Friday, May 16, 2008

roger ebert on david mamet

One of the filmmakers Roger Ebert assesses better than just about any other critic is David Mamet. Ebert's review of Mamet's undervalued Val Kilmer thriller Spartan is one of those pieces I go back to on a consistent basis: He captures not just what is great about the movie, but also how seductive its twists and worldview are. Plus, Ebert clearly loves writing in a rat-a-tat style that's an homage to Mamet's hyper-artificial dialogue.

Mamet's the sort of writer-director who works in such a distinct way that his fans can easily become obsessed, and Ebert speaks to how that obsession feels. In his new blog, Ebert discusses Redbelt, suggesting that it deserves its own genre: the twister. It gives him another chance to get at the heart of what makes Mamet's movies fascinating, even when they're not great.