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DP/30 Emmywatch ’12: Mad Men, actor Christina Hendricks

One Response to “DP/30 Emmywatch ’12: Mad Men, actor Christina Hendricks”

  1. anghus says:

    Easily her best season on Mad Men. In a show that is often about compromise and the struggle to find substance in a world obsessed with surface, Joan became the personification of that struggle.

    Don Draper had always been the centerpiece of that struggle. A man who considered himself to be morally sound in spite of his many failings. The other supporting characters were all at different places on the moral compass. Every year compromise seems to find one of them as each character gets their hands dirty.

    This year we saw Lane cross that line, one that cost him his life. And while Lane had the saddest and most damning arc, it was Joan that had to live with her choice. She had always been the beautiful, seductive icon of this ore-fab time. And even though she had her share of flings, they were always of her choosing. When the firm asks her to do the unthinkable, the choice she makes never feels obvious. And that fantastic scene between Hendricks and John Hamm where he tells her she doesn’t have to do it… and the subsequent scene in the boardroom where he realizes she already had… it’s just brilliant. The entire season was fantastic, but those final few episodes with the Jaguar campaign. As Ginsburg spins that pitch to Don: “At last, something beautiful you can truly own”, and you realize that Joan has now sold her soul for financial security… it’s the kind of writing and acting you’re only going to find on a show like Mad Men.

    On a show with so many good actors, Hendericks really killed it this year. I hope she wins.

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DENNIS COOPER

The next thing that really changed my world and thoroughly influenced my writing were the films of Robert Bresson. When I discovered them in the late seventies, I felt I had found the final ingredient I needed to write the fiction I wanted to write.

INTERVIEWER

What was the final ingredient?

DENNIS COOPER

Recognizing that the films were entirely about emotion and, to me, ­ profoundly moving while, at the same time, stylistically inexpressive and monotonic. On the surface, they were nothing but style, and the style was extremely rigorous to boot, but they seemed almost transparent and purely content driven. Bresson’s use of untrained nonactors influenced my concentration on characters who are amateurs or noncharacters or characters who are ill equipped to handle the job of manning a story line or holding the reader’s attention in a conventional way. Altogether, I think Bresson’s films had the greatest influence on my work of any art I’ve ever encountered. In fact, the first fiction of mine that was ever published was a chapbook called “Antoine Monnier,” which was a god-awful, incompetent attempt to rewrite Bresson’s film Le diable ­probablement as a pornographic novella. So I came to writing novels through a channel that included experimental fiction, poetry, and nonliterary influences pretty much exclusively. I never read normal novels with any real interest or close attention.
~ Dennis Cooper Discovers Bresson

The whole world within reach.
~ Filmmaker Peter Hutton

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