October 14, 1983 [Star 80]

Bob Fosse is heartless as he photographs Mariel Hemingway in Star 80--and it isn't only Mariel, or even Dorothy Stratton, who suffers that heartlessness. It's me watching the picture, watching her smile--despite the grime of Eric Roberts' Paul Snider--you'd have to invent that name if he hadn't been a real person--or whatever the hell he was, some California dream of desperate self-importance, that rubbery mouth grinning like a drowned corpse lying out there all day among the sunbathers, next to Dorothy--who is also not asleep, but whose own mouth smiles on, lighter than the damned movie deserves.

Something awful is going on here, a condemnation Fosse won't rescind, no matter how much I try not to look at her little smile, the slope of skin that Dorothy shows me before--like Goldilocks out of luck--she's eaten up, and not just by Snider, but Fosse and me, still returning her smile as we dare to touch that gentle slope.


  1. ER's best? Chilling ... hard to tell when the criminal exploitation begins ... much earlier than the statutes would allow, methinks.

  2. Like everybody who saw The Pope of Greenwich Village, I became an instant fan of Eric Roberts. And then he scares the hell out of us in Star 80. What promise.

    Saw Mickey Rourke on TV somewhere--Independent Spirit Awards?--and, in typical Mickey fashion, he not only talked out of turn to note Roberts' career was not a sterling thing (Mickey should talk), he also bowed in homage to an actor he considered one of the greats. For Mickey--and maybe he's right--ER's career is a perfect example of Hollywood not knowing what to do with its own, except take his thumb, so to speak.

  3. Oops--my memory fails: Star 80 was released 1st. Maybe I saw them in reverse order.


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