Monday, February 11, 2008

Buddy Russo (1932-2008)

people come and people go; it's a fact of life. some people leave a larger mark upon the world than others but, still, a mark is made. once, in the distant prehistoric past, i wanted to consider myself an actor. i even went to school for it a bit but, like all things in my life, i have no true follow through.
but that's not important.
what's important are the things that point you in the direction you want to go. for me it was one scene in a movie that came out the year i was born. in a perfect world where the lowest common denominator doesn't rule all that he can see, i could find a clip of this scene on youtube but oh how the gods fail me.
anyway, this scene takes place at the dinner table post-supper. the father is a man of responsibility, almost more than he can shoulder. times are tough. he's stressing and his young son is picking up on it, mimicking his actions. the father soon notices and begins to play along, escalating into a monster face making his son break into laughter.
-"Come here. Give us a kiss."
-"'Cause I need it."

roy scheider is everything i've ever wanted from an actor and Jaws is the movie that, outside of All That Jazz, got the most out of him. at the same dinner table, when he's made up his mind to cut open the shark that may or may not have eaten "the little kinter kid," the way he opens the bottle of wine over hooper's objections, pours a proper amount for his wife, a proper amount for hooper and then fills his tumbler to the brim is beautiful.
this was an actor who could do his job and do it well without speaking a line. a man who knew how to let his gifted but scenery-chewing collegues shine yet still keeping our attention. robert shaw gets all the love for his milius written speech about the indianpolis (heavily rewritten or adlibed by playwright shaw himself, depending on what story you choose to believe) and it is a good speech (he'll always be the standard i judge henry VII by, eat your heart out tudors) but brody has the most succinct line remembered by all:

"you're gonna need a bigger boat."

rest in peace
Roy Scheider (1932-2008)

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