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Jack Nicholson interview
January 30, 2011 1:32 PM   Subscribe

"If men are honest, everything they do and everywhere they go is for a chance to see women." 73-year-old Jack Nicholson talks about relationships, sex, aging, art, drugs, partying with Keith Richards, plastic surgery, and acting.
posted by John Cohen (107 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite

 
even Aunt Bee had a thing for Nicholson
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iMc8L_2vVPA
posted by robbyrobs at 1:35 PM on January 30, 2011


Meh. Nothing new here.
posted by Xurando at 1:49 PM on January 30, 2011


Exactly, that's why so many men play WoW.
posted by sien at 1:52 PM on January 30, 2011 [22 favorites]


"If men are honest, everything they do and everywhere they go is for a chance to see women."

This is such ridiculous bullshit. Sometimes, I just want to take a nap.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:53 PM on January 30, 2011 [58 favorites]


Of course all men are exactly like Jack Nicholson.
posted by hydropsyche at 1:56 PM on January 30, 2011 [3 favorites]


That's pretty funny. I guess my current Babylon 5 marathon must be because I'm horny
posted by edgeways at 2:05 PM on January 30, 2011 [7 favorites]


After you've read this post, have a bit of Pastabagel, to cleanse the palate.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:17 PM on January 30, 2011 [4 favorites]


Sometimes, I just want to take a nap.

Because, in my dreams, seeing women works out much better than in real life?
posted by robertc at 2:17 PM on January 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


I play Minecraft to create creeper traps because I know that one day I will find a creeper that can see past our differences and love me for who I am. God I love their temper and outlandish sense of fashion.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 2:20 PM on January 30, 2011 [11 favorites]


Finally, an answer to the question of why Jack Nicholson agreed to appear in Anger Management.
posted by box at 2:23 PM on January 30, 2011


He only said this to impress some woman.
posted by DU at 2:24 PM on January 30, 2011 [4 favorites]


Of course all men are exactly like Jack Nicholson.

That's why Christian Slater seems so incredibly versatile!
posted by GenjiandProust at 2:29 PM on January 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


"I used to feel irresistible to women. Not anymore."

Can someone please explain to me how anyone, anywhere thought Jack Nicholson was ever attractive?

I'm not trying to be snarky. I have nothing against him as an actor. It's just I had no idea that he's supposed to be some kind of sex symbol until recently, when a guy friend was totally taken aback (as in, eyes bulging shocked) when I said Jack Nicholson is (and always has been) very ugly.
posted by adso at 2:30 PM on January 30, 2011 [4 favorites]


You missed the part where he is rich and successful adso.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 2:44 PM on January 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


Can someone please explain to me how anyone, anywhere thought Jack Nicholson was ever attractive?

I have always wondered this.

Despite his wealth and success, I have always thought he was truly unappealing, although a very fine actor.
posted by bearwife at 2:49 PM on January 30, 2011 [3 favorites]


"If men are honest, everything they do and everywhere they go is for a chance to see women."

If Lakers fans are honest, everything they do and everywhere they go is to cover their shame and despair at coming from a region with such inferior culture, history, and basketball to Boston.
posted by ibmcginty at 3:08 PM on January 30, 2011 [11 favorites]


He is attractive because he always wears dark sunglasses and every babe wants to know what is going on behind those glasses.

Is Keith Richards more attractive?
posted by Postroad at 3:11 PM on January 30, 2011


I thought they kept him preserved in a tank full of grain alcohol until he was needed for a film.
posted by jonmc at 3:20 PM on January 30, 2011 [5 favorites]


Wow. A lot of dumping on one of the most pivotal actors of the last 40 years. You'd prefer Easy Rider and The Shining were never made?

He's an actor; he entertained us. What else do you want from the man?
posted by digitalprimate at 3:20 PM on January 30, 2011 [4 favorites]


He's an actor; he entertained us. What else do you want from the man?

Not to bolster hosile stereotypes about a group he belongs to? It's not up there with, I dunno, Wedley Snipes arguing "all blacks wanna do is live off welfare". but I can live without famous people trying to make me share in their weaknesses by fiat of their chromosome arrangement.
posted by rodgerd at 3:27 PM on January 30, 2011 [24 favorites]


Can someone please explain to me how anyone, anywhere thought Jack Nicholson was ever attractive?

Big smile, big ego, big talent, big money, big house(s), big personality, big reputation. Even if we're just talking looks, it's not hard to find a lot of people worse-looking than Jack Nicholson at a given age.

But then again, I know a dude who looks a lot like Jack (right down to the smile). Drives a dilapidated station wagon. 0 Academy Awards. I bet no one's eyes would bulge out if you called him unattractive. At most you'd get a shrug, I think.
posted by millions at 3:28 PM on January 30, 2011


Can someone please explain to me how anyone, anywhere thought Jack Nicholson was ever attractive?

Because he's among the very few best at what he does. It's as simple as that. In recorded history he's among maybe 100 people who can do what he does as well as he does. That is an incredible feat--especially when one considers how many people *want* to do what he does.

When I was a young man, I used to read a lot of Charles Bukowski. I always thought he must have a rich inner life because he was one ugly mofo and he was always going on about the women who would call him out of the blue for sex (his phone number was listed). As I grew older, I had experiences that made it undeniably clear that he wasn't full of shit. People want to be with people who move them.

And I think people are being far too dismissive of the quote. He's obviously saying that people do what they do because they want to be liked/loved. I don't think it's much of a stretch to suggest that for many, it is their main motivator for most of their activity.
posted by dobbs at 3:28 PM on January 30, 2011 [19 favorites]


He's obviously saying that people do what they do because they want to be liked/loved. I don't think it's much of a stretch to suggest that for many, it is their main motivator for most of their activity.

What's it all about, pussy and money....

(good to see ya, dobbs..;>)
posted by jonmc at 3:30 PM on January 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


adso: "Can someone please explain to me how anyone, anywhere thought Jack Nicholson was ever attractive?"

In general, there are at least some people who find each body type and general physical appearance attractive. The number of people who know what Jack Nicholson looks like is astronomically high (as compared with, say, my friend Bob). Therefore, you're far more likely to run across a person who finds Jack Nicholson attractive than one who finds my friend Bob attractive. That Nicholson looks "unconventionally attractive" (read: old) only makes it more likely the person who finds him attractive will bring it up.
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 3:34 PM on January 30, 2011


Can someone please explain to me how anyone, anywhere thought Jack Nicholson was ever attractive?

Attraction boils down to a lot more than someone's physical features. Everyone can look ugly from the right angle and set of eyes. But confidence? Personality? Complete comfort in one's own skin? That's downright sexy.
posted by girih knot at 3:44 PM on January 30, 2011 [4 favorites]


Isn't it obvious that many behaviours that seem devoid of sexual motivation are fundamentally, insidiously sexually motivated? He's just describing the recognition of this reality. His statement is not be categorically true, but it's not categorically false. If anything, it's cliché, and not insult to anyone.

Talk about over-thinking the mundane.
posted by esprit de l'escalier at 3:47 PM on January 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


He claims that Angelica Huston beat him up, and that his older sister was his biological mother which he did not find out until after both had died. I do not understand why a human would tell the entire the world things like this about themselves. These are the type of biographical secrets that people prefer to take to their graves.
posted by bukvich at 3:52 PM on January 30, 2011


I can't believe Jack Nicholson is holding court in the Daily Mail. On the other hand mail readers may be some of the few people left who can still be riled by his antics.
posted by doobiedoo at 3:56 PM on January 30, 2011


i've never ever read any of his interview. i find this amazingly intimate and melancholy and, at least for me, completely unexpected. great find, thanks!
posted by liza at 3:57 PM on January 30, 2011 [6 favorites]


‘I’ve never been comfortable about surgery. I was on the receiving end of one of the very first chest augmentations. When I touched what felt like polythene, that was it. The fuse went out. Maybe it’s childish, but I couldn’t cope with it.


Well I think they did a lovely job. Is that saline or silicone?
posted by dgaicun at 4:01 PM on January 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


I've always thought he was drop dead sexy. Even at 73 he still looks pretty good.
posted by mygothlaundry at 4:04 PM on January 30, 2011 [3 favorites]


his older sister was his biological mother which he did not find out until after both had died. I do not understand why a human would tell the entire the world things like this about themselves

Erm ... nor do I. What?
posted by iotic at 4:08 PM on January 30, 2011


Ah, should read the article before the comments :)
posted by iotic at 4:10 PM on January 30, 2011


I do not understand why a human would tell the entire the world things like this about themselves.

Maybe you should get your facts straight before judging people.

First of all it was NOT his older sister. It was his mother, pretending to be his older sister. It was done because she was single and young, and single, young women did not have children out of wedlock in those days.

And it's not like Nicholson had been blabbing about it. The facts were discovered by a biographer when Nicholson was 37. He was completely unaware of it and was stunned at the news. (The same thing happened to Bobby Darin, btw.)

When the story was published in Time Magazine in the mid-70s, he was inundated with questions about it. He's not the one who initiated the topic.
posted by dobbs at 4:14 PM on January 30, 2011 [10 favorites]


I've always thought he was drop dead sexy.

Emphasis on the 'drop dead' based on his personal habits, I'm told.

/huge fan of Jack Nicholson, but,...y'know
posted by jonmc at 4:15 PM on January 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


I do not understand why a human would tell the entire the world things like this about themselves.

Perhaps he thought sharing an experience of domestic abuse would help others. Did you criticise Halle Berry when she did the same, or is it only men who should be ashamed of being victims of violence in the home?
posted by rodgerd at 4:19 PM on January 30, 2011 [3 favorites]


Can someone please explain to me how anyone, anywhere thought Jack Nicholson was ever attractive?

I've always had a crush on Jack, despite the fact that he is 30-some years older than I am. I think it's because he has this strange way of communicating both ease and intensity at the exact same time.
posted by jrossi4r at 4:19 PM on January 30, 2011 [3 favorites]


In recorded history he's among maybe 100 people who can do what he does as well as he does.

I think Nicholson is a fine actor, nothing against his acting, but "in recorded history" is not that a propos when we're talking about movie acting which has only been around for about 100 years, and only a tiny handful of the people alive during that time have had even a shot at trying it.

(sorry, pet peeve of mine about journos who proclaim things like "Only person in the history of the world to reach a score of 1 million at $recently invented video game" as if they were meaningful)
posted by LobsterMitten at 4:29 PM on January 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


Plus, pretty crummy view of men articulated in the opening line of the post; I'll boldly go on record as saying I've known a lot of men with other motivations for various actions.
posted by LobsterMitten at 4:31 PM on January 30, 2011


Is Keith Richards more attractive? has everyone seen Keith Richards in the movie Pirates of the Caribbean? hardly any make-up was needed for the part he played. i rest my case!
posted by tustinrick at 4:34 PM on January 30, 2011


I'm surprised at the hostility here. Nicholson is a great actor. I haven't liked many of his movies made in the past, oh twenty years or so . . . but he's usually pretty great in them.

His earlier work - made before my time - is really incredible. I think part of his allure to people (women especially) stems from the intense characters he played back then - generally, guys caught between conformity and rebellion. Take a look at the film he made in the decade from 1968 to 1977 - Head, Easy Riders, Psych-Out, Carnal Knowledge, Chinatown, Five Easy Pieces, The King Of Marvin Gardens, The Last Detail, One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest (to name fewer than half of them) and wow! Few actors have ever had contributed as mightily to such a tremendous body of work in a similar length of time. And of course, it didn't end there! Nor does that touch upon his work behind-the-scenes - he's been responsible for many

I liked the interview. I saw a different side of him, appreciated his modesty (compared to his public image) and honesty.
posted by Dee Xtrovert at 4:38 PM on January 30, 2011 [4 favorites]


Can someone please explain to me how anyone, anywhere thought Jack Nicholson was ever attractive?

Maybe this will clear that question up for you. Because there are apparently two types of women, you see...
posted by fancyoats at 4:40 PM on January 30, 2011 [3 favorites]


I do not understand why a human would tell the entire the world things like this about themselves.

Did you read the post?
posted by StickyCarpet at 4:41 PM on January 30, 2011


From the article:

Nicholson has a presence that radiates right off the Richter scale

Yeah, that about sums it up. This is why he is/was so attractive - that incredible, magnetic charisma. And I'm a straight male.

Also, personally I could care less for Easy Rider, a hideously overindulgent, aimless, overrated piece of sixties-exploiting crap. Jack's the only good thing in it. Not so One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest, or even The Witches of Eastwick, which for all its Eighties cheesiness provides a great vehicle for Nicholson's personality, as well as the three female leads, and is rather fun.

Yay Jack. Thanks for the good article.
posted by iotic at 4:43 PM on January 30, 2011


Will the rich be willing to pay more taxes if they get to see more women?
posted by Obscure Reference at 4:52 PM on January 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


Can someone please explain to me how anyone, anywhere thought Jack Nicholson was ever attractive?

Five Easy Pieces His intensity is incredibly sexy, I think. And not the diner scene.
posted by Ideefixe at 4:54 PM on January 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


personally I could care less for Easy Rider ... Jack's the only good thing in it.

In his role as Plot Device.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 4:56 PM on January 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


I haven't liked many of his movies made in the past, oh twenty years or so . . .

I'd agree, except:

The Two Jakes
The Crossing Guard
The Pledge
About Schmidt
The Departed

Nicholson - he's still got it.
posted by airing nerdy laundry at 4:58 PM on January 30, 2011


Because he's among the very few best at what he does. It's as simple as that. In recorded history he's among maybe 100 people who can do what he does as well as he does. That is an incredible feat--especially when one considers how many people *want* to do what he does.

You don't watch much non-American cinema, I take it.
posted by Hildegarde at 5:06 PM on January 30, 2011


You know that guy Einstien? Not that smart.
posted by Ad hominem at 5:23 PM on January 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


Anyone who doesn't know why he was ever considered attractive needs to watch "Chinatown" as soon as possible. Damn the look-at-non-Americans knee jerk blah blah.
posted by raysmj at 5:33 PM on January 30, 2011


I don't need to tell anyone they're wrong about Jack Nicholson, but I do think I need to talk up Easy Rider for just a minute, because it's great. It's not an exploitation of the '60s at all; it's a movie that courts the attention of the counter-culture and winds up telling it that it's already betrayed its own ideals and is lost. It's a movie about desperate people trying to leave some kind of impression on a world that's changing so fast they don't understand it, and if they succeed, it's by conceiving children with prostitutes while they're high. Yeah, Jack Nicholson is hilarious in it, but I think that even he would tell you he's basically comic relief. It's a beautiful, brutal movie about people trying to find meaning, and probably failing. It shouldn't be blown off because people have some kind of daddy issues about the boomers. It isn't about one generation.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 5:35 PM on January 30, 2011 [3 favorites]


What I've Learned: Jack Nicholson (December 31, 2003)
posted by Simon Barclay at 5:38 PM on January 30, 2011


He was awesome in Mars Attacks.

He played a casino mogul who was secretly President of the United States.
posted by The Confessor at 5:45 PM on January 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


Knee-jerk? Not hardly. American cinema seems to put conventional beauty on the screen before actual acting talent. How else can you explain...well most blockbuster actors? I'm thinking of British actors, many of whom are jaw-droppingly good. I don't really know how Nicholson would rate against the last few decades of stellar British performances.
posted by Hildegarde at 5:54 PM on January 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


Knee-jerk? Not hardly. American cinema seems to put conventional beauty on the screen before actual acting talent. How else can you explain...well most blockbuster actors? I'm thinking of British actors, many of whom are jaw-droppingly good. I don't really know how Nicholson would rate against the last few decades of stellar British performances.

I'm not sure whether this figures into your point, but Nicholson says most of this (including noting his appreciation of British actors) in the article.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 6:12 PM on January 30, 2011


You don't watch much non-American cinema, I take it.

Hildegarde, you mention British performers. I'd love to see a performance by anyone better than David Thewlis in Naked. But as phenomenal as he was in that, he never matched it again and probably never will. This is what Nicholson has over many other actors: consistency. Yeah, he's made some shit movies, but if you think worldwide cinema churns out a Nicholson caliber performer every single year (100 years, a 100 performers), I'd love to see your list. His performance in any one of a number of films, let alone the titles combined, make his talent remarkable and unusual.

Like Thewlis, many actors turn out a stellar performances once or twice in their lives, never to match them again. Nicholson did five of the greatest performances of the 70s (Five Easy Pieces, Carnal Knowledge, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Chinatown, The Passenger) during the five years which many consider American film to have been most fertile, meaning the competition was at its most fierce. And that's not counting King of Marvin Gardens and The Last Detail, which are almost as good and also made between 70 and 75.

I love Monica Vitti's work. Isabelle Huppert's as well. And Alain Delon. And Jeanne Moreau and Jean Gabin and Toshiro Mifune and Tony Leung and Liv Ullmann and Albert Finney and Jérémie Renier and Terence Stamp and Belmondo and many, many others. But are there 100 I can name that I think are better than Nicholson at his prime. Nope.
posted by dobbs at 6:15 PM on January 30, 2011 [3 favorites]


I actually had a brief moment of horror before opening the thread, thinking: “Can that really be true? Are men really that pathetic? If so, I think I might be turned off for life.”

Then I opened the thread, read the snark, and all was well with the world.
posted by Nixy at 6:15 PM on January 30, 2011 [3 favorites]


I guess I've just never been that into Jack Nicholson. He's always just...Jack Nicholson to me.
posted by Hildegarde at 6:18 PM on January 30, 2011


Before someone jumps down my throat about the use of the word fertile: probably not the best word-choice as I think it usually refers to quantity (which 70-75 wasn't); I was referring to quality.
posted by dobbs at 6:18 PM on January 30, 2011


Nixy: I actually had a brief moment of horror before opening the thread, thinking: “Can that really be true? Are men really that pathetic? If so, I think I might be turned off for life.”

Then I opened the thread, read the snark, and all was well with the world.


They're being snarky for the women.
posted by smcameron at 6:54 PM on January 30, 2011 [9 favorites]


There are a couple of nuggets in all this kerfuffle. He seems to relate to women as individual people (rather than fairly fungible female bodies) and he is comfortable with women. That's not all that common in his generation, in my experience. In addition, he has good manners, he's not violent, he's smart and funny. Those qualities tend to make a man attractive to women even if the man in question is not good looking, super-successful, mega-rich and famous.
posted by Anitanola at 6:54 PM on January 30, 2011 [3 favorites]


Yes, that's me, sleepily picking up milk in the supermarket just to meet women.

Jack literally crackles on the screen when he's on form.
posted by arcticseal at 7:03 PM on January 30, 2011


He's always just...Jack Nicholson to me

He's often an arrogant jerk in movies. But I don't see how anyone who's seen Ironweed, The Pledge, or About Schmidt could say he plays the same guy in every movie.
posted by airing nerdy laundry at 7:08 PM on January 30, 2011


"If men are honest, everything they do and everywhere they go is for a chance to see women."

This is absolute Bullshit! Sometimes I go out for a pizza.
posted by mannequito at 7:22 PM on January 30, 2011


I enjoyed reading this interview. Thanks, John Cohen!
posted by rmmcclay at 7:53 PM on January 30, 2011


as much as this sentence sounds pleasing and will be well understood by all these people who have no real purpose in life other than chasing gals, it does not make any sense from the psychological standpoint. It's just said to sound nice and pleasing to all empty people out there
posted by jjtech at 8:01 PM on January 30, 2011


> When the story was published in Time Magazine in the mid-70s, he was inundated with questions about it. He's not the one who initiated the topic.

And here we are talking about it in the 2010's. If he just clammed up the first fifty times the subject came up it might have fizzled out before 1980. I am not judging the man. I do not know the man. I am just expressing my perplexity. I suppose the answer may involve some complexity of professional movie acting public relations which is beyond me.
posted by bukvich at 8:04 PM on January 30, 2011


Because he's among the very few best at what he does.

Er… be Jack Nicholson? Yes, he is extremely good at that. It pays very well for him! Were that my personality needed for movies.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:12 PM on January 30, 2011


I wonder if we can arrange a JN film fest via iTunes? I'm up for watching three movies of his over the course of the week. I've liked lots of them.

If JN didn't already exist, we'd have a cultural vacuum. Holywood would fill it.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:24 PM on January 30, 2011


I thought he was beautiful when he was younger.

Also--Easy Rider? Beyond awesome. Loved the naturalistic pace of it, the lack of a cookie cutter plot. For me it IS the American road trip movie.
posted by The ____ of Justice at 8:48 PM on January 30, 2011


And here we are talking about it in the 2010's.

Not very perplexing considering it was mentioned in the linked article. Again, by the journo, not but Jack.
posted by dobbs at 9:10 PM on January 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


He was awesome in Mars Attacks. He played a casino mogul who was secretly President of the United States.

Funny story about that. Apparently he ran into Tim Burton in an airport, and asked Tim if he had any roles for him in whatever he was working on. Tim replied that there were a couple of possibilities, and Nicholson responded that "he'd play both of 'em." Burton decided to take him literally.
posted by neuromodulator at 9:29 PM on January 30, 2011


Lets face it. Jack is a fine actor, but not the sharpest tool in the shed. His pontifications and generalizations have precisely the same intellectual weight as Joe the Plumber.
posted by jcworth at 9:48 PM on January 30, 2011


I'm a little late to the comment party, but I have to say that this interview really made me like the man, after I had dismissed him as a man happy to be a parody of himself in order to collect a paycheck, like some other formerly iconic actors (*cough*DeNiro*coughcough). He seems like a mature individual, and not just some creepy septuagenarian horndog.

And I will always love him for writing Head.
posted by queensissy at 10:22 PM on January 30, 2011


"If men are honest, everything they do and everywhere they go is for a chance to see women."

Unless they are gay.
posted by lollusc at 10:33 PM on January 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


he over acts, and is responsible with de niro at introducing a faux naturalism with the method--it also allows critics to reward masculinity while ignoring woman completely.

easy rider was not a very good movie, barely written, over shot, and acted with a one note acid tinged profundity. not even the best corman produced movie, but ignoring that, it was a story about what men could do in a world w/o women, a world at nicholson and fonda found paradiscal. (see also the Last Detail)

in the so called golden peroid of nicholsons best work, aside from a handful of roles where it was a similar world w/o women, almost all of them have better acting done (smaller, more subtle, more about human connections, less showboaty, less willing to bully to get his way, less noticed, than Jack.)

(For example: Faye Dunaway in Chinatown, Ellen Burstyn in the King of Marvin Gardens, Shelly Duvall in The Shining, Jessica Lange in The Postman always Rings Twice, Debra Winger and Shirley McLaine in Terms of Endearment, Kathleen Turner in Pirzzi's Honour, Karen Black in Five Easy Peices)

Jack (and Hollywood's) obsession with a violent, butch theatricality inspired by Nicholson means that of that list, only maybe two are still making movies, and both small, tiny roles for not much money. Dunaway is cast off, Burstyn is still with us, Duvall was sent off (and what a string of films she made in the 70s before she was cast off--has anyone made better movies in less time, and had such a precipitous fall than her?), Lange is doing indies, Winger had a movie made about her and the lack of good rolls, McClaine is doing grandmother kitsch, Turner got sick and no one forgave her (unlike Brando), Black is on the cult circuit, although too good of an actor to do so.

We let Beatty, and Brando and Nicholson and Hoffman and De Niro still make movies, and still proclaim their genius, but the women who were responsible for making them great--trashed.

(No Woman has won the Thalberg award, for example. Only 12 have won the Demille, and none in the last decade)

Jack Nicholson is just not that interesting, on any real level.
posted by PinkMoose at 11:23 PM on January 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


easy rider... not even the best corman produced movie

Well it would have been quite a feat if it was the best Corman produced movie, considering Corman had nothing to do with it. It was produced by Fonda and financed by Rafelson and Bert Schneider.
posted by dobbs at 11:59 PM on January 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


easy rider was not a very good movie, barely written, over shot, and acted with a one note acid tinged profundity. not even the best corman produced movie, but ignoring that, it was a story about what men could do in a world w/o women, a world at nicholson and fonda found paradiscal. (see also the Last Detail)


Well, I dunno what YOU were high on when I saw this movie, but I saw it completely sober and it was still awesome.

You say it was barely written and over shot, when I saw it as a wonderful respite from overwritten movies, and doing what cinema does best, which is tell a story in pictures.

I don't think Jack had the best acting in the movie by far, and in fact detracts from the film if you are already familiar with his persona (and who isn't.) He might be the one thing in the movie that takes away its specialness for me, the one "Hollywood"-like element, simply because you will see this character, as you have pointed out, emerge and reemerge in future films. So maybe we agree along these lines.

Other than that though, I love this movie. But I've never been a fan of the kind of movies or the kind of acting that fuels James Liptonish reveries, so there you are...
posted by The ____ of Justice at 12:15 AM on January 31, 2011


Fonda has admitted in print, that he got much of the aesthetic, plot, and general feel for Easy Rider from the Wild Angels. I didn't mean produced. Apologies.

If we are just about pictures, i will watch Girl on a Motorcycle, and be done with it.
posted by PinkMoose at 12:46 AM on January 31, 2011


easy rider was not a very good movie, barely written, over shot, and acted with a one note acid tinged profundity.

Easy Rider is an excellent movie, but then again I'm biased because I used to be a hippie, and knew the people who Fonda, Hopper, and Nicholson were supposed to be. Every serious hippie is either a Fonda (serious, profound, on a Quest) or a Hopper (wild, dirty, impulsive, pretty much there for the shits and giggles). Nicholson is the curious local who shows up at the Rainbow Gathering to see what the fuss is about, but never gets any further than A Camp.

It's about young people jumping headfirst into their idea of a counterculture only to discover that's what it was all along : an idea. It's about young people acting on their version of the American Dream, nourished by acid and fairytales about our founding fathers, only to hit a brick wall when they realize that America is (still) a fundamentally conservative country.

Or hell, if you want to get all literary and shit, it's about the Superfluous Man; Hopper and Fonda as Bazarov and Pechorin.

Put that in your "iconoclastic" feminist cinematic critique and smoke it.
posted by Afroblanco at 12:52 AM on January 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


i am not being iconoclastic, and recognizing that you know, that hollywood hates women is not really Andrea Dworkin level radicalism.

I still haven't found anyone arguing about the main point.

Also, fuck self mythologizing hippies who assume that blankness and burning out is some sort of statement about the man, man (see On the Road)
posted by PinkMoose at 1:02 AM on January 31, 2011



If we are just about pictures, i will watch Girl on a Motorcycle, and be done with it.


But yet... somehow I get the feeling you WON'T be done with it!
posted by The ____ of Justice at 1:15 AM on January 31, 2011


well, i do expect people to watch girl on a motorcycle.
posted by PinkMoose at 1:19 AM on January 31, 2011


Well, you can count me out. Your comments give me the strange impression the movie is not that enjoyable to watch.
posted by The ____ of Justice at 1:23 AM on January 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


which of those comments
posted by PinkMoose at 1:31 AM on January 31, 2011


The national adoration for this guy, who to my eye is about as diverse and varied as an actor as Phyllis Diller, is just another one of those things that makes me think that I slipped out of my own dimension twenty or so years ago and fell into a parallel universe where Reagan was a lovable old character and respected president, beloved by almost all, and Robin Williams is so fucking hilarious that every time he opens his mouth, talk show cameramen have to work double-time capturing all the reaction shots of suburbanites doubled over with laughter.

Yeah, and in this universe, people think Tom Cruise is soooooo sexy and compelling.

Help me.
posted by sonascope at 1:40 AM on January 31, 2011


> Can someone please explain to me how anyone, anywhere thought Jack Nicholson was ever attractive?

Charisma and confidence can sometimes trump appearance.
posted by The Card Cheat at 6:43 AM on January 31, 2011


iotic:
Also, personally I could care less for Easy Rider...Jack's the only good thing in it.
Jim Sullivan's cameo is also pretty spesh. Just sayin', is all. [/derail]
posted by pxe2000 at 7:07 AM on January 31, 2011


Jack Nicholson is just not that interesting, on any real level.

You don't need to devalue a great actor to show how much you value women.
posted by John Cohen at 7:32 AM on January 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


HE'S NOT A GREAT ACTOR!

I AM VALUING HIM AS MUCH AS HE DESERVES TO BE VALUED.
posted by PinkMoose at 8:01 AM on January 31, 2011


AND NOT A BIT MORE!
posted by fake at 8:15 AM on January 31, 2011 [2 favorites]


I have about as much use for Jack Nicholson as he does for me.
posted by yoga at 9:44 AM on January 31, 2011


Apropos of nothing, I'm going to drop some amazing, forgotten late-60s California country rock on you. Hear the multi-part harmony, taste the sunshine, feel the revolution. They just don't make 'em like this anymore.
posted by Afroblanco at 9:56 AM on January 31, 2011


Isn't it obvious that many behaviours that seem devoid of sexual motivation are fundamentally, insidiously sexually motivated?

Isn't it obvious that there is no possible way to know whether this statement is true, but that there are an awful lot of people who desperately want it to be true, and a bunch of other people who desperately want to deny it?
posted by straight at 10:53 AM on January 31, 2011


First- Seriously why should he have to be quiet about finding out the person he thought was his sister was his mom? That's his reality. It's a lot of other people's realities as well, and perhaps his opening up about it may have a positive affect on the lives of other people that feel like their entire experience of family is something they are supposed to keep secret about because other people might "feel uncomfortable" for five seconds.

Second- if it upsets your life for more than five seconds, then it says more about you than Jack. He's just a person living his life, who cares if he shares that? : P

: )
posted by xarnop at 11:08 AM on January 31, 2011


That theory does explain how I get to the gym sometimes when I'm not feeling a lot like exercising.
posted by randomkeystrike at 11:18 AM on January 31, 2011


I have about as much use for Jack Nicholson as he does for me.
posted by yoga at 9:44 AM on January 31


You know, you say that, but you should see Nicholson just nail a tight Eka Pada Rajakapotasana or Parsva Bakasana pose. And of course, the chicks really dig that shit.
posted by dubitable at 1:27 PM on January 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


Can someone please explain to me how anyone, anywhere thought Jack Nicholson was ever attractive?

In the same way that every other person on the planet who isn't born with generic movie star good looks manages to be thought of as attractive to somebody. Despite Hollywood's constant barrage to the contrary, the rest of the world manages to look at each other and somehow find receding hairlines, potbellies, man-boobs, weird noses, saggy breasts and big butts sexy. All day every day.

I was having a conversation with some friends over drinks about who's "hot" in movies or whatever, and the ladies were all in firm agreement ofer James Franco and Ryan Gosling and some other flavor of the month dudes. All except one and she without hesitation blurts out "Morgan Freeman could walk in this room and have his way with me any way he wanted" This of course, brought the discussion to a screeching halt. "You mean young Morgan Freeman?" nope. Bucket List, million Dollar baby, old ass Morgan Freeman.

When asked what exactly about him she found hot, she couldn't really say. Just that when she sees him in a movie, she gets all crushed out and tingly in the pants-parts. There's no why. Sexy is in the eye of the beholder. And if there was some sort of measurable standard, we'd all look alike.

Why is Jack Nicholson attractive? Because it took him until the age of 73 to realize that he wasn't irresistible to women.
posted by billyfleetwood at 3:53 PM on January 31, 2011


If that figures into 100% of the decisions men make I wonder what it would be for women, what % of their motivation is that way...
posted by CruisinForABruisin at 5:33 PM on January 31, 2011


Isn't it obvious that many behaviours that seem devoid of sexual motivation are fundamentally, insidiously sexually motivated?

Is this thread channeling a dorm?
posted by ryanrs at 6:19 PM on January 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


Isn't it obvious that many behaviours that seem devoid of sexual motivation are fundamentally, insidiously sexually motivated?

Isn't it obvious that there is no possible way to know whether this statement is true,


— well, there is experience (of the revealed motivations of others), which illuminates the statement. With these kinds of statements, absolute truth is irrelevant. Doesn't it concord with your experience?

but that there are an awful lot of people who desperately want it to be true, and a bunch of other people who desperately want to deny it?

That's such a great point.

Why are people afraid of it being true? Maybe because such a world leaves them out in some way (as the unpursued)? Or else it reminds them of buried failures (where the profound motivation resulted in failure, but the superficial action was successful though irrelevant)?

And why should they want it to be false? Maybe because it reveals their false way of life, the impulses not followed, of which one is barely cognizant, but which one is not yet ready to accept, or which one has gotten so much in the habit of abnegating that denial is reflex.

I've read through this thread. I don't agree that it's any slight against men unless you take it to be categorically true. It's no more than saying that people are often hungry and they live to eat.
posted by esprit de l'escalier at 9:34 PM on January 31, 2011


unless you take it to be categorically true

It's stated categorically. ("all men, everything they do" etc)

Why are people afraid of it being true?

Thinking that something is false doesn't mean you're "afraid" of its being true. It just means you think it's false. I think it's false that all South Americans like salad - but it's not because I'm afraid of the opposite being true.

I think that categorical statement about men is false. Furthermore I think it's an unkind and pernicious stereotype, often touted as if it's a deep insight or really cutting through all the bull and telling it like it is -- when it's not a deep insight (because it's obvious that lots of people of both sexes are sometimes motivated by wanting to see/be seen by/interact with potential partners) and it's not risking all to tell it like it is (because it's a widespread piece of -- false, hokey, pernicious -- conventional wisdom).
posted by LobsterMitten at 10:11 PM on January 31, 2011 [2 favorites]


It's no more than saying that people are often hungry and they live to eat.

So which is the one true fundamental motivation: eating or fucking?

It must be eating, right? You can't die of celibacy. But if eating is the fundamental human motivation, why do people fuck? Even if you fuck in exchange for food, what motivates the other person?

On preview: Lobstermitten, exactly. And when called on it, they walk it back to an obvious, trivial tautology.
posted by ryanrs at 10:28 PM on January 31, 2011


This is a really vicious stereotype that haunted me as a child, and that I'm still working through. It's really disheartening to see so many mefites skim over this as a minor quibble in an otherwise charming actor rather than a genuinely shitty thing to say.
posted by yaymukund at 10:57 PM on January 31, 2011


This is a really vicious stereotype that haunted me as a child, and that I'm still working through. It's really disheartening to see so many mefites skim over this as a minor quibble in an otherwise charming actor rather than a genuinely shitty thing to say.

See, and I think it's annoying that so much of this thread was spent obsessing on this throwaway quote than examining the meat of the interview and his career. This thread would have had a completely different flavor were it not for that.
posted by Afroblanco at 10:57 AM on February 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Doesn't it concord with your experience?

How could the proposition that some of the stuff I do is actually motivated by sex, even though I don't realize it, be confirmed or refuted by my experience?

Why are people afraid of it being true? ... And why should they want it to be false?

But see it's very interesting that you forgot to also ask why so many people want it to be true. Shall I explain to you your real motives for what you wrote that you are totally unaware of?
posted by straight at 11:49 AM on February 1, 2011


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