Sunday, May 16, 2010

The Thing About Being a Writer

Found myself sleepless again at roughly the same time as before... isn't that fascinating? You're the one reading a "blog"! Decided to try my old method of getting myself into at least a hypnagogic state: flipping rapidly between two or three movies on these movie channels they have nowadays until they blend into one incomprehensible yet strangely unified dream. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. On last night's menu: THE HANGOVER, AUTHOR! AUTHOR! (not one but two exclamation points original to the title - laudable!), and SWITCH. The latter was NOT the TV series starring Charlie Callas I recall from my shamefully squandered youth, but a film in which Ellen Barkin's body is possessed by the spirit of a crass rogue. But never mind about that! Here's the important part: I CAN ALMOST SWEAR I SAW AL PACINO IMITATE JERRY LEWIS. I won't be able to quote this with any accuracy because it was caught in a moment of quick flipping, like so many important things in life. Pacino (the star of AUTHOR! AUTHOR!) said something like "I'm very anxious" or "I have a lot of anxiety" in a familiar unmistakable lilt, and then he darted into the street slapstick-style, making a noise very much like one this goat might make. He was rewarded by peals and peals of famous laughter from his co-star Dyan Cannon, who was famous at the time for her peals and peals of laughter (I have uncovered an example - also featuring Johnny Carson - and include it for your study below). Pacino's Jerry Lewis imitation cut immediately to a scene of what we shall delicately call post-intimacy before a roaring fire, Pacino and Cannon wrapped tactfully in sheets. This implies that acting like Jerry Lewis makes the ladies love you! And right away! That part was fine. But Pacino's first words post-intimacy? "The thing about being a writer is..." Ugh! That made me flip the channel. Once again, it may not be an exact quotation, because of all the flipping. But still, ugh.