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December 18, 2008


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Michael Dempsey

The David Mamet essay, "On Bitches," is actually called "True Stories Of Bitches," and it's in "Writing In Restaurants."

Glenn Kenny

Thanks, sir. I really ought to check these things rather than relying on my increasingly ineffective memory.

I accurately recall that I first read the piece in Playboy. See, people DO get it for the articles!


I pulled down the Mamet book -- I couldn't remember if I'd read that essay or not -- and holy shit, you gotta have the guts of Mamet's sister to throw out a line like that. But the anecdote at the end of the essay (which I remembered quite clearly, so I had read it before), about Mamet's encounter with a strange woman in a restaurant is worse than "fucking uncool": it's fucking cold-blooded! I actually remember thinking less of Mamet -- an artistic hero of mine -- when I read that the first time. If it's true, which I guess it might not be.

Anyhow, this Piven story has really been making the rounds today. I remember reading something about him publicly admitting how terrified he was to be taking on the play, or maybe just live theater in general, so I, too, I'm disinclined to believe that his mercury levels are soaring. Still, what an odd excuse. The strangeness of it does make me wonder a little if he's on the level.

And I've heard (read) your Piven story before, and I STILL want to read that "Very Bad Things" review...


VBT is one the worst, ugliest, vile things ever put on film. I'm amazed it took.


I'm still chuckling over Mamet's take on Blagojevich, via HuffPo:

"I am from Chicago, and, so, having been disillusioned with politics at an early age I do not become involved. The only reason I vote is because they pay me."

Dan Coyle

I always thought it was funny about VBT that Jeanne Tripplehorn and Leland Orser started a relationship and got married not long after shooting that movie. Hey, at least SOMEONE got something out of it!

greg mottola

Mr. Mamet was my professor for one semester at Columbia film school. His book 'On Directing Film' was actually compiled from our classes (it was just eight students and Mamet). He mocked me once in front of my classmates and his post-production team ... it's too long of an anecdote, but it was essentially Mamet saying that I had better improve my work habits if I ever hoped to "get coffee for him on the set of a movie". In retrospect, I surely deserved it.


Ouch. That's not in the book, is it?

Dan Coyle

Eh, i'd rather watch The Daytrippers than an episode of The Unit...

Heh heh. I said "unit". he he he.


The Daytrippers is great! I really love that film.

greg mottola

ha, thanks for the daytrippers mentions ... if only i could get it back into DVD circulation (Steven Soderbergh is trying to help me get it re-released). And, no, my david mamet humiliation isn't in the book ... just etched into my memory.

Dan Coyle

See? See? He lost his hands. NOW HE CAN'T POINT!


real question is how did mamet the writer fall so far from Speed the Plow to November? and Mottola--

greg mottola

Mamet was nice enough to give us tickets to the final dress rehearsal of Speed The Plow (the original production, that is). It was funny as hell, in spite of Madonna.


yeah, the original, which I saw too, was phenomenal. Joe Montegna and Ron Silver were in peak form. Mottola--I can't wait to see adventureland. Just worked with Jesse and think he is about to go on a hell of a run...

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