Cinema a la Kuchar pivots on the dialectic between overblown fantasy and schlumpy
reality, his films always working double time as documentaries of their own making.
In person, he's friendly but ill at ease, a schlumpy
professor in chinos and a beige button-down, who dislikes being interviewed, he says, owing to a few bad experiences with reporters.
"They want to paint a story that Jenoff was enamored with Nancy and the press, so he was creating another fantasy so he could get Nancy's attention when he's just a schlumpy
, 54-year-old drunk.
They were a perfect pair of antagonists for the television public: Columbia University English professor Charles Van Doren, the tall, handsome scion of America's WASP cultural elite, and Herb Stempel, the short, schlumpy
little Jew from Queens, working his way through the City College of New York.
At customs, the contrast between their schlumpy
clothes and luxury car puts the duo through frightening search-and-seizure methods before the officials suggest that, if they don't want to be hassled everywhere they go, they buy some threads commensurate with their wheels.
To readers under a certain age (say, thirty-five), the name John Coplans probably conjures pictures of a hairy, schlumpy
, climacteric bag of flesh.
Charlie Kaufman/Donald Kaufman Nicolas Cage Susan Orlean Meryl Streep John Laroche Chris Cooper Valerie Tilda Swinton Amelia Cara Seymour Robert McKee Brian Cox Alice the Waitress Judy Greer Caroline Maggie Gyllenhaal Marty Ron Livingston Matthew Osceola Jay Tavare Ranger Steve Neely Stephen Tobolowsky Defense Attorney Peter Jason Orlean's Husband Curtis Hanson Adaptation." begins on the set of "Being John Malkovich," the previous collaboration between screenwriter Charlie Kaufman and director Spike Jonze, with the schlumpy
, self-deprecating scripter, as impersonated by Nicolas Cage, sitting on the sidelines.
Tarantino does one thing with absolute brilliance: he boxes talky, neurotic, bright but half-articulate, schlumpy
characters into parallel orbits around an agreeable, slightly flammable, usually trendy topic - Madonna, TV chat shows, kinky sex, etc.
But things start to get interesting as we return to the present day and get involved in the story of the impending wedding between shrewish Wendy Watson (Katie Tomelty) and her schlumpy
fiance, Derek (Richard Dormer).
Trained as an actor and set designer as well as a nice Jewish beaux-arts architect, Lapidus pounced on this, his first hotel, as the occasion to "test all the theories I had developed to please people." Having made a fateful detour in the '30s and '40s as a store designer, Lapidus knew how to create a merchandising environment to facilitate the theatricality of buying things, to make every customer feel special no matter how schlumpy
. He utilized his "moth theory" of display, by which the consumer gravitates toward products when they are brightly lit.