Richard Widmark died on Thursday. I happened to read his obituary in the paper. I was struck by a coincidence. Here's what the 93 year old actor said about Hollywood;
"The guys who run Hollywood today have no self-respect. What interests them is not movies but the bottom line. Look at 'Dumb and Dumber,' which turns idiocy into something positive, or 'Forrest Gump,' a hymn to stupidity. 'Intellectual' has become a dirty word."
Everywhere I look I see
The creep of idiocity.
Dumb and Dumber is the rage
In this sub-atomic age.
This either makes me a cranky old fart or Widmark one hip fucking dude. You make the call. If you don't know his work you should check it out. He was a very intense and committed actor. Start with "Kiss of Death" where he brings Tommy Udo to snarling life on the screen.
I do believe Widmark is right though. Not too long ago I overheard two wangstas talking on the subway. One said to the other, "Yo, and someone put a swastika all over the dude's desk. You know what a swastika is?"
And his bud replied, "Yeah, it's one of those little hats Jewish people wear."
I shiite you not. It only further convinced me we really do live in a world where stupidity is revered almost as much as breast size. Especially at the movies. Clearly Hollywood believes everyone is a moron. Just look at the imbecilic leaps of basic logic in most Hollywood films. When a plot point arises that makes no sense you can actually hear them saying, "It doesn't matter; no one in the theater will even notice."
And they don't notice. If you happen to mention this to someone who's just walked out of Lard of the Rings with a hardon, their instantaneous response will be, "Yeah, dude; but the special effects were awesome!!!"
It is as if no one minds that someone has snuck up on them during the movie, cut open the top of their skull and taken a shit in their brain. But, yeah; Special FX. I love 'em. They're right next to Special ED in most high schools.
I don't believe Widmark is talking about booksmarts. I think he's talking about the genuine appreciation of learning, the joy of discovering new things. He's talking about the incredible freedom that comes from using the mind to its fullest. He's talking about intellect as the key to developing true awareness.
And people are terrified of this. We live in an age where even our own president still says 'nucular' while his rigid, quivering forefinger is ready to poke at the button he can't even read.
The more I learn about The Doors, in particular Jim Morrison, the more I realize we are a nation asleep. Morrison didn't have the answer. All he knew was that the basic requirement of life was to be completely alive; in all senses. Open your minds. Open your eyes. Really see what is going on around you.
Sure, Morrison burnt out. But I do believe he was truly on fire. To shut your eyes and sink into the slick, glossy embrace of gossip and superstition is equivalent to committing moral suicide.
The Delirious DVD with full extras is set to be released May 4. I've had no communication with anyone at Gestation since August. I regret nothing. If I alienated or angered anyone it was simply because I refused to lie--or be lied to. I am more proud of this film than anything I've ever done.
I'm proud of the way I fought for it; every step of the way. I burned so many bridges my fingerprints are gone. I would do it again in second.
To Richard Widmark; goodbye. You have my eternal respect.