Moonwatcher's Memoirs
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Author:  PeterScott [ Sun Oct 20, 2013 9:55 am ]
Post subject:  Moonwatcher's Memoirs

I just discovered this book by Dan Richter, the actor who played the lead man-ape in 2001: A Space Odyssey. While it is evidently an attempt to capitalize on the pseudo-anniversary of the movie (albeit with a 2002 publication date... darn lead times), that's okay, because it does contain some fascinating and unique material if you are a 2001 buff.

Richter was a professional mime. Two things grabbed my attention in conjunction with that: one, that there was a thriving American School of Mime, and two, that a professional mime was earning enough to take time off for a world tour of international mime theaters like Kabuki. I doubt that the field is as vibrant today.

Richter hired and trained the other actors in the Dawn of Man sequence. There is a wealth of anecdotes about Kubrick that reinforce his image as a genuine auteur genius who demanded and got the best from people without being a jerk. Particularly, the book provided an eye-opening insight into how a movement artist thinks and works.

It could have stood to have some professional editing, which would surely have caught the wrenching chapter title "Thin Boys Need Only Apply." But more importantly, it would have flagged the subplot of Richter's heroin addiction, which propels the narrative along... and yet is unresolved at the end. For all we know, he's still addicted; can't tell.

If you want an on-the-spot view on just how groundbreaking this movie was in its opening sequence, this thin tome nicely does the job.

Author:  JamesGifford [ Sun Oct 20, 2013 12:32 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Moonwatcher's Memoirs

ACC was of the opinion that 2001 was not nominated for Best Costume Oscar because the voters were unaware Moonwatcher and his clan were costumes. (There was no Best Makeup award until the 80s.)

The costume award went to the relatively mundane "Anne of a Thousand Days" over other tepid choices and the flashy "Hello Dolly." All probably due to the notion of "costume" as "gowns." I don't see a single costume Oscar for a film centered around male actors, only gown and historical pieces.

Author:  PeterScott [ Sun Oct 20, 2013 7:27 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Moonwatcher's Memoirs

Richter gives some details of industrial espionage on their man-ape appliances that could only have stemmed from Planet of the Apes.

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