Saturday, November 08, 2008

Elvis Mitchell-Edward Norton

Check Turner Classic for a series of hour long interviews that critic Elvis Mitchell is doing with actors. I caught the first one last night. Mitchell does something rare among interviewers--he lets his subject talk at length. There were long periods when Mitchell was neither seen nor heard. The most interesting part of the discussion for me was the Martin Scorcese section. Norton noted that the dark drama Taxi Driver and the black comedy King of Comedy are inter-related thematically. The killer Travis Bickel is one side of the same coin as wanna-be comedian Rupert Pupkin. Both are dealing with the ravages of isolation. Since these are among my top five Scorcese films--and I'd never thought of them as being related--I found his theory fascinating. With a lot of scenes from the movies Norton discusses, the hour is a serious but never pretentious look at the films and actors who have influenced Norton.

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