Zombie Politics

I drank your milkshake.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

How I Met Stuart Gordon



This last Saturday I was in The City and I thought – yee-gads! – we should go to the “Monster House” sneak preview in 3-Motherfucking-D at the theater up in Columbus Cirlce. So we go, and it’s sold out. It was then that I was forcibly shoved into a grumpy mood. So I sulked down the street until coming upon one of the little arthouse theaters down the street. I looked up at the marquee and saw that “Edmond,” a Stuart Gordon film starring William H Macy and based on David Mamet’s first play, was playing. I had been waiting to see this movie forever. Why? Because I’m a huge nerd. And I read shit online all day long. I didn’t know anything else about it – but the above sentence was enough to get me jazzed. So, I convinced my significant other to go (by paying for our tickets) and down we went. It was the 6:35 show on an insignificant Saturday afternoon.

Shortly before the movie was scheduled to start a manager-type made an announcement: “I just wanted to let everyone know that they should stick around after the movie, because we’re going to have a short Q & A with William H Macy.” I was shocked. This is beyond awesome. Fuck “Monster House.”

So the movie played and about halfway through the woman to my direct right got up and left, telling me “I just can’t handle it anymore,” like I had something to do with it. What did she want me to say? “I’m sorry ma’am, I was the costume designer, I had no idea it would turn out this way?” But I could see why she left: this movie is raw. Fucking raw. It tackles difficult subject matter (race, sex, disillusionment) was a fearless bravado and intensity. David Mamet’s script (full of his usual stutters, fucks, cunts, and the like) is like an out of control brushfire and Stuart Gordon’s sure handed direction is the perfect agent to coral and contain said fire, without losing any of its heat. The entire cast is terrific, with each new scene a new little vignette is played out and a different actor can shine – even Herbet West himself, Jeffrey Combs! There’s one moment that’s so shocking that our entire audience (comprised mostly of upper class white intellectuals) let out an audible gasp of disbelief.

Then there was the Q & A. One of my biggest pet peeves is when someone asks a question by talking about themselves. “Um, this movie really made a profound impact on me, I had a really hard day and…” That is literally how someone started their question. It’s like aaaaaaand? Ask them questions. You have certifiable talents here (in addition to William H Macy, Stuart Gordon and Bai Ling were also present) and you’re talking about yourself? It’s so egocentric; it blows my mind. Anyway, I asked my question and boy howdy was it a good one:

“Mr. Gordon is it true that your’e doing ‘House of Re-Animator” and that Mr. Macy is involved?”

And the answer? YES. William H Macy WILL play the President, who dies in office and is brought back to life by Herbert West’s green zombie goo. It films sometime next year.

After the movie I briefly chatted up Mr. Gordon and told him how much I liked his “Masters of Horror” episode (he did Lovecraft’s “Dreams in the Witch House”) and asked him if he was doing something for the second season. He said yes, he was – he’s adapting Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Black Cat” (with “Re-Animator” scribe Dennis Paoli – who was also there, for some reason) and that Jeffrey Combs would star as Poe. That’s pretty thrilling, I think. He ended the conversation by asking me my name, which made me feel pretty good. He’s just such a nice, cool guy – a director that has racked up an impressive catelogue without ever resorting to being a Hollywood sell out or self promoting prick (see “Dagon” for a prime example of both his talent and lack of support).

Way to go Stuart Gordon!

Anyway… that’s it for now…

D.

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