Recently, the incomparably intelligent Stevee at Cinematic Paradox wrote a clever post about movie characters who share similar personality traits to her. The idea struck me as such a brilliant one that I had to do one of my own, but before you read mine, I highly recommend you read hers.
Great. So now you get what this is all about, and without further ado, here is my list of characters:
Jim Kurring (John C. Reilly), Magnolia (1999):
One of Paul Thomas Anderson’s great abilities as a writer/director is the wide range of characters he is able to fluently write and create. Kurring is definitely the most sympathetic in the whole movie, and is a driving force for innocence, naivety and an obsession for the job. I can’t say that I’m innocent, or naive, but when I pursue something I do it with the same gusto and energy as Kurring. If only I could have half as many awesome monologues.
Antonius Block (Max von Sydow), The Seventh Seal (1957):
Most of the great Bergman characters are female, but a hefty percentage of the notable protagonists are male, too. And if there was one I had to compare myself to, it would probably be Block. I’m a halfway decent Chess player, I’m not confident in the existence of a deity (in fact, I’m probably atheist) and in at least a few senses of the word, I’m disillusioned, though reasonably happy with the world.
Jeffrey Beaumont (Kyle MacLachlan), Blue Velvet (1986):
We all like to have a bit of detective in us, and while I’m certainly no Sherlock Holmes or Hercule Poirot, MacLachlan’s determined self-made detective in the ruthless David Lynch thriller resembles my own stoic personality somewhat, though it’s hard to really analyse yourself and compare yourself to a movie character. But I’m like Beaumont, I suppose. Why? Because I’d really dig dating a young Laura Dern. And it’d be awesome to see Dean Stockwell singing Roy Orbison in a creepy voice.
Jerry Lundegaard (William H. Macy), Fargo (1996):
I would never commit any of the second-hand atrocities that Lundegaard does, but in other terms, I feel an eerie connection. “I’m cooperatin’ here!” is one of a few personal slogans I sport in public some times, and other things he says not only make me laugh but awkwardly remind me of my own stupidity sometimes.
Harry Goldfarb (Jared Leto), Requiem for a Dream (2000):
I don’t do drugs, let me get that clear, but in almost all other aspects of Goldfarb’s personality, it’s a tick for me. I always want the best for everyone, but find at times it’s difficult to provide that. The only real difference is that I don’t give up as easily as him.
Patrick Bateman (Christian Bale), American Psycho (2000):
Although I can never prove this to you, I do not have homocidal tendencies, sick sexual preferences or any of the night-time evils that Bateman commits. I am not a narcissist, unlike him, either. I guess the only real similarity is our tastes in pop culture, which are shared by few other characters in recent memory in a manner as darkly comic as Bateman’s.
I hope the above list hasn’t weirded you out too much, but I guess what I’m trying to say can’t really be said without using idiotic cliches, but I’ll say it anyway: My personality, like everyone’s, is unique, and parts of the above six people can be put together to resemble something similar, but nothing can be exactly the same.
So what about you? Any movie characters that remind you (even minorly) of yourself? Leave a comment below. Thanks.
David Lynch is quite possibly my favourite director working today. Well, perhaps not, but he has made some really great movies. It was only last year that I was introduced to Lynch with Blue Velvet, and since then I have never looked back. So far, I’ve seen all of Lynch’s films except for Dune, Fire Walk With Me and The Straight Story. And just a couple of days ago a friend lent me a copy of Season One of Lynch’s hugely successful TV series, Twin Peaks. So far, I’ve only watched three of the eight episodes (including the Pilot) of the series, but I would like to so far broadcast my thoughts and give a secret premonition of who I believe killed Laura Palmer…
Right, so first off, let’s look at the Pilot episode. It starts off with three minutes of pure bliss, slow images of Lynch’s perfectly created little sawmill town. The music is Julee Cruise, “Falling,” a song I heard years ago but surprisingly appeared right there as soon as I pressed play. Then we transition to a fisherman (Jack Nance, whose looks have changed dramatically since Eraserhead) discovering the homecoming queen’s body. A nearly naked woman named Pulaski is also found, alive but emotionally scarred for life. It becomes clear that Laura Palmer and Pulaski (whose first name I cannot remember) were attacked and raped.
And from this point on, throughout the progression of the episode, we are introduced to several more strange characters, all residents of Lynch’s town, and begin to follow their stories. Each have their own suburban secrets, a la Blue Velvet, and each have their tale to tell.
Enter FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan, this just keeps getting better and better), who decides to stay in the peaceful town and invesigate the murder. He’s a weird fellow, muttering into a tape recorder dubbed Diane and admiring what seem to be completely normal and otherwise uninteresting trees. In the next episode, we learn of his love for coffee and cherry pie, as the mystery continues to unfold.
At the conclusion of the third episode (Episode Two if you don’t include the Pilot), Cooper has a strange dream involving a small man dressed in red who speaks as if his words are reversed audio, and a woman whom he claims to be his sister, but who is identical to Laura Palmer. Cooper awakens from this dream (nightmare?), calls up the town sherriff Harry S. Truman (yes, you heard me right) and tells him he knows who the killer is.
A suspenseful ending if ever there was one. So what are my thoughts? Who do I think killed Laura? Well, I have no firm evidence and I’m probably wrong, but I believe it is either Leo, Audrey or that psychiatrist fellow. If you don’t know who I mean, you must see Twin Peaks. I’m probably dead wrong, but those are my guesses. Tonight I’m going to crack down and watch the rest of the series, and tomorrow I will update you with my thoughts on the next few episodes and whether my predictions have changed.
What’s my Lynch opinion? I am very much enjoying TP. I love the way he presents us with all these characters and their different lives, and a director who can spin the whole multiple scenario character and make it enjoyable (a nod to P.T. Anderson and Robert Altman, among others) is among the top in my book.
What do you think of Twin Peaks? Leave a comment and let me know, but no spoilers!