Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Double Dactyl Tuesdays: House of Games

Higgledy piggledy
"Glengarry" play-writer
first wrote and directed
with con on his mind.
Drama queen Lindsay Crouse
Mametologically
proves with her pantsuit that
love is not blind.

On my third and most recent viewing of House of Games, David Mamet's directorial debut, it was plain to see why we could easily dislike and mock it. The dialogue? Stilted. The performances? Affected. The plot points? Contrived and improbable. Yet, for some reason, I love the wooden way Mamet wrote and directed the leads: Crouse as a repressed psychiatrist and best-selling author, Joe Mantegna as a classy con artist. I love the way Mamet puts all the focus on the words, the characters' cadence, to create a chord-like progression over the steady bassline of visuals. What results is a strange rhythmic precision. The movie sounds like Bach, looks like Edward Hopper and feels like nothing I've seen before or since.

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