OldManGrumpus (oldmangrumpus) wrote,

Tales with Hoffman

It seems a lot of the people I know are viscerally upset about the death of Philip Seymour Hoffman. For myself, well, I think it's sad - pathetic, actually - and intellectually I know it's a loss to art, but I'm having a hard time mustering up all that much sympathy for the man himself.

I don't know whether or not it's an unexpected outbreak of Puritanism on my part, or simply a difficulty in finding sympathy for a man with far more advantages and gifts than I have doing something techtonically stupid. But to be fair I have no idea why he was doing what he was doing (I wonder if he did). Could have been heartbreak, could have been nerves about being able to perform (actors in my experience are not all that stable, often as not, especially regarding performance issues), or, as they say in Trainspotting, "what they don't tell is, drugs feel great!". Given my lifelong avoidance of addictives, I wouldn't know that either.

I do feel bad for those he left behind, especially his kid. They shouldn't have to go through this (which makes me think this was all a monumental act of hubris on his part).

One thing that did come to mind, while attending Noir City , the memory of a film that would slip right into the noir genre, Owning Mahowny, in which a compulsive gambler who's also a bank manager (Hoffman) falls into the hands of a casino operator (John Hurt). Let's just say it wasn't good for the bank. But Hurt makes an observation about compulsive gamblers, that they don't think they deserve to win, and they keep gambling until they loose big because that's the way things are supposed to me. The periods of winning are almost incidental.

And I can't help wondering if that wasn't what was going on.......
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