’t it so doesn’t count (and I don’t think I’ve ever seen it all the way through in a single sitting so would be unfair to comment). Also I love The Battle of Algiers and Spaghetti Westerns (I especially Django) so Italian cinema is OK by me.

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