Tag Archives: my cousin vinny
Joan Darling (bottom left), part of the cast of Owen Marshall: Counselor at Law (1971-1973)
Joan Darling entered show business as an actress on the New York theater scene in the 1960s, then became a fixture of early 70’s television. In 1974, she made the leap from acting to directing and quickly made history as one of the first and most successful women directors in television. She had an instant knack for it—her debut, Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman, a soap opera parody, has become an enduring cult classic for its dark-edged humor and deep understanding of the desperation and sadness of the American home.
Highlights of her career include a Mary Tyler Moore episode, Chuckles Bites the Dust, which, for its deft tightrope-walk between comedy and pathos, TV Guide calls the greatest television episode ever; a classic M*A*S*H episode, The Nurses, which revolutionized the way the show portrayed women; and a leading role in an episode of The Psychiatrist, directed by a pre-Jaws, pre-Duel Spielberg.
These days, Joan teaches acting and directing classes at the Sundance Filmmakers Lab. She agreed to a phone interview, and in about an hour, I learned more about the arts of acting and directing than I ever thought possible:
Greg DeLiso: Why are all of these cool people dying? Harold Ramis right after Philip Seymour Hoffman and Bob Casale from Devo, and now, a guy I’m ashamed to say I did not know the name of. But, his face, his voice, and his performances were a huge part of my childhood.
Independence Day was a huge theater going experience for me as a kid. My mom took me one Summer afternoon when I was ten years old, and it was like my The Day the Earth Stood Still or The Blob—a fun excursion into the bigness of movies, the kind of stuff Spielberg and Scorsese talk about from their youth.
Fuck it right to hell, man. I don’t even.
On The Waterfront (1954)
Directed by Elia Kazan
Written by Budd Schulberg
Very mild spoilers ahead.
Of the three acts which make up the three act structure, the third act is really the only one which has the ability to fuck you in the ass. You’re watching a movie, you’re digging it, you’re having a good time, you feel safe, and then all of a sudden it’s forcing itself into your butt. We’ve all been there.
A movie is like a penis, basically, and you are like a vagina. When you a watch a movie, you’re letting it inside you, and there’s a certain degree of trust which goes along with that. ‘Don’t hurt me, or at least, if you do hurt me, hurt me in an enjoyable way’—that sort of thing. And if a movie tries to fuck your ass in the first act, you can stop it before the tip is barely in and put on some other movie. Same goes for the second act. But when it fucks you in the ass in the third act, you’re in shock—it goes in and you can’t even believe what’s happening and you just have to lay there as it tarnishes the relationship you had built with it up until that point. And then when it’s done, you don’t know how to feel about it anymore. You remember the good times, sure, but the bad is fresh in your mind.