30 April 2012

Where Have All the Cowboys Gone?

One hand. That's all it takes for me to count how many Westerns of prominence have come out in the past decade: Open Range, 3:10 to Yuma, The Proposition, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, and True Grit. This seems like a great shame considering how illustrious the state of the Western was not even forty years ago.

There are no actors like John Wayne anymore, instantly recognizable in spurs and a ten-gallon hat. The heyday of the Western was somewhere around the 1940s, when John Wayne was recognized by virtually the world. Children played Cowboys and Indians and nearly all arguments or conflicts of the ill-tempered were decided by the draw of a gun. The storylines and action were so popular that the appeal of the genre went overseas to Italy. Spaghetti Westerns became a staple of the genre with American stars like Clint Eastwood and Henry Fonda. The peak of this movement came with the Man with No Name Trilogy directed by Sergio Leone, just one of many releases a year.

The number of releases–formerly twenty to thirty a year—is now a trickle of its former self with five to six a year. What killed the genre was constant exposure to it. Ironically, The Duke is also the reason why the genre witnessed a fall from grace, given that he appeared in eighty-four Westerns throughout his career. If constant audience exposure didn’t kill the Western, then the predictability did: a stranger walks into a dusty, old town, a conflict occurs between the stranger and the local baddie, the good guy wins—typically in a shoot-out—and that is that. With nearly every story ending the same audiences began to drift toward dramas and comedies that related to the new time period they lived in. Current Westerns have no such clichés. There is no winner in The Proposition and presumably it is safe to say that for all of the effort Mattie Ross (Hailee Steinfeld) put into finding Tom Chaney (Josh Brolin) her life suffered far worse for it.

By the 1970s the lure of seeing the wide-open west on the silver screen was gone. Replacing sheriffs and U.S. Marshals were gritty cops who cared less about justice and more about blood-lust  Clint Eastwood, icon for years for playing The Man with No Name, traded his poncho in for a suit. Dirty Harry went on for several years before he donned a cowboy hat again, in Unforgiven. With Unforgiven Eastwood deconstructed the genre. Gone was the squint-eyed rascal that saved the day and in his stead was a broken down old man. The sheriff is no longer a saintly figure like Gary Cooper in High Noon, but a cold-blooded tyrant. The stranger who waltzes into town doesn't save the locals; he ends up the victim of humiliating beat down. In fact, the only hope for the damsel in distress (prostitutes this time around) is a former murderer of women and children. After thirty years Clint had put the genre down for good.

The presence the Western once had is really all but finished. With only a handful of notable Westerns over the last ten years, that is nearly impossible to argue. But the influence, thankfully, is not gone. 2011 gave us Rango and Cowboys and Aliens, but both have come out to tempered enthusiasm. Another 2011 release, Drive, in a lot of ways, is a Western with a fresh decal. A stoic leading man coupled with a lot of money at stake, and angry, powerful men waiting to get their hands on it. The inspiration for these films could not be more nakedly grabbed from the Western and whether this trend will continue is anyone's guess. But while these films reference the classics from yesteryear the hopeful mood of them seems to be missing.

The Western seems attached to the spirit of this country. The wide-open west may not be solely associated with the United States, but the optimism and romanticism certainly is. Maybe the reason Westerns have died off is because there is no idealized vision of the United States anymore. Settlers seen in films like How the West Was Won and Red River are seen as hardworking idealists; recent films show that this is not the case. Settlers in modern Westerns are often there because they are forced to be, by the law or by their own failings.

The protagonists in contemporary Westerns like No Country for Old Men and There Will Be Blood are little more than thieves and robber barons. Llewelyn Moss, the protagonist of No Country for Old Men, is on the run after stealing two million dollars from a drug cartel. Daniel Plainview, central character of There Will Be Blood, is a capitalist through and through; he sacrifices anything and anyone to further the size of his oil empire. His relationships with his son and long-lost brother are only tools to aid that effort. He cannot relate to people on his own without them. More accurately, he doesn't want to relate to people—he hates them. The Duke would hardly recognize these scoundrels.

The romance seen so often in films like The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance and Red River is also gone. Leading men of today’s Westerns are often stoic and seek pleasure from alcohol, and other vices. No woman would be willing to put up with these anti-heroes. Solitude is the only way they know. There is no Vera Miles, or Joanne Dru to cling to at the finale, only a bottle, a needle, or a gun.

Perhaps the genre isn’t dead. Film is constantly evolving and the stories and characters that inhabit them evolve along as well. Violence has seen a major uptick in recent films. Regularly, characters are shot and blown away for no other reason than they are a source of irritancy. In The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford James (Brad Pitt) kills a man for nothing more than standing in front of a safe longer than he should have. This isn’t new by any means. The Wild Bunch brought blood to the Western in a big way in 1969. This reflected the time it was made in, lingering anger associated with Vietnam, the assassinations of Robert Kennedy, Malcolm X, and Martin Luther King Jr. still stung, and the Zodiac killer piled up victims, the shining smile of Gary Cooper as Marshal Will Kane did not fit anymore.

The times have long since passed when there was a glowing aura around the frontier and the people who settled it. The Western will come back as all genres do at one time or another. The question is in what form? Will it be a sparkling revival of the earnest and optimistic sheriff against all odds? Will a hero like Jimmy Stewart’s Ransom Stoddard, who sought to fight his battles with the law, emerge? Or will it be a continuance of films like The Proposition, where the sheriff (Ray Winstone) sets a murderer (Guy Pierce) free, holding his younger brother as insurance, in order to collect an even more sadistic outlaw? The wind coming off the prairie will have to tell.

28 April 2012

Watch 12 Minutes of 'Sound of My Voice'

Fox Searchlight has put up the opening twelve minutes of the critically-acclaimed Sound of My Voice online for all viewers to see. The film is still in limited release, but for those of you who want an earlier look at the film this will have to do.

In Sound of My Voice, Peter (Christopher Denham) and Lorna (Nicole Vicius), a couple and documentary filmmaking team, infiltrate a mysterious group led by an enigmatic young woman named Maggie (Brit Marling). Intent on exposing her as a charlatan and freeing the followers from her grip, Peter and Lorna start to question their objective and each other and they unravel the secrets of Maggie's underworld.

27 April 2012

'This Is Forty' Trailer Promises More of Everything You Loved in 'Knocked Up'

Paul Rudd's daily life becomes fodder for Judd Apatow's sort-of-sequel to Knocked Up: work-out, get involved with his children's schooling, picking fights with Melissa McCarthy, making Leslie Mann look at his nethers, etc.

26 April 2012

'Django Unchained' Reveals First Look at DiCaprio and Foxx

The wait is over. The first stills of Django Unchained were released today with the three main characters on full display. Above are Django (Jamie Foxx) and Dr. King Schultz (Christoph Waltz) walking around what used to be the set for Deadwood. Foxx self-describes Django as “Richard Roundtree meets Clint Eastwood.”

Leonardo DiCaprio's Calvin Candie: a mentally-unbalanced plantation owner, who enjoys creating sparring matches between his toughest slaves. If you were wondering whether DiCaprio would play it safe with this role, the hammer wielding and fondness for gladiatorial combat should answer that.

Thus far, it looks like Tarantino has nailed the aesthetic of the film and its inhabitants. Waltz and Foxx fit in with ease in the backdrop as bounty hunters on the road to freeing Django's wife. Speaking of which, if you had told me yesterday that Leonardo DiCaprio would look this comfortable as a crazed slave-owner, I wouldn't have believed you. No one has admired hardware in such an unwholesome manner as that before.

(Courtesy: EW)

25 April 2012

Enthralling 'Lawless' Trailer

Tense. Riveting. Bold. Everything that you want from a Nick Cave-scripted film about bootlegging in the South. "Do you know what a Thompson Sub-Machine gun does to a mortal?" may be the best line that I've heard in a long, long time. This summer is shaping up to be one of the best in recent memory.

24 April 2012

'New Year's Eve' Giveaway

Warner Bros. wants to remind you that April is a great time of year to re-kindle the resolutions that may have been set aside during the new year. As added incentive Warner Bros. will be giving away a Blu-ray to celebrate the film's release on May 1st. Just leave a comment at the bottom of the post to be entered into the raffle.

I Admire Your Luck, Mr. Bond

James Bond has always been a gambler of sorts, he loves to push himself beyond any normal means of rationality, he takes chances, and usually finds himself in the black. An addictive personality, Bond allows himself to experience the pleasures of the world: women, fine alcohol, cars, guns, and gadgets. Yet some of 007's most exciting moments have come at the card table.

In The World Is Not Enough Bond indulges in a little blackjack in order to get information about the murderous Renard from Valentin Zukovsky. The scene is brief, but it is a staple of the Bond franchise: gambling scenes happen at the start of the films in order to introduce characters. When 007 takes part in a game, he usually loses during the first hand, but makes a spectacular comeback in the second bet to embarrass potential antagonists. Along with The World Is Not Enough, there were Dr. No, For Your Eyes Only, Thunderball, Goldeneye, Diamonds Are Forever, Octopussy, On Her Majesty's Secret Service and perhaps the most definitive rendering of gambling in a Bond film, Casino Royale.

In Casino Royale, Bond finds himself facing off Le Chiffre, a man renowned for his banking services for terrorists and his high-stakes poker games. Montenegro is the last chance for Le Chiffre to win back his money if he wants to continue to run in the nefarious circles he does. While the spectacular set-pieces of Casino Royale start and end the film, undoubtedly, the most suspenseful moments of the film are when Bond is holding cards.

Here, we have Bond directly across the table with one of the biggest money managers in the world. If he loses, then M16 will have directly funded terrorism on a large scale. The camera lingers on Bond's and Le Chiffre's faces as each of these men eye each other. They each know that if either man loses, he faces gargantuan stakes. The immediacy of the event cannot be understated. If Le Chiffre walks away from that table with ten million pounds, the world will see an event of massive consequence. Bond must win this game.

Now, James is no stranger to losing money at the tables, but when he does, he takes it in stride (an amazing feat considering his civil servant's salary). However his enemies very rarely show such composure when they lose. Unfortunately for Bond in Royale, when Le Chiffre loses the grand finale of the poker game he does not take it lightly. In one of the more infamous scenes in a 007 film, Le Chiffre hopes to make Bond less of a man, literally. Maybe Le Chiffre should stick to an online casino, or at the very least stop playing with other men's money.

23 April 2012

Johnny Depp Hints Lone Ranger Is Tonto's Bitch

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Johnny Depp revealed a few keen insights on his upcoming character in Disney's The Lone Ranger. While discussing the aesthetic properties of his vision of Tonto he elaborated that he will not be portraying a stereotype:

The whole reason I wanted to play Tonto is to try to [mess] around with the stereotype of the American Indian that has been laid out through history, or the history of cinema at the very least — especially Tonto as the sidekick, The Lone Ranger’s assistant. As you’ll see, it’s most definitely not that.

How Depp plans on emasculating Armie Hammer's Ranger is beyond me, but I look forward to the passive-aggressive mind games next May.

'The Dark Knight Rises' Has Over One Hour of IMAX Footage

Emma Thomas, producer of The Dark Knight Rises and wife to Christopher Nolan spoke with The Wall Street Journal recently about the length of IMAX footage used for TDKR:

“There was a huge irony that we were told it would be too difficult to shoot a Hollywood movie on IMAX when we had this gigantic camera department, grips, electric, hundreds of people working for us,” says the director, whose agreement to direct “The Dark Knight” was contingent on Warner Bros. allowing him to shoot the film in IMAX. “These were cameras that had been to the top of Mount Everest, to the bottom of the ocean and into outer space, but people thought we couldn't make a feature film. It was absurd.”

Nearly every film this summer is going to be in 3D, but only TDKR is pushing for this kind of special experience in movie theatres. Now, cue the people who are outraged that the film is not entirely in IMAX.

(Courtesy: The Wall Street Journal)

21 April 2012

Review: 'Cabin' Only Seems Like All the Familiar Places

You think you know the story, you think you know the players, you think you know the outcome. What makes Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard's Cabin in the Woods unique is that we don't know anything.

Dana, Curt, Marty, Jules and Holden are all heading to Curt's cabin for the weekend. All the players are to be expected: the good girl, the jock, the pothead, the popular girl, and the bookworm. On the way there they run into a creepy gas station owner, get spooked, and continue on anyway until they eventually reach their destination. Once there, the cabin in question seems like it was last inhabited during the Roosevelt administration and the paintings that adorn the rustic lodge are something that Charles Manson would find cozy. Wait, that is a little odd isn't it? Nearly all of these stories are identical in nature. That can't be coincidence can it?

And the audience finds out it isn't from the onset of the film. Sitterson (Richard Jenkins) and Hadley (Bradley Whitford) appear to be mundane public sector workers, but once they settle into their office the actual nature of their work is revealed. It is never coincidence that these college students/teenagers/whatever always fit the same five roles, it is manipulated into a certainty. The popular girl isn't really a slut, but her hair dye ensures that will be changed. The jock is not a meat-head, but rather, a sociology major. These twenty-somethings are melded into the characters that we want to see. Not enough lust present? Pump in some pheromones. Are the characters out-witting the villains? Alter their mindsets with some neurological toxin. Sitterson and Hadley are efficient at what they do and they do it well.

The inherent meta-comedy of Cabin in the Woods takes a oft-used storyline and infuses it with gumption. These stories are tried, but true and the audience knows them beat-by-beat. By shifting the overall narrative of why these teens die, this becomes much more than another slasher flick. What further impresses about this film is that in all of the laughter that comes with tearing down genre tropes is that the characters aren't lost. More importantly, they aren't just the cardboard cutouts the film is making fun of, they are fully realized and fighting their outcome. They want to live, badly.

In taking down the horror genre, Whedon and Goddard get a lot of credit and just enough actual scares to make Cabin one of the better satires in recent history. Well done, sirs, well done.


19 April 2012

Bond Celebrates 50 in Style

If you are in the San Francisco area from April 20th to the 22nd, be sure to stop by the Castro Theatre and watch some of 007's best films.
  • Friday April 20: Dr. No, 2 and 7 p.m. with On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, 4:10 and 9:05 p.m.
  • Saturday April 21: From Russia With Love, 2:30 and 9:30 p.m., Diamonds are Forever, 4:45 p.m., The Spy Who Loved Me, 7:05 p.m.
  • Sunday April 22: Thunderball, 1 and 8:15 p.m., Live and Let Die, 3:30 p.m., For Your Eyes Only, 5:50 p.m.
And, no, do not ask the teenager behind the snack counter for a "vodka martini, shaken not stirred". He has heard that all day.

(Courtesy: /Film)

18 April 2012

'Magic Mike': The Movie You Never Knew You Wanted

Channing Tatum has very quickly become one of the more accepted actors of his generation. Movies like G.I. Joe and Dear John never made him much in my mind, but his turns in 21 Jump Street and Haywire have made him more endearing. I look forward to what Steven Soderbergh will do with this material (based upon Tatum's own exploits as a male dancer).

17 April 2012

Watch Michael Fassbender Pretend to be Human

Watch David 8, the new Android brought to you by Weyland Industries. He can project up to eight emotions, so watch out Hollywood, that's five more than most actors.

(Courtesy: Mashable)

16 April 2012

Last 'Amazing Spider-man' Poster

No frills, no unnecessary CGI, just Spidey.

(Courtesy: Yahoo Movies)

Silent Women and The Plastic Age

In January 2012 Frederica Sagor-Maas died.  You might not remember or even know her name, yet she was a screenwriter, playwright and author who surpassed all of her contemporaries to live to the ripe old age of 112. 

Sagor-Maas was the daughter of Russian immigrants to America.  She rose to prominence during the early 1920s when she left her position at Universal Pictures to go to Hollywood where she took on the challenge of adapting a novel called “The Plastic Age” by Percy Marks.  This adaptation was turned into a hugely successful film starring the darling of the cinema at the time - Clara Bow. 

The Plastic Age 

“The Plastic Age” was a notable film for many reasons.  First, it was adapted by a woman.  Second, the main thrust of the film was celebrating the age of flapperdom.  A decade of free living, drinking, dancing, new fashions, hairstyles and so on.  The 1920s were the first real decade of freedom for women in all walks of life, and thus the cinema had to reflect this notion.

File:Mary Pickford on Beach with Camera, ca. 1916 (LOC).jpg
Mary Pickford
Actresses like Clara Bow, Gloria Swanson and Greta Garbo seeped into the consciousness of the young women who were seeing them on the screen for the first time at the Flickers and Nickleodeons.  Their penchants for short skirts (very often high above the knee), dark, heavy make up and short hair cuts became a watchword in style for youngsters who wanted a taste of this life.  Practically speaking, the bob haircut was nothing new – said to have been “invented” by the likes of Colleen Moore, it was actually a practical measure that seeped into being during the latter stages of World War One when more women in general were going into the workplace and needed to keep their hair short to prevent accidents, particularly in manual jobs in munitions factories.  

The films of this era tended to reflect this trend and one of the more (as was seen at the time) positive aspects of the films was the trend for more women to go into varying fields of work, to earn their own money and become much more independent.  One particular film of the era “Bertha the Sewing Machine Girl” starring Madge Bellamy was a good proponent of this ideal.  In it, the main character Bertha is seen to work her way from the humble ranks of the sewing room to a successful fashion designer, showing that women could really follow their dreams if they so desired. 

The Rise of the Female Film Figure

However, the 1920s weren’t just a pivotal time for women as actresses.  It was one of the few decades in which women had prominence at every stage of the film making process – not just purely taking on decorative starring roles. 

Names we still hear today, Lillian Gish, Mary Pickford, Mabel Normand, Marie Dressler, Norma Talmadge will bring a nod of recognition.  People can maybe name films they starred in, but little realise that as well as being talented performers in their own right were powerfully shrewd businesswomen with a keen eye for how films should be written, produced and directed as well:

Mary Pickford, for example was one of twenty women who owned their own film production companies and was a founding member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.  She co-owned United Artists with her then husband Douglas Fairbanks and Charlie Chaplin.

Indeed, the actress Mabel Normand, whose life was tragically cut short by Tuberculosis at the very young age of 37 was just as noted for her directorial abilities as much as her acting.  She spent much of her early career helping to produce and direct the films of Charlie Chaplin when he was just starting to form and shape his “Little Tramp” character. 

Marie Dressler, probably the least well known from that list earns a mention here because of her work as President of the Chorus Equity Association in the early years of the decade a tireless campaigner who ended up blacklisted by many theatre companies because of her strong views and stances on issues pertaining to the rights of Actors.  Dressler was a striking presence in films while never being a strong beauty as the likes of Bow, Louise Brooks and Theda Bara were, she still managed to carve out a steady career. 

Colleen Moore: something different

An interesting juxtaposition comes in the shape of Colleen Moore.  Moore was one of the first Flappers On Film in movies such as “Ella Cinders”, “Painted People” and “The Perfect Flapper”.  An expert comedienne, she revealed a delicate touch for humour combined with a deft doe eyed emotional side.  Moore, in interviews liked to present herself as a home girl at heart, with only the interests of her husband in mind when she wasn’t on the film set.  She was in essence a restrained flapper – one who took on the looks, fashions and styles but wouldn’t break all the rules entirely.  However, this view of her put forward in interviews and magazines was a carefully constructed plot.  Moore was every inch the shrewd businesswoman.  Often on the film set for eighteen hours or more a day, she rarely had time for anything other than making movies – and she certainly didn’t have time to be the good housewife she made out she was.   

These women, in the early decades of the twentieth century were fighting against the repression and chains of a staid and overtly moral society that had held them in check for many years.  The emergence of flapper culture both in real life and celluloid presented a chance for women to show that they had the intelligence, talent and the guts to go forth into the world and make a difference.  Their contributions, whether as actresses, directors, producers or writers paved the way for women in all walks of life all over the world to believe they too could make a difference. 

15 April 2012

My Favorite Year: 2007

A borderline homicidal gunman, a cantankerous oil tycoon, a disgraced attorney who took out the trash for wealthy clients and three points of the spectrum of character gunning it out for millions of dollars. These are not the characters you expect to see celebrated during the galas of award season, yet there we were, taking it all in.

At the end of the day, 2007 could very well compare with years like 1939 (Gone with the Wind, Stagecoach, Wizard of Oz, etc.), or 1948 (Hamlet, The Red Shoes, Treasure of the Sierra Madre). It is damn near the best year any era. We had Paul Thomas Anderson's magnum opus in There Will Be Blood the examination of celebrity and idolatry told withing the legend of Jesse James in The Assassination of Jesse James, the Coen Bros. look at the failure of good men in a world that needs them most in No Country for Old Men, Tony Gilroy's treatise of frailty in a corporate-driven world and David Fincher's taut portrayal of obsession in its many forms in Zodiac

In 2007, it would have been easy all too easy for the Academy to go with traditionally middling fare as they did with Chicago and Crash. Instead, they came through, making the critically-acclaimed and dark duo of No Country for Old Men and There Will Be Blood the top nominated films with 8 nominations, respectively. Together, the two films won major categories like directing, best actor/supporting actor and adapted screenplay.

But those were just the films nominated. Before the Devil Knows You're Dead, Into The Wild, The Savages, Gone Baby Gone, American Gangster, Ratatouille, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, and Zodiac were not even on the radar for Best Picture. All of these films could compete in any given year. What made 2007 so special was that it seemed to be the dawning of an era where dark films could win Best Picture consistently. 

Following No Country for Old Men, the winners of February became a decidedly lighter bunch: Slumdog Millionaire, The King's Speech and The Artist would take overall honors in the years to come. It ended before it could even start. The feel-good splendor had come for the Academy again. Who knows when we may see a year like 2007 again.

12 April 2012

Daniel Craig Wants You to Look at 'Skyfall' Photos

Empire has released a fresh batch of photos from Skyfall from their summer preview issue. Along with your standard shots of Bond brandishing weapons, driving cars and looking suave, we have looks at newbies to the Bond franchise: Ralph Fiennes and Naomie Harris.

(Courtesy: Empire)

11 April 2012

Entertainment Weekly Cover Highlights Catwoman's Practical Costume

So Christian Bale is upset that his costume for The Dark Knight Rises isn't as revealing as Anne Hathaway's. I don't blame him, it's hard to judge his physique accordingly. By the way, curious placement of the "100 new films" banner. Maybe it's hiding the "some sensuality" element of The Dark Knight Rises' rating.

(Courtesy: EW)

10 April 2012

Spider-man Reboot Will Further Push Off the Inevitable

It appears that Marc Webb's reboot of Spider-man will take a little longer than expected to set up Peter Parker's backstory—like 2 to 3 films. In an interview with MTV Webb commented:

“I wanted to give the audience something new, so that started off with getting underneath the parents’ story, which will unfold over probably a few movies,” Webb told MTV News during a recent interview. “We don’t totally wrap up that story in this first movie. It’s sort of an ongoing mystery. That was something that was interesting to me.”

Looks like we'll be wearing the rose-colored 3D shades a little bit longer.

(Courtesy: MTV)

09 April 2012

Sneak Peek at 'Looper'

This is very quickly becoming one of my most anticipated films of the year.

10 Words or Less: Jaws (1975)

He's a man-eater

06 April 2012

'Looper' Poster Debuts

Sony released the first poster for Looper today, exclusively to /Film. I had questions about whether or not they would be able to make Joseph Gordon-Levitt look similar to Bruce Willis, but it appears that Rian Johnson and Co. have done it. The teaser trailer hits the web April 12th. 

(Courtesy: /Film)

05 April 2012

'Pain and Gain' The Little Indie Film That Could

Today we got a first look at Pain and Gain, the Fargo-esque drama about two bodybuilders who end up in way over their heads. The director is little-known Michael Bay, who is being given a huge budget considering how unknown he is. It will be interesting to see if he pulls off this weighty drama starring Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson and Rob Cordry.

(Courtesy: Collider)

03 April 2012

Cool Stuff: Breaking Bad 8-Bit Videogame

If only this were available on NES when I was five. Breaking Bad and more 8-bit fun from Iron Man, Star Wars and The Dark Knight after the jump.

(Courtesy: Behance)

01 April 2012

Get Glue Caption Contest Winner

Here we are at the end of March and the batch of Get Glue stickers will finally find its home. And the winner is... Andrew Crump!

Congratulations on your win. We will be contacting you as soon as possible to get you your prize.

Ryan Gosling Retires

First Steven Soderbergh, now this. Ryan Gosling announced his retirement today. He was quoted as saying that his appearance in Nicolas Winding Refn's Logan's Run remake will be his last film. "I want to focus on creating a family for myself," he had hinted at this in a previous interview from September when he said, "I don't want to act much longer...It'll be over whenever the inspiration dries up." It's sad to see such a talent go, but in the future hopefully he will return to work.