House of Games by David Mamet

Reading the original script of David Mamet's debut 1987 movie is a delight. A brilliant playwright and a brilliant filmmaker, Mamet's con men story keeps you glued to the pages, on the tip of your toes, anxious to move forward. A short 60+ page masterpiece.

A perfect read on a bench in the park. I need to watch this movie again – and soon.

 

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China Doll by David Mamet

Now, man, what are the chances? After a long biography of Marc Rich which I had finished just yesterday, when I picked up China Doll, David Mamet's last play, to read it queitly in the park this Saturday morning, I had absolutely no clue that it was a book about a local governor using the vast power of US federal government to strike a crushing sledgehammer-strong and disproportionate blow against a retired billionaire/adversary of his over a tax saving scheme that turned sour.

Not David Mamet's best play, but I would interested to see it on stage, Al Pacino playing Mickey. The Premiere was in November 2015, it got a lot of poor press – but is it still on? I'll check it out.


The Anarchist by David Mamet

Somehow, it's been a while since I last read a new Mamet's play. And it's always been a treat, with very few exceptions.

This time, the book caught me a bit off guard. Set up entirely as a dialogue between two women, one a prisoner, and the another, a warden of sorts, it was a bit difficult to plow through it at the beginning.

A third or so in, this Raskolnikov-like story caught up with me, and I did enjoy it. Not Oleanna, but still, quite nice. Sad no Mamet available in Moscow theaters – and I'm not sure he translates well.

 


David Mamet Shorts

A nice collection of three Mamet's shorts by L.A. Theatre. Less profound than his typical long works for the stage and cinema, however these 2 hours were worth it.

I would say that Bobby Gould in Hell is extremely funny, like classic Mamet funny. I would love to see that on stage.

The Reunion was nothing too great – or maybe just not my kinda thing.

And The Shawl was, umm, unexpected. Enjoy!

P.S. I realized L.A. Theatre is available on Russian iTunes at 1/2 of audible price, huh. As much as I love having all on the same platform, greed rules.

 


Speed the Plow by David Mamet

I just love David Mamet – and truly enjoyed Speed the Plow dramatized by Jeff Goldblum and Adam Arkin.
 
Written on a topic Mamet is so knowledgeable about – the movie business. The fun version of Bambi, huh 😉 And it's just 1 hr 20 mins. Bought it on audible as a trial book maybe 2 years ago – and now got my hands on it. Grrrreat.
 
As far as I know, Madonna played the leading female role on Broadway – shall I search YouTube for the record of the performance? Hm
 

Bambi vs. Godzilla: On the Nature, Purpose, and Practice of the Movie Business by David Mamet

Mamet's non-fiction book on the movie business is one big piece of sheer cynicism – and intellectual superiority. Be prepared. A true cinema buff like myself, I was humbled by the vast amount of names and movies I have missed entirely or haven't seen at best. And many things I didn't know – well, I don't know some of them still.

The book is smart, but it ain't an easy ride. When you have every line as a punch line, I tend to miss a few punches. Like some say, your brain is a muscle, and here you are forced to train it.

The most interesting part – the section on Genre. You can read all the Cinema Scope, Sight & Sound, Искусство Кино, etc etc – but this bit is obligatory reading for all the movie zombies like me. You could've skipped War and Piece at school (like I did, miraculously), but you mustn't miss this.

If the shark makes us say “ooh”, it has earned our few dollars. If the filmmaker can make us say “ooh” of a shot of the empty water, give him his private plane.

The observed rule in Hollywood is: “Feel free to treat everyone like scum, for if the desire something from you, they'll just have to put up with it, and should they rise to wealth and power, any past civility shown towards them will either be forgotten or remembered as some aberrant and contemptible display of weakness.”

 


The Cryptogram by David Mamet

Can't say I truly understood what this book was about. I didn't read it as child's coming of age or betrayal related to family breakup, as some reviews claimed.

It seems I am falling out of grace with Mamet – second play in a row that I don't like much. Frankly, Keep Your Pantheon one was funnier and easier to dig.

I reckon I should stop reading his drama and start hitting the theater more often – sad no Mamet available in Moscow though.

Or audio books. Downloaded Speed the Plow for Kindle – will see how it goes.

P.S. Am reading Bambi vs. Godzilla in parallel – also, not an easy read, though it's non-fiction – but it has it's moments, I guess.