Tuesday, August 08, 2006

I'm an Indian too

Until it officially opens, I will refrain from posting at length about the new A.R. Gurney play, Indian Blood, seen tonight at 59E59. A quick comment, though: Rebecca Luker is in it (and no, it's not a musical), and she looks uncannily like Catherine O'Hara. She even talks like her. Weird.

Another recent viewing, on DVD this time: John Huston's 1948 The Treasure of the Sierra Madre. Great scene at the beginning, when a Mexican kid (played by Robert Blake!) tries to get Humphrey Bogart to buy a lottery ticket. Bogart keeps waving him away, the kids keeps insisting, so Bogey throws a glass of water at him. Ah, the days when movies showed people casually being mean to kids (as opposed to showing more severe child abuse, which is relatively frequent on screen now and becomes the point of the story, rather than a visual detail meant to delineate a character) and smoking… Of course, the brief scene is meant to foreshadow the revelation that Bogart's character is a little, how shall I put it?—unstable. Still…

The movie also confirms that I much prefer Bogart as a bad guy; another favorite performance by him is as a nasty, violent screenwriter in Nicholas Ray's In a Lonely Place, made two years after Sierra Madre. The novel upon which that film is based, by Dorothy Hughes, is quite different but still worth picking up, especially since it was reissued by the Feminist Press three years ago. (I actually did an article about the Feminist Press' pulp reissues, including Hughes' book, at the time.)

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