Saturday, July 03, 2004

The Feather of Life Gave Him a Hernia (No, That Still Makes Sense)

Sometimes Mick LaSalle will write so nice a sentence and make so reasonable a point, I could just hug his little Italian neck. And then other times....

This morning in the Chron in a front-page tribute to Marlon Brando, Mick writes that Brando:

...had a touch of the feminine about him, an artist's soul he could never completely disguise. That unconcealable soul was perhaps his limitation, but it was also his glory. It was what made Marlon Brando. Maintaining that soul, rather than promoting his art, was ultimately the true mission of this actor's life.


This is pretty much nonsense, isn't it? He's got an artist's soul, a kind of a sissy, frilly thing, and the essence of an artist's soul is refusing to promote art. I think I know what this might mean but.... Oh, who cares. You have 45 minutes to write this kind of thing -- it's journalism. But if this one were already in the can, the way some obits are....

Anyway, writing gauzy nothings is just what the feature end of newspaper writing -- I include reviewing in this category -- is all about. I say to myself: Let it go. Why be a man bitch? There's dumb stuff, and then there's wrong stuff. The actual howler, the oops moment, in LaSalle's homage comes a little earlier. Brando, he says:

...excelled at playing men crucified on the rack of circumstance.


Damn, Ed. We're out of crosses on which to crucify this girly-boy of a stone-soul artist. The bread board is too small and we need the pingpong table.... Of course! The rack!

I love this job.

1 comment:

G Pabst said...

Women actors (is this too PC?) had commented before - more than once, in my recollection - about Brando's "almost feminine" sensitivity as an artist. I'm guessing this was in the file LaSalle used.

Stop the presses! Give me rewrite!
GP

Cranky is good!
Tim Goodman has cranky pants.*
I suggest you claim cranky shoes.
Kind of like comedians staking out life-threatening diseases.

* resonance with Letterman's "World Wide Pants."