March 29, 2006
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On Listing Movies

Because it's good to know what you're doing, I make lists of movies I see and books I read. In case you might find this useful or interesting, the recent entries on these lists are in the left-hand column of this page.

Speaking of Elizabethtown, David Mamet describes a malady of the third act he calls the 11pm speech, otherwise known as "the death of my kitten" -- the deeply significant lecture a playwright inserts to add gravity to a third act in trouble. Even the great playwrights resort to death of my kitten: alas, poor Yorick. And this movie is all death of my kitten, entirely montage and monologue. It does have two terrific speeches: a Susan Sarandon funeral standup and a long, long travelogue voiceover that must run 20 minutes and is never far from idiocy but that manages to get boy and girl together while not calling our attention to the fact that he's a blinking idiot and she's a force of nature and a drama that needs this much help to get the lovers together is not much of a drama.