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David Mamet's JFK Script


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As JFK Revisited continues to circulate, people got in touch with Oliver Stone.  One of them was David Mamet.

So Oliver and I had lunch with him in Brentwood not too long ago. I have to say, it was one of the funniest, most enjoyable two hours I have had in a long time.  Mamet has a really rich sense of humor.

At one point in the conversation his JFK project came up.  And he later sent the script to me.  Get this: he had Cate Blanchett signed for the lead. The day before they were to start production, the financing was pulled.

The story was about a young woman who has a mysterious source of funds that comes her way each month.  After she had a minor family crisis with her son, she decided to try and find out where the money is coming from.  This is the main action of the film.  It turns out her father was part of a top secret photographic alteration department in a large corporation.  She finds out that this department worked on UFOs.  But she later also finds out that they worked on the Zapruder film.  It turns out that the real film showed Oswald outside during the parade.  With Allen Dulles in the crowd.

She now moves to Switzerland with her son,  and she gets much bigger checks per month from that company.

Edited by James DiEugenio
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It was to be titled "Black Bird."

I followed that project obsessively.

Mamet writing? Cate Blanchette starring? Fascinating plot line?

I couldn't wait. Until finally I read in ( Variety? ) that the project was dead.

Felt sick about it. Really I did. Blanchette had accepted the role...right?

How much would Mamet need to get that project back on? 20 Mil.?

No problem. I'll cut a check tomorrow!

I also read that Mamet felt the whole JFK conspiracy story was a crock. ???

Wow, what a lucky man you are Jim Di.

To sit with Mamet and Stone and be a part of that meet up discourse?

You are in the A list loop now my man.

Next time I'm down your way how about we have lunch at the Beverly Hills Hotel Polo Lounge?

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Are you buying Joe?  Then fine.

BTW, Mamet is in the pro conspiracy crowd.  In addition to that film, he told Oliver something that also reveals he is, which I am not at liberty to tell.

I have to say that even though the restaurant we went to was chic, even the maitre' D was impressed that we had two people of that stature at the same table.

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1 minute ago, James DiEugenio said:

Are you buying Joe?  Then fine.

BTW, Mamet is in the pro conspiracy crowd.  In addition to that film, he told Oliver something that also reveals he is, which I am not at liberty to tell.

I have to say that even though the restaurant we went to was chic, even the maitre' D was impressed that we had two people of that stature at the same table.

James DiEugenio has stature...but who were the other two guys again? 

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That is extremely cool, as David Mamet is one of America's greatest storytellers and wordsmiths.

I do my best to not think about him being a Trump supporter, at least in the past, and from interviews with him I sense JFK is not the only conspiracy he's a believer in.

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Posted (edited)

These are my favorite Mamet films that he either wrote or directed or both. (I have not seen everything he has done.)

 

The Verdict

The Untouchables

House of Games

Wag the Dog

Spartan

The three we talked about the most were The Verdict, Wag the Dog and Spartan.  I told him how I thought the last was really underrated. 

Edited by James DiEugenio
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3 hours ago, James DiEugenio said:

Are you buying Joe?  Then fine.

BTW, Mamet is in the pro conspiracy crowd.  In addition to that film, he told Oliver something that also reveals he is, which I am not at liberty to tell.

I have to say that even though the restaurant we went to was chic, even the maitre' D was impressed that we had two people of that stature at the same table.

It kinda reminds me of a time the owner of Tower Records invited me to a benefit concert on B.B. King's birthday.  At a certain point a Tower marketing person brought me into a back room to hobnob with the birthday boy. Only he wasn't alone. He was getting his picture taken with John Lee Hooker, Ike Turner, Koko Taylor, Dr. John, Bonnie Raitt, Billy Gibbons, Coco Montoya, and Kenny Wayne Shepherd. The photos were taken and the photographer left, along with the Tower employee. At that point it was just me and a bunch of music legends. I was kind of in awe. And then the strangest thing happened. B.B. saw me standing there and introduced himself as Riley, if I recall. And I walked up and chatted with him for a minute and wished him a happy birthday. In fact, I'm pretty sure I started an impromptu "Happy Birthday to You" with Bonne Raitt singing along beside me. 

It was nice to be around so many talented people, and to realize they were just people like the rest of us. I remembered being surprised by the size of John Lee Hooker. I imagined him as being six foot four, 230, or so. But he was more like five foot nine, 170. 

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Pat Speer writes:

Quote

I remembered being surprised by the size of John Lee Hooker. I imagined him as being six foot four, 230, or so. But he was more like five foot nine, 170.

They were clearly two different people: JOHN Lee Hooker, a 6' 4", 230-pound Arabic-speaking Danish refugee, and John LEE Hooker, a 5' 9", 170-pound Portuguese-speaking Mongolian World War Two orphan.

JOHN Lee Hooker, who had undergone a mastoidectomy operation at the age of six, shrank to 5' 6" each time he went to buy trucks in New Orleans, while John LEE Hooker had a scar from a mastoidectomy operation despite never having had the operation.

One of them had sloping shoulders, and the other had a 13" head, although I forget which was which. There's more to all of this than you might think!

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11 hours ago, James DiEugenio said:

These are my favorite Mamet films that he either wrote or directed or both. (I have not seen everything he has done.)

 

The Verdict

The Untouchables

House of Games

Wag the Dog

Spartan

The three we talked about the most were The Verdict, Wag the Dog and Spartan.  I told him how I thought the last was really underrated. 

The Verdict is one of my top ten films of all time. Watched it again just last week.

It just grips me every time.

The story line about the human condition of struggle, failure, lost hope then faith and redemption and finally sweet justice.

Casting was perfect. Newman had to say so much...without words. And did this so well, better than almost any actor I have seen.

In fact, all the other cast had to do the same thing, and did so wonderfully.

Charlotte Rampling, Jack Warden, Lindsay Crouse ( The Arrival ) ... and where did they find Joe Seneca? Loved his role!

Joe Seneca; member of the Three Riffs singing group. Writer of many songs including the classic "Talk To Me" by Little Willie John!

Mason. What can one say? The classic eloquent bad guy as he was in other films such as North By Northwest.

This film inspires me.  Newman inspires me.

Mamet inspires me. 

Yes, "Wag The Dog" was great. Another classic with great dialogue and meaning in our world of media corruption.

GlenGarry Glen Ross?  What a cast. What great lines and performances.

Desperately ruthless, back stabbing and pitifully morally bankrupt real estate salesmen fun!

" you owe me a $6,000 car...what are you gonna do about it ... a$$hole?"

"Let me buy you a pack of gum and show you how to chew it."

Mamet is ... well what can one say? I am sure Stone admires his talent and work tremendously.

Jim Di ... Do you think Mamet's "Blackbird" film project is history?

113K views7 years ago
 

 

 

Edited by Joe Bauer
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Jim - do you think it possible that it was Mamet’s support of Trump that caused funding to be pulled? Btw I don’t believe in cancelling people so that’s not the point of my question. As miserable and crooked a wretch as our former president is, I liked his foreign initiatives better than recent Democratic presidents. 
As an aside, a few months ago I was having dinner at a posh SF restaurant when I realized that Oliver Stone and David Talbot were dining two tables away. I wanted so much to have a moment with them, but just thought it was too pushy a thing to do, so I stayed put. 

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21 hours ago, Paul Brancato said:

Jim - do you think it possible that it was Mamet’s support of Trump that caused funding to be pulled? Btw I don’t believe in cancelling people so that’s not the point of my question. As miserable and crooked a wretch as our former president is, I liked his foreign initiatives better than recent Democratic presidents. 
As an aside, a few months ago I was having dinner at a posh SF restaurant when I realized that Oliver Stone and David Talbot were dining two tables away. I wanted so much to have a moment with them, but just thought it was too pushy a thing to do, so I stayed put. 

Wow! Another amazing  pairing!

 

Edited by Joe Bauer
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