Six Degrees of Cinema: Brief Interviews with Hideous Men

So I broke one of my English major cardinal rules on this one and watched the movie before reading the book (by the late great David Foster Wallace), but I’m glad that I hadn’t. Not because there was some sort of plot twist to be given away, the book is a short story collection, and the movie’s plot never really comes together, but because Wallace is such a great writer I might have had higher expectations for this movie coming in.

This is essentially a series of monologues interspersed with shots of Julianne Nicholson having emotional reactions. Or a stone face. Some of the individual stories are really compelling. I especially loved the piece with an older African-American man talking about how his dad had been a restroom attendant in a fancy building:

As a series of monologues this is great, I almost wish they would have left the interviewer off-screen (the way apparently she is apparently anonymous in the original text), because she is the weak point here for me. I don’t really care about her heartbreak, because she doesn’t seem like a real person. These men (for the most part) seem real, and they are cast wonderfully. Timothy Hutton? Josh Charles? Chris Messina? With John Krasinski? In the same movie? Damn…

Krasinski also adapted and directed the film, and while it (clearly) wasn’t my favorite movie, I love the ambition of attempting to tackle DFW with your non-acting screen debut. So I’m using him as my link, not as an actor (because I’ve seen most of those movies already) but as a writer, which will allow me to play a little catch up from last year and watch Promised Land which he co-wrote with Matt Damon and was directed by Gus van Sant, which I guess makes Krasinski the Affleck replacement? We’ll see…

In this chain:

A Royal AffairCoco Chanel & Igor StravinskyPriceless Midnight in Paris – Brief Interviews with Hideous Men


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