Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Gonna Make You A Star

More film talk, but this time it's not British.

Have you ever seen the film Star 80? I'd heard of it but never seen it as and it's currently running on TCM in the dead of night, so catch it if you can. That's what Sky+ was invented for.

It's the true story of the murder of up-and-coming Playboy model Dorothy Stratten at the hands of her control freak boyfriend/manager Paul Snider superbly played by Eric Roberts, who gets more and more awful as the film goes on. It's a great evocation of the seedier party side of New York at the end of the Seventies and scenes with Roberts trying to ingratiate himself with Hugh Hefner are edge of seat cringeful.

It's directed by Bob Fosse and you can easily imagine Roy Scheider playing the Eric Roberts character as a wiry nutjob Travis Bickle. Highly recommended.

Whatever happened to Eric Roberts? Once he was a promising actor but in later years he really seems to have vanished. Sister Julia is far more famous. Did he succumb to cocaine or something? I'm sure he can't have got through this film without doing something like that.

And as for Mariel Hemmingway who plays Stratten, she her usual underplayed self, but brings quite a believable naivety to the role, especially as she's completely manipulated by Paul Snider as her star rises and his sinks.

Anyoo, what have you been watching lately that I should know about?


A Kitten in a Brandy Glass said...

Weirdly, Eric Roberts is more visible now than he has been for many years (most of which were spent going straight to video). He keeps popping up in music videos for some reason: he was in Akon's "Smack That" and the Killers' "Mr Brightside" and some other ones that I'm too unhip to have heard of. Plus he's in Heroes occasionally - his character was killed off ages ago but still pops up in flashback scenes.

However, he does have a raddled look to him these days (not quite as bad as Mickey Rourke but getting there) so I expect booze and illegal substances may have featured heavily at some point.

Five-Centres said...

Gosh Kitten you're hipper than you think. I know I've never seen either of those videos nor do I intend to.

Good to know he's still working though.

Helen said...

Watched a film recently called 'The Visitor' which we saw purely on the basis of it being directed by the person who directed 'The Station Agent'. Both are excellent, in my view. Sorry can't remember his name.
Watched the BBC4 doc last night on Oliver Postgate. Really enjoyed this on a nostalgia level and on a 'really well-made documentary' level. Did you see it?

Five-Centres said...

I think I've seen that Hels, with the dad from Six Feet Under who has an illegal immigrant move into his house? Very good.

I've Sky+ed that Oliver Postgate thing but have yet to watch it. Such a soothing voice.

Helen said...

That's it. The lodger is also in the most excellent 'Nurse Jaaaackie'. Did you see 'The Station Agent'?
That voice just took me right back. There was a really good comment by Michael Rosen who said that he'd tried to get his son to watch Bagpuss and he didn't like it. MC said that when he was little he hated anything that had an underlying melancholy and maybe this was the same thing. If you think about it, Bagpuss always had that kind of sadness to it. My daughter loved it, as did I so I don't know what that says about us...

Simon said...

Roberts was in Batman: The Dark Knight as one of the mob bosses.

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Cocktails said...

Hope you sky+'d the Skippy doco too. I forgot it was on, but I'm sure it will be repeated.

Five-Centres said...

I certainly did Cocktails. I've been looking forward to that one for ages. Australia! In the Sixties!

Ishouldbeworking said...

I've gone back to 'Pennies From Heaven'. Darker than I ever remembered. You miss so much when you're a teenager, just watching for 'the rude bits'.