Creative Control

Miscellaneous Mental Musings of an Emerging Artist

Not a superstitious man, but.

It’s a dark punchline that celebrity deaths come in threes, but I never really believe that it happens until I see it with my own eyes (and then, the next time, I say “Nah. That’s just a cliche,” and it happens again).



So rest in peace, Dudley Moore–whose movies I never saw, but whose character as a joyous, life-loving, shorter-than-average Briton was one of the personalities that was inescapable in pop culture. I know that his last years were an onslaught of pain and frustration; his degenerative brain disorder kept him from the love of his life, the piano–and British tabloids, the most savage in the world, kept swooping over his carcass and waiting to make a big deal of his death. Hopefully, he’s somewhere tickling the ivories with his late partner-in-crime, Peter O’Toole Cook.






And rest in peace, Uncle Milty–a man whose greatest work happened before I was born (and, being of the television medium, is much harder to catch up with), but whose dry, acerbic wit was appreciated in what I did see–his work in “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World,” for one, and his appearance presenting an MTV Video Award alongside RuPaul.







And finally, rest in peace, Billy Wilder, another man whose best work happened before I was born, but whose films I have been able to catch up on due to the magic of video and DVD. Wilder opened my eyes to two brilliant things about film–one, that films produced in the 1940s and 1950s were more intelligent, insightful, edgy, and funny than what I would have expected for such a politically “conservative” time [1], and that Fred MacMurray was much, much more than the Absent-Minded Professor; he was an honest-to-goodness Great Actor. Wilder was a visionary the likes of which I’m not sure we have in the new crop of Hollywood, although I think John Lasseter comes close. He was both a man–with little sufferance for idiots–and an artist to look up to. Cameron Crowe went so far as to have long, detailed, on-the-record conversations with Wilder, in that spirit.




Today’s weather, for some reason, reminds me of elementary school. I am having very vivid sense memories of sitting in a desk at the side of class and watching the rain hit the blacktop. Something about the air, perhaps. But it fills me with nostalgia, and with love. I love this city. I really do.

My sister’s roommate has mentioned that he reads this. Hi there. How’s it going?

[1] I’m currently reading David Allyn’s Very Good Book “Make Love, Not War,” about the history of the sexual revolution in America; and I’ve learned that the 1950s were hardly as conservative as we would like to believe.

Current music: Beth Orton, “Trailer Park”


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This entry was posted on March 29, 2002 by in Movies, News of the World, Obituary.
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