Monday 7 April 2008


Why do i love Hurlyburly so much?? Hurlyburly was originally a dark comedy play by David Rabe. More than three hours long, it focuses on the intersecting lives of several low to mid-level Hollywood players in the 1980s. Fueled by massive amounts of drugs, they attempt to find some meaning in their isolated, empty lives by engaging in endless discussions laced with misogyny. The central character Eddie's oft-repeated apathetic question "How does it pertain to me?," sums up his spiritual agony as he heads for catharsis. Rabe wrote the screenplay for a 1998 film version directed by Anthony Drazan. He condensed the action into two hours and updated the setting from the mid-1980s to the late 1990s. The cast included Sean Penn, Kevin Spacey, Chazz Palminteri, Robin Wright Penn, Garry Shandling, Anna Paquin, and Meg Ryan. Penn's performance won him the Volpi Cup and Drazan was nominated for the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival. Penn also was nominated Best Male Lead at the Independent Spirit Awards.

Sean Penn, who is arguabley the greatest actor of our generation (i'll let pacino & De Niro Compete with him though!), gives such a great performance as do the many other variety of brilliant actors in this film. I always described this film as a "Catcher in the rye - for grown ups.......with a sheeeet load of drugs and alcohol!" It's hedonism enjoyed and over analysed basically! The dialogue is without a doubt the greatest thing about this film, Sean Penn and Kevin Spacey have undeniable chemistry as they constantly lock horns over women and ego:

Mickey: You don't know what you're saying. You don't.
Eddie: I do.
Mickey: No. I know you think you know what you're saying, but you're not saying it.
Eddie: No, I know what I'm saying. I don't know what I mean, but I know what I'm saying. Is that what you mean?
Mickey: Yeah.
Eddie: Right. But it's not like anybody knows what anything means, right? It's not like anybody knows that. So at least I know I don't know what I mean, which is better than most people. They probably think they know what they mean, not just what they think they mean.

Eddie: I lie to myself. I'm a really great liar. And I'm very gullible.

Eddie: In the Middle Ages everyone really had to worry about witches and goblins, but what we have is stuff eating at us. We've got stuff we don't even... I mean, why do you think that all the warlords of the world are so anxious to get their own personal little stash of chemical weapons. They call them weapons of mass destruction, but they're not. They're very *very* selective about what they destroy. They annihilate people and preserve things. They love things. You and I would be dead, gas... puke... gone. Whereas, you know, other earlier older people - the ancients - could look to the heavens, which in their minds was inhabited by this thoughtful, meditative, you know, maybe a trifle unpredictable and wrathful, but nevertheless up there - this divine onlooker. We've got anchorpersons and talking heads. We've got politicians who decide life and death issues on the basis of their media concerns. That's what we've got.

Eddie: Flip is sarcastic.
Mickey: No, it's not. That's crazy. Sarcastic is mean, it's heavy - it's funny, sure, but it's mean. I do both, but this was flip

As irrelevant as this may seem!! I value the opinion of you guys more than anyone else. You're all intelligent, humourous and complex people and this is why i know if you havn't seen this film before, you will absolutely love it! Saying that, there is a lot in this film that will make you think about other things. As Sean's character quite accurately asks:

Eddie: Do you ever have that experience where your thoughts are like these totally separate, totally self-sustaining phone booths and there's like this vast uninhabited shopping mall in your head? Do you ever have that experience?

We know what he meant, right? I have nagged both Anthony and Karl several times but i thought i'd be a bit louder this time! Please allow this one off (yeah right) film review from me, i've been here over half a year and it's my Birthday tomorrow!! It's a great film, go watch it now!!! You can pick it up on ebay for either £1.00 or $1.50 depending where you are, you are magnificiant people and you deserve this film (looks for buckett), ok i'm done!! Normal posting will resume when i'm 27.


SM Kovalinsky said...

Another fine and compelling post. Makes me want to view the film. I can see the quirky and macabre humor in the quotations which you have selected. I myself could write a post on why I love the blogging HurlyBurly so much. Happy Birthday! No more 26 year old boy! But a fine 27 - skidoo!

SM Kovalinsky said...

Addendum: You write and criticize extremely well. Have you thought of writing professionally as a critic of film, as that is obviously your passion?

Hurlyburly said...

I wouldn't mind, not the easiest of things to get into though. A lot of smug competition me thinks!

SM Kovalinsky said...

I do not think you would have any trouble beating out the competition. Even if you were to go at it as a freelance writer/independent contractor. Just a suggestion to the fine and upstanding young Hurly.

ra from ca said...

I'll have to check out this film. Thank you for the post.

Is it just me getting old or are there too few good films these days?

By the way I didn't realize you were that young. You have been around the universe(s) a few times haven't you? An old soul for sure!

Dreamer said...

You're only 27? You seem wise beyond your years. I wish I'd been hip to the whole ITLADian thing by the time I was your age (ah, well -- maybe next time 'round, eh?)

And thanks for the film recommendation -- sounds like something I'd like.

Hurlyburly said...

Thank you kind people! I'll be interested in hearing any reviews if you guys do actually watch it.

Karl Le Marcs said...

I wonder if, given my theatrical bent (stop it), I may be better advised reading the original play first.
What do you think?
I have now located a copy of the film which I can get my hands on at the weekend.

Hurlyburly said...

Screw the play.

Watch the film! Sean Penn and Kevin Spacey's banter will nearly put yourself and i to shame sir!

Karl Le Marcs said...

*spits out coffee in the Jack Douglas from the Carry On films manner*

"screw the play" !!!!!!!

*shakes head and flounces off*

Anthony Peake said...

HB: I absolutely promise that I will watch this movie as soon as I can source a copy and then find time to sit down for a few hours and just relax. As Kevin Spacey seems to be an actor drawn to itladian themes I am sure that this movie will be as good as American Beauty and K-Pax.

Karl Le Marcs said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Karl Le Marcs said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Karl Le Marcs said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Karl Le Marcs said...

(HB obviously)

I will have a copy of the film this weekend so I'll finally get round to watching it then.

I'll still keep an eye out for a copy of the actual play however.

*shakes fist at blogger for telling me my comment was not published when it in fact was*

Aloha Gary said...

Hi HB - great post!

well as we seem to be in a celebrity obsessessed media these days, perhaps you can make use of your sharp looks, somewhat akin to a well known Manc warbler, and become a celebrity-critic? *CHEESY GRIN*

My experience mentoring and coaching millionaires is that the things you would do for free are the things people will pay you most money for!!

Now for writing of your quality we are talking BIG bucks!

you've even made me want to see a film I've never heard of!

that's writing power!

go for it - start your own blog-film review ASAP and get posting - if the reviews are good the connections will come (& I may have some tips to boost SEO rankings, if you cross my palm with ale!)

aloha gary