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    Thursday, June 02, 2005

    TV: Steve McQueen: The Essence of Cool

    This may cost me some street cred (like I have any), but here goes: I’ve never gotten Steve McQueen. Director Lawrence Kasdan, a fan who appears in this TCM documentary, describes watching him in THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN as a boy, and his comments hit on my problem with the actor: McQueen always seemed to be playing a child’s version of a man.

    Using the doc’s title to put it another way, there’s the kind of cool that comes from genuinely not caring what anybody else thinks (see Marvin, Lee and Mitchum, Robert). And then there’s the McQueen variety, which always involves a look in the mirror of other people’s eyes. Granted, his style of acting can be enormously effective. But I can’t say I’ve ever watched a film because McQueen was in it.

    This documentary doesn’t shy away from the actor’s dark side, and as a result delivers a well-rounded picture of him. It made me want to check out a few more of his films. And I’ll say this for him: he was one hell of a driver.

    TV: Dancing With The Stars

    LOST? Haven’t seen it. DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES? Nope. But put on a celebrity ballroom dancing competition in which the most famous participant is the guy who played J. Peterman on SEINFELD and I’ll watch it. Or at least record it and speed through it later on.

    God, I love summer television.


    Vince... Vince!


    We finally found something to disagree on.

    See more McQueen films. You will understand - eventually.



    Call me Grasshopper, for I wish to understand. Where should I begin? What are the McQueen movies that will change my mind? Anyone?


    blah. i don't get mcqueen, either. i mean, i get it, i just don't get it.



    Don't know what you've seen of McQueen's, but try The Getaway, Junior Bonner, Papillon, The Great Escape, The Reivers and Tom Horn.

    If you're still not convinced, pick up Bullitt, Le Mans, The Cincinatti Kid, The Sand Pebbles, The Magnificent Seven and Nevada Smith.

    If that doesn't do it: watch The Getaway again.





    It may be a generation thing. I "grew up" watching McQueen, back to seeing The Blob in a theatre. He was a fix of cool elegance. And I can't think of one actor since who comes close. A good example of conflicting generations may be observed through viewer reactions to the two versions of The Thomas Crown Affair: to my eyes, the McQueen version is excellent fluff, while the Pierce Brosnan remake is barely watchable -- something people my age might agree with, though I'm sure it would be debated by anyone under the age of 40.



    I said almost the same thing about two hours earlier on the Layer Cake response page.

    Nice to know someone else out there grew up in McQueenville.



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