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20 January 2008 @ 05:39 pm
More miscellaneous Martin Landau and James Dean stuff  
"I'm a serious-minded and intense little devil - terribly gauche and so tense that I don't see how people can stay in the same room as me. I know I couldn't tolerate myself." - James Dean, in an interview.

Ah, I suppose it's cliche to identify with James Dean... or maybe after 50 years it's more uncool to do so, I don't know. But yeah, much of what I've read from and about him has had me nodding either in recognition or agreement. Not that I want to be an actor these days or anything. God no. I also hope to be more secure in my gayness and more stable overall and also would prefer not to die in a year and a half. But otherwise, I mean... yeeeeah. Although, I mean, I've heard the argument that we tend to identify with the person we think he was. But don't most of the people doing that see him as this brooding, sexy, romantic lone-wolf? Whereas I sort of love the fact that he was basically a little asshole. IDK MAYBE I'M JUST TALKIN SHIT HERE.

kleenexwoman also said at one point that I looked sort of like Jimmy (blatantly untrue, unless the boy dyed his hair red, but still cute), which later led to this conversation:

Me: So, wait, what do I do to look like James Dean?
Her: Well, uh, your hair needs to be a little less... washed.
Me: *fucking cracks up* Oh, so I just need to look like hell, huh? ... orrrrrr, wait, I could just get some mousse!

So that night we went and bought random stuff and I did get some mousse, but I haven't actually used it yet. BUT WE SHALL SEE.

Also, I'm watching the episodes of Entourage that Martin Landau guest-starred on. He's an unfairly adorable old man. I would have hung around in Bob's house till he kicked me out, actually, but then I fucking love old people stories. ... is that weird? It's a little weird.

Oh oh, and how in the hell did I miss this the first time around? From John Gilmore's recollections of James Dean, with Martin Landau:

We were walking my bike along the trail on the Fifth Avenue side one day and saw Jimmy on a bench with another actor, Martin Landau. They were sitting at opposite ends of the bench, having some sort of argument. Jimmy was eating peanuts and had a camera strapped around his neck. He said he was taking pictures of the monkey - I thought he was kidding Landau, who looked angry.

As we talked, Jimmy tossed peanuts at Miriam, throwing basketball shots to sink them down the front of her low-cut blouse. She laughed, caught some and threw them back. Jimmy thought that was great fun, and giggled while Landau looked resentful and kept urging Jimmy to leave. He stood up, tried to pull Jimmy by the arm, but Jimmy said "No," mouthing the word exaggeratedly and repeating it, rolling his eyes and acting silly.

Disgusted, Landau said, "Okay, okay," and walked away. Though they were friends, Jimmy shook his head and looked at us, saying, "Who was that guy? Some flake, man!"


Dude, that totally reads like a lover's spat. I'm just sayin'. Someone was jealous.

And oh god, I feel bad for laughing at this, but... well:

Hitchcock had seen Landau onstage with Edward G. Robinson in the Los Angeles road show production of The Middle of the Night. Like Saint, Landau had studied with the Actors Studio, but while Saint was flexible in her approach, the younger actor's Method was more tortured--and contrary to Hitchcock's approach. Mason watched the director have malicious fun undercutting Landau in his first scene, where Thornhill is kidnapped and brought to meet Vandamm.

Landau had persuaded himself that it was "an important scene," according to Mason, who shared the scene with him. "He had given it much thought and, with a sense of something already achieved, said to me, 'There is a very clear progression for me in the course of this scene and, step by step, I have planned exactly what I must do with it.'"

When Hitchcock arrived to take charge, the director asked his assistant, Peggy Robertson, to remind him of the order of the setups. She consulted her notes, and said he had planned to shoot the high-angles first, then the other shots. According to Mason, the scene had been deliberately cut up, "so Landau never had a chance for his clear progression."
- Alfred Hitchcock: A Life in Darkness and Light by Patrick McGilligan, p. 568

Oh, poor serious actor Marty. God, he was trying so hard, that's hilarious. A painful learning curve there. I wonder if he went home and cried into Barbara's lap.

I am posting a lot right now because the semester has yet to begin kicking my ass. Rest assured that this will take place very soon, however.
 
 
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