My response to a Facebook post praising actor Tim Robbins, especially for his super, mega, amazing role in “The Shawshank Redemption”, a highly over-rated film that substitutes the outward trappings of “significance” for real depth.  (Watch “Cool Hand Luke” for a film that really is what “Shawshank” thinks it is.)

Here it is:

It’s called “method acting” and I cringe every time I encounter it in a film. Makes me love British actors and others who speak in normal tone. The delusion is that by mumbling you latch into some kind of elusive authenticity or, better yet, convince everyone that you’re like Brando. (Brando could get away with method because he really was a very good actor at times.)

Devotees of method will even mumble, absurdly, when speaking into large crowds or from distance. It’s like you believe that if you use the same plates and silverware as a gourmet restaurant your food will be just as good.

My comments on Reddit about the magnificent opulence of John Williams movie soundtracks:

I know I’m a minority (sigh) but I don’t think there is a single piece of music by Williams that moves me. Most of it reminds me of brass bands in parades. Most of it is pretty similar– individual pieces never stand out to me. In movies, Williams provides big crescendos to tell you to be impressed by the director, and the quantity of movement in the scene (armies, machines). Does he have a single melody you could say is “haunting”? Music in movies that did move me: Yann Tierson (“Amelie”); Ennio Morricone “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly”. Maurice Jarre (“Doctor Zhivago”), Nino Rota (“The Godfather”). The theme from “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Elmer Bernstein is quite beautiful and lifts the movie. The music from “The Third Man” is not my favorite but it is at least very distinctive.

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