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Drivel about Dribble
Overall, let me say that I like Ed Harris's work and have for a long time, and that I admire anyone who puts years into a non-commercial film that is close to their heart. Let me also say that Marcia Gay Harden and Amy Madigan were terrific, and that I knew I was old when I'm watching this old poof in the movie and suddenly realize it's Bud Cort of "Harold and Maude"--we were both once young. Let me also say, Bill DeKooning was way better looking than Val Kilmer, Stephanie Seymour doesn't look squat like Helen Frankenthaler, and I liked Jeffrey Tambor better in "And Justice For All" (he was younger then too.)
My beefs with this movie are threefold: First, while Harris is a terrific actor, he plays Pollock like an escaped mental patient. We never see just what is so attractive that women with a lot on the ball can't wait to hit the sack with him. He's so out of it that no one who wasn't into necrophilia would be into him.
Pollock HAD to have had some charm to counterbalance the times he was incoherent and throwing up on himself. This could have been established early on, but he's a golem from the get go. I don't necessarily have to have a connect-the-dots reason for his being a basket case, but if that's all he is, I don't see why he wasn't locked up where he could finger paint.
Second, while I'm sure it's true because she was pre-women's lib, what was a gutsy babe like Krasner doing playing nursemaid to this sniveling drunk? He never seems to have any confidence in himself, she has to keep telling him how great he is. Most artists, especially the testosteronated kind, have egos the size of Jupiter, and they get people to immolate themselves on the altar of their talent by projecting an aura that says "I AM GOING TO BE HOT STUFF." A lush who shloomps around looking shellshocked doesn't get that kind of entourage. Picasso was a magnificent monster, Pollock-according-to-Harris a pathetic wuss.
Third, I don't care whether he WAS a great artist (I believe he was sincere, unlike many artists who simply look for gimmicks I think his style came from within; and I can't tell you why I don't think he was great, but Kandinsky and Arshile Gorky were--it's not that I'm anti-abstract art.) He was a miserable human being who traded in a woman who gave him everything for a piece of fluff, and worst of all, he killed an innocent woman with his self-indulgent boozing. No paint on canvas justifies killing someone else as a side effect of your self-immolation. If you're too big a coward to face life, slit your wrists or jump off a bridge: don't risk others' lives along with your own.
I felt sad for the girl who died, sorry Krasner didn't put into Krasner what she put into Pollock, and good riddance to Pollock. (In the interests of full disclosure, both my parents were alcoholics: I don't think it's an illness, it's a form of moral cowardice. All alcoholics should kill themselves BEFORE they have a chance to breed.>