Author Topic: King Of Marvin Gardens, and other stories about dreamers  (Read 1201 times)

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SoNowThen

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King Of Marvin Gardens, and other stories about dreamers
« on: March 12, 2004, 12:26:46 PM »
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I'm relying on the wonderfully full and varied tastes of all our members here to help me out. As I sat at my desk today, for some reason, Marvin Gardens popped into my head. It's a movie I find to be vastly underrated. I've resolved to write/direct a movie somewhat inspired by this one. Not just in mood and tone (simple but beautiful photography by Kovacs, perfect restrained performance by Nicholson complementing the mania that is Dern), but for the following reasons:

1. late night radio show host -- this is so cool, and such a movie-worthy job. Same reason that Talk Radio is such an interesting movie.

2. Atlantic City -- it's like setting a movie in Vegas/Reno; as long as you don't overplay it, it's so damn good. Hard Eight, Owning Mahowny, The Cooler, bits of Rounders.

3. Hotels -- I'm obsessed with telling stories in hotels/motels. Late night piano playing, and lobby/staircase scenes are great.

But 4th, and most important -- the whole dreamers aspect to it. The fact that Nicholson's life is so bland and sorta sad, but he has his little place, just a shred of dignity he's holding onto. Then he gets whisked off with his crazy brother, knowing -- KNOWING -- that every scheme in the past has turned up bust, and getting every indication that this time will be exactly the same. But since he wants some kinda good luck change so bad, he's willing to dilude himself. And then we factor in the possibility for a get rich quick scam, and most importantly a young, beautiful girl who he is basically promised (which WE KNOW isn't gonna work out), and it's sad to say our character is hooped. He's inside the dream, the whole Miss America fake show they put on, and everyone's trying to ride it out for as long as they can until the inevitable breakdown. And then the pitch perfect ending where he just resigns himself to go back home, and deliver that one last amazing monologue, and settle into his old pathetic routine, defeated yet again.

So anyway, it's a pretty unique movie, but I was wondering if anybody could recommend anything (books, music, movies) that comes close to the same things I have described above. Basically brothers or best friends getting this crazy scheme that looks like it might work out, but the whole story's not too flashy or anything, it's very controlled and foreboding almost in a sad but soft way, and it takes place in one of these very interesting environments (hopefully mostly in late night and early morning).

Fire away.
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When those who hated capital and consumption (and Jews) in the 20th century murdered some hundred million people, and the poster children for the struggle against international capitalism and America are now fanatical Islamic terrorists, this puts recent enthusiasts in an awkward position. Most of them are too dense and shameless to appreciate it, and far too many are taken in by the moralistic and paternalistic rhetoric of the Left.

godardian

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King Of Marvin Gardens, and other stories about dreamers
« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2004, 02:05:28 PM »
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""Money doesn't come into it. It never has. I do what I do because it's all that I am." - Morrissey

"Lacan stressed more and more in his work the power and organizing principle of the symbolic, understood as the networks, social, cultural, and linguistic, into which a child is born. These precede the birth of a child, which is why Lacan can say that language is there from before the actual moment of birth. It is there in the social structures which are at play in the family and, of course, in the ideals, goals, and histories of the parents. This world of language can hardly be grasped by the newborn and yet it will act on the whole of the child's existence."

Stay informed on protecting your freedom of speech and civil rights.

Ghostboy

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King Of Marvin Gardens, and other stories about dreamers
« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2004, 02:10:40 PM »
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There's this one film I've always remembered that had a similar feel to what you described, I think...it was called Dream With The Fishes, and it starred David Arquette. But I was 16 when I saw it, and it was one of the first indie films I went to see by myself when I got my drivers' license, so I can't completely vouch for its quality...but I remember it well.

grand theft sparrow

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King Of Marvin Gardens, and other stories about dreamers
« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2004, 03:13:36 PM »
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Quote from: godardian
:yabbse-thumbup:  :yabbse-thumbup:

soixante

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King Of Marvin Gardens, and other stories about dreamers
« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2004, 07:25:09 PM »
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Another vastly underrated movie from the same era in the same ballpark as Marvin Gardens is Scarecrow starring Hackman and Pacino.  Sadly, it's not on DVD, but it's worth seeing.  It features two outsiders pursuing their version of the American Dream.  

I think Marvin Gardens is a great template/inspiration.

As an aside, it is cool that Dern plays the Nicholson part, and Nicholson plays an introvert.
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modage

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King Of Marvin Gardens, and other stories about dreamers
« Reply #5 on: August 29, 2005, 10:31:41 PM »
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Quote from: soixante
Another vastly underrated movie from the same era in the same ballpark as Marvin Gardens is Scarecrow starring Hackman and Pacino.  Sadly, it's not on DVD, but it's worth seeing.  It features two outsiders pursuing their version of the American Dream.

yes, i just watched this and it was pretty/very good.  and now on DVD for those interested.  they plug the hell out of this movie in A Decade Under The Influence.

Christopher Nolan's directive was clear to everyone in the cast and crew: Use CGI only as a last resort.

 

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