Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Camera Never Lies...When It Dies, Man, When It Dies, He Dies...

This 1967 photo of Marlon Brando and Elizabeth Taylor surfaced recently in Elizabeth Taylor: Queen of the Silver Screen, by Ian Lloyd.

But, oh man, this photo should have been one of the dossier photos seen when Capt. Willard leafs through Col. Kurtz's file on the boat in Apocalypse Now. It captures perfectly Kurtz's shattered psyche, and, dating from 1967, inherently possesses the perfect elements of dress, hairstyle, and photographic quality for a snapshot that, in the context of the film, would date from the early to mid-1960s.

Imagine seeing this snapshot among the army photos and documents chronicling Kurtz's rise through the ranks and descent into madness, as Willard narrates, "He broke from them, and then he broke from himself. I'd never seen a man so broken up and ripped apart."

Such verisimilitude portraying that Col. Kurtz had indeed gone totally insane...even if this photo tacitly implies that he broke from himself first.

It's a shame that this photo wasn't available to Francis Ford Coppola during principal photography—but Coppola could re-cut the film to insert it. Why not? There already are so many re-edited and reduxed versions that one more hardly seems a big deal.

Perhaps for Apocalypse Now's 35th anniversary...

I hope Coppola will; this photo would add one more layer of weird to this ultimate tale of the Vietnam War's insanity.

(Photo from Apocalypse Now copyright Zoetrope Studios.)

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Two Thoughts I Could Not A-Voight

I was watching some of Deliverance last night, and I got to thinkin' that the Seinfeld episode, "The Mom & Pop Store," in which George believes he bought Jon Voight, the actor's, Chrysler LeBaron convertible should've been about George purchasing a canoe because he thought it once belonged to Jon Voight. After all, the only real on-screen mode of transportation with which Voight is famously identified is a canoe (unless you wanna count FDR's wheelchair in Pearl Harbor or Luke Martin's wheelchair in Coming Home—but a Seinfeld "wheelchair" episode ["The Handicap Spot"] had already been done)...

Every hillbilly's talkin' at me
I can't understand a word they're sayin'
Just rowin' around in Jon Voight's canoe



And in another Jon Voight–related matter, my 35-and-over baseball season recently ended...with my team losing in the semifinals. Batting an even .300 over three games, as well as drawing three bases on balls, I'm satisfied that I pulled my weight in our effort.

Or did I?

It occurred to me several days after we were eliminated that I could have taken the opportunity after at least one of those Ball Four's to yell at the opposing pitcher a Ratso Rizzo–esque "I'm walkin' here!" while running to first base. This most famous quote from Midnight Cowboy—and its accompanying profanities and obscene gestures—likely would have unsettled the pitcher, providing us a chance for a big inning that may well have swung the series in our favor. Ultimately, I don't think I can be faulted for failing to try this tactic...but you can be sure I'm going to study it all winter and practice my "Ratso" intently during spring training so I'll have it ready for Opening Day 2013!

(Image from Deliverance copyright Warner Brothers; image from Seinfeld copyright NBC; image from Midnight Cowboy copyright United Artists.)