Monday, May 31, 2010

Heineken? Fuck That Shit!

Dennis Hopper's Dead!


Pabst Blue Ribbon!!!

Dennis Hopper: May 17, 1936 – May 29, 2010
Dreams Don't Die - But He Does

Dennis the Menace passed away this Memorial Weekend and the bartender at Baltimore's Sidebar paid homage to the Hollywood Bad Boy turned Nutter Character Actor and latterday Neo-Republican and Ameriprise Financial "Dreams Don't Die" TV pitchman with this sign referencing Hopper's Pabst Blue Ribbon-loving character "Frank Booth" from David Lynch's cult classic BLUE VELVET.



Early on in his career, Hopper was a James Dean wannabe, a rebel without a pause - except for the pretentious "Method Acting" that Dean and Brando whole-heartedly embraced - or a purpose or a direction, who purposely self-destructed his career and fucked over anything and anybody that got in his way. And, again like BLUE VELVET's Frank Booth, he also would "fuck anything that moves."



In Laid Bare: A Memoir of Wrecked Lives and the Hollywood Death Trip, author John Gilmore quotes 20th-Century Fox casting head Lee Wallace opining of Hopper: "Hopper is a boring and shallow person - not a pretty boy but a runt, though maybe if he drives himself crazy enough some spark will fly so at least he'll appear interesting, until he burns up. Not only is he a boring actor and a boring person, he is devoid of any screen personality. Without that, you have no commercial appeal - the only unforgivable sin in this town. When he's older he might make an interesting character actor, but right now he's what we call 'dead meat'..."

Boy did Wallace hit the nail on the head! Despite a starring role opposite Linda Lawson in (Kenneth Anger pal) Curtis Harrington's cult indie Night Tide (1961), his much ballyhooed directorial debut in the cartoonish anti-Hollywood calling card Easy Rider, and a few decent latter-day dramatic supporting roles in Hoosiers and Elegy, Hopper remains best known as a Kook Character Actor in independent films. And, of course, those "Dreams Never Die" ("Wrong!") Ameriprise TV commercials. I'm talking Hopper's crazed American photo-journalist in APOCALYPSE NOW, Feck in RIVER'S EDGE, "Lyle from Dallas" in RED ROCK WEST, and of course, Frank Booth in BLUE VELVET. That said, here are some of the finer moments from Hopper's character acting Nutter's Hall of Fame.

FOUR SCORE: MY FAVE OVER-THE-TOP HOPPER ROLES

FRANK BOOTH in BLUE VELVET
"Don't You Fucking Look at Me!"



FECK in RIVER'S EDGE
"Check's in the mail!"; "Did you love her?"



LYLE FROM DALLAS in RED ROCK WEST
Lyle says "Choose life!"



APOCALYPSE NOW
Manic Yank photojournalist who says of Kurtz: "The man's enlarged my mind!"



APOCALYPSE NOW may have provided the inspiration for Hopper's subsequent Ameriprise catchphrase ("What will they say of him [Kurtz] - that he was a kind man? That he was a good man? WRONG!!!"). Of course, Hopper's performance was even better when reimagined in the body of Piglet in Todd Graham's APOCALYPSE POOH. Who knew?

1 Comments:

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12:26 AM  

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