Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Just viewed: vastly underrated 70's realist classic Scarecrow, featuring young versions of Al Pacino and Gene Hackman, the latter of which I'd honestly never fully appreciated until now.

Watch him in the final scene, coughing up the last of his hidden cash to pay for the round-trip train ticket, then calmly but determinedly banging the hollow heel of his shoe back into place on the counter, totally oblivious to the shocked teller, the line-up, everyone.


I had to watch the scene twice, amazed at the amount of compressed emotional energy it managed to release with the most minimal of cues.
Hackman plays it as straight as ever, never telegraphing, always in the moment, the definition of Mamet's "nail that looks like a nail," but in light of the previous two hours, it's triumphant.

"Winner of two Academy Awards for Connection and Unforgiven, Hackman considers Scarecrow, which won the Golden Palm at the 1973 Cannes Film Festival, his favorite of more than 80 films."