Tuesday, May 16, 2006

A big film in a small space

hoffman as capoteYesterday, I saw a big film in the world’s smallest cinema.

Philip Seymour Hoffman’s portrayal of Truman Capote in the eponymously named film is a truly great performance that fully deserved the Oscar he got earlier on in the year. The film captures the time during which Capote researched the material for his most famous book, ‘In Cold Blood’, the only one of his books that I’ve read. The only other work of his that I know is the film of his novel, ‘Breakfast at Tiffanys’. That notwithstanding, I’ve long known who and what he was: a brilliant writer and social butterfly with an ego that would never have wanted to be encountered in the world’s smallest cinema.

Capote was fully aware of how his camp demeanour and high-pitched nasal voice were very off-putting to those who first met him but he was adept at ingratiating himself into the lives of others, particularly those who could advance him in any way. Hoffman produces a totally unsympathetic character who repels and fascinates as he befriends, almost seduces, Perry Smith, one of the killers responsible for the Clutter murders in rural Kansas in 1959. Through his intervention, he manages to get several stays of execution but there appears to be no other motive for this other than having more time to gather material for a book he knows is going to be ground-breaking.

This film isn’t a biography in that it concentrates on a particular episode of Capote’s life but it manages to encapsulate every facet that made up the character of a great twentieth century literary figure. On completing ‘In Cold Blood’, Capote effectively created the genre of reportage with his non-fiction novel and in celebrating its success with a black and white ball (he claimed that he made 500 friends and made 15000 enemies on the day the invitations went out) he was one of the first Americans to mix up old-money privilege with pop artists, models and photographers.

6.30am6.10pmticketafter the filmbrochure


Blogger Caroline said...

Hey I'm glad you got there and enjoyed the show - was the idea of blogging about it one of your motivators for finally making the effort?

Whether it was or not you've introduced me to someone I'd not heard of at all before. I've heard of Breakfast at Tiffany's but don't remember ever seeing it.

What was it like being in such a small cinema? did it make the experince more intimate?

3:51 pm  
Blogger Saddle Up said...

Philip Seymour Hoffman is without doubt one of my favourite actors. His spot in Magnolia as the carer was just amazing... real depth portrayed in every scene. He's a real great...

7:19 pm  
Blogger nyasha said...

liked the film review. Had planned to rent the DVD, as i missed it at the cinema, so now i have a bit of an historical background to go with it. Loved Hoffman in MI3 though.

10:10 pm  
Blogger Reluctant Nomad said...

caroline: I stood outside the cinema yesterday morning, waiting for my lift, and saw that Capote, a film I'd wanted to see, was showing. As I was leaving work early, I suddenly thought it a good idea to see it when I got home and got hold of some friends to see if they were interested. They were so we went. But while there, I thought that I had to blog about it as I'd blogged about it a few days before. As for being more intimate, I suppose it would have been but there were only three other people besides us three. Had it been fuller, I'd not have liked it that much, I think.

saddle up: I've liked him for a long time and always liked the roles he's played. He's one of those actors you'll go see even if a film doesn't particularly appeal at first.

coffee addict: just call yourself 'aluno' and me 'profesor'. :-)

10:24 pm  
Blogger Gay banker said...

I enjoyed it too. I thought the other killer, who Capote gave straight porn to, was a bit of a hottie :-)

GB xx

11:09 pm  
Blogger Frog with a Blog said...

I like those small flicks, they're so pedagogical! But still no picture of you...

11:26 pm  
Blogger Saddle Up said...

Agreed Nomad - I'm yet to see Capote... will get it on DVD.

12:30 am  
Blogger Rob7534 said...

I saw Capote a while back, and I enjoyed the film.

I was reading James Wolcott's blog, a writer for Vanity Fair who apparently knew Capote, and he was impressed w/Hoffman's ability to recreate Capote's mannerisms and vocal inflection.

5:53 am  
Blogger nyasha said...

don't flatter yourself Nomad! (hahaha). I've been following the comments around, Micke, you, my blog and i'm off to Babs. You guys are hillarious! echoing Frog: still no picture of you.

7:44 am  
Blogger Reluctant Nomad said...

But there is a picture of me buried in the archives.

Go here

8:47 am  
Blogger Ben said...

Really want to see this! Never made it to the Screen Room during my time in Nottm - whisper it, but I only went to the Broadway once (not counting visits to the bar, that is...).

1:42 pm  
Blogger Phidoux said...

Ya know ...

I don't think that your blog is boing and I kinda like the bold graphics....

On Capote - I too recently saw it. I thought he was right on with Capote's character. The first hour was awesome, but it started to fizzle a little for me into the second half. I did enjoy the film though for the most part .


8:22 pm  
Blogger nyasha said...

read the interview and saw the pic! the good looking guys ARE gay!! lucky me, i snatched my husband at an early age: 17! :)

7:42 am  
Blogger Reluctant Nomad said...

ben: it's a good bar to go to so that's perfectly understandable.

phidoux: I agree to some extent with his assesment about there being too much going on but a redesign is too much of an effort right now. It'll happen sometime. Capote did fizzle a bit in the second half but, overall, it was very good.

coffee addict: flattery will get you everywhere!

8:44 am  

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