Mark Netter, in casting his vote for "Speed," invoked both silent cinema
and (via Stuart Klawans) "The Wages of Fear." I'm weighing in for "Speed"
as well, and wondering: did it strike anyone else as a kind of bargin
basement Howard Hawks film? This was my first impression, and I think it
had to do with how much emphasis "doing a job" received as a motivation.
I found this refreshing after a decade of things-go-boom movies which
purported to be battles between good and evil or, alternatively, had their
motivation in the fact that "this time it's personal" (or both, as in
"True Lies": The evil terrorists are threatening the entire country AND
my daughter!!!) The Hawksian ethos of professionalism, by comparison,
seems to appeal to John Woo and Quentin Tarantino, but few others. It was
nice to see it, and Keanu (whom I generally hate except as Ted) was
perfect precisely because of his blankness. And Sandra Bollock makes
quite the Hawksian heroine -- not a bargain basement Bacall (surely an
oxymoron) but perhaps a cut-rate Jean Arthur.
In a related matter: is it Stuart KLAY-wans or Stuart Kla-WANS? I hear
most people say the former, but I have a friend with that name who uses
the latter pronounciation. Anyone know for sure? Just curious.
John R. Groch <[log in to unmask]> | "Work! FINISH! THEN sleep."
English Department/Film Studies Program | -- The Monster,
Univ. of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15260 | "Bride of Frankenstein"