The Liminalist # 107: One Man’s Heaven (with Keith Gordon)

First of a two-part conversation with actor and director Keith Gordon, on over- and underrated directors, Dressed to Kill, Home Movies, working with Brian DePalma, Gordon as science-wiz-kid, making Home Movies, growing up in the theater, 2001: A Space Odyssey, working in MOMA, random opportunities, Jaws 2, informal training, Bob Fosse and All That Jazz, working with John Carpenter on Christine, Seen & Not Seen, intersecting obsessions with Jonathan Lethem, Static, seeing Heaven, Talking Heads, Mark Romanek, independent cinema, Romanek and the suppression of Static, an artist’s growth arc, the bone with Kubrick, artificiality and Hollywood engines of self-aggrandizement, Midnight Clear & the pull of art, Keith’s tortured artist father, directing Bud Cort & Malcolm McDowell, the individuality of freedom.


Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 30:00 — 30.3MB)

On John Carpenter, Chocolate War, John Glover, & sharks in Hollywood.

Songs: “The Kommema and his Religion” by SunWalker; “Eternal Bliss,” by Todd W. Emmert; “What I’ve Been Looking For,” “Live in a Dream,” by Andy Wagner.

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  1. JorisKarl
    Posted April 7, 2017 at 12:18 am | Permalink

    I’ve watched Harold and Maude so many times over the years since first seeing it at age 17 as part of (dis)orientation week at a small liberal arts college in Portland, Oregon, 1976. A crowd-pleasing moment for the young audience was when Bud Cort’s character, Harold Chasen, looks away from his mother, played by Vivian Pickles, and engages the audience with a wicked, knowing smile. That scene is very powerful on the big screen but not so much on home screens. Another great film starring Bud Cort is Brewster McCloud but I’ve only seen it once many years ago and can’t remember the plot. Lately, films, even good ones, don’t satisfy me as much as reading does. I suppose I find films too linear whereas with novels, and epic poetry–I’m reading Dante’s Paradiso–seem less linear or bound up with the flow of time, that there is a sense of backward and forward space in reading that allows for more dimensions and a contemplative pace. Films move too fast for me. The exception, and there may be others that I can’t think of right now, is Harold and Maude. For instance, when I see the scene where Maude makes off with Harold’s hearse and rounds the bend whose arc is reflected in the arc of the rainbow that graces the wet sky, and he informs her that it’s his hearse, she stops and he gets out and walks over to the driver’s side, my eyes drift off to the migrant workers and the red truck in the wet green field in the distance. That adds a significant dimension for me, framing Chasen’s wealth in its alienated source in poorly paid illegal aliens, I fancy, not to get too Marxist, but in our Trump-era now-tranparent racism and nativism, the film gains a certain depth, still fighting the great fights, but in its small way.

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