Around 1940, New Yorker staff writer Joe Mitchell meets Joe Gould, a Greenwich Village character who cadges meals, drinks, and contributions to the Joe Gould Fund and who is writing a ... See full summary »
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Around 1940, New Yorker staff writer Joe Mitchell meets Joe Gould, a Greenwich Village character who cadges meals, drinks, and contributions to the Joe Gould Fund and who is writing a voluminous Oral History of the World, a record of 20,000 conversations he's overheard. Mitchell is fascinated with this Harvard grad and writes a 1942 piece about him, "Professor Seagull," bringing Gould some celebrity and an invitation to join the Greenwich Village Ravens, a poetry club he's often crashed. Gould's touchy, querulous personality and his frequent dropping in on Mitchell for hours of chat lead to a breakup, but the two Joes stay in touch until Gould's death and Mitchell's unveiling of the secret. Written by
In my home town, I never felt at home. In New York, New York City, in Greenwich Village, down among the cranks, and the misfits, and the one runners, and the has-beens, and the might-have-beens, and the would-bes, and the never-wills, and the God-knows-whats, I have always felt at home.
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This is a well made and acted adaption of Joseph Mitchell's two pieces on Joseph Ferdinand Gould,a New York character from the 20's into the early 50's who claimed to be writing the "longest book in the English language,Joe Gould's Oral history." He haunted Village bars and coffee houses cadging drinks and handouts to sustain his existence.He says "We all suffer from delusions,his is the delusion that he is Joseph Ferdinand Gould.Tucci is excellent as Joseph Mitchell,but Ian Holm steals the show as Joe Gould,although he looks a little too well fed.Trivia:early in the film when Tucci is in the Minnetta Tavern,we see a painting of the REAL Joe Gould! What a shame this movie didn't get a wider audience,which it richly deserves.
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