Saturday, January 10, 2015

The death toll rises: Robert Stone, Francesco Rosi, Rod Taylor

Sigh... not going to blog about murdered French cartoonists... Just going to briefly note my sadness to learn that Robert Stone has died, at age 77. I didn't actually like the last two novels of his I read (Damascus Gate and Bay of Souls), but Dog Soldiers is my go-to if anyone asks me my favourite novel; a tale of corruption and confusion in 1960's America, it features a sentence that I often tell people is my favourite in English literature (but I'm not really serious, since the sentence is "Dieter farted loudly and without embarrassment"). It was made into a film that doesn't quite do justice to the book, Who'll Stop the Rain. One of the few non-journalism-related celebrity encounters I'm glad to have had is running into Michael Moriarty and telling him how much I admired his interpretation of Converse in that film.  A Hall of Mirrors is great, too - filmed as the rather awful WUSA - and I actually have quite a bit of fondness for Stone's 1992 novel Outerbridge Reach, and some of his short stories. I actually once wrote Stone some fan mail, but I have no idea if he ever received it.

Besides Stone, I'm also saddened by the passing of Francesco Rosi, at age 92. I want to see Christ Stopped at Eboli and The Mattei Affair... I loved his bullfighting movie The Moment of Truth  and his anti-war WWI movie Many Wars Ago, and I liked Salvatore Giuliano - more of an interesting film than an entertaining one. I have Hands Over the City at home but haven't done it yet.

And of course we should note the passing of Rod Taylor (The Birds, Zabriskie Point). I liked him in both those movies and was kind of really happy to see him turn up as Winston Churchill in one of these overrated recent Tarantino films...

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