Papa, the Man, the Myth, the Legend
Joseph P. Torina, Jordan Rhodes, Jeff Schwarz (executive), Vivian Schwarz (executive), Jason E. Guevara (executive), E.H. Douglas (executive) for Rhodes Productions
directed by Michael C. Sapp (stage production), Jordan Rhodes (filmed version)
starring Jordan Rhodes, Lynn Moore, Joe Gallison (voice)
written by Kenneth Vose, Jordan Rhodes, song by Lynn Moore
Available on DVD !
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The 2nd of July, 1961: It's Ernest Hemingway's (Jordan Rhodes) last day
on earth, and apparently he, at 61, has grown a little wary of his
existence. Sure, he has lived life to the fullest, has had more adventures
than other people could fit into a lifetime, and on top of that has been
named one of the greatest American writers of the 20th century, but the
world isn't what it was anymore ... and this is a great starting point for
him to reminisce about his career, but not just the high points but also
the lows, and about his various wives (all played by Lynn Moore) and his
attitude towards love and marriage. And of course, he also talks about
war, politics, bullfighting and bare knuckles boxing, about sex and
violence - and how much he sees himself out of the loop of late, which
leads to only one logical (if not historically proven) solution ...
thing up front: This is a filmed live performance of the play of the same
name, starring co-writer Jordan Rhodes in the title role, so pure
cineastes might be a bit put off - but that's their bad, they'll miss a
very compelling performance that serves as proof to the power of acting as
such. And other than that, this is a really well-scripted play/movie, as
it manages to suck even people who have little clue about Hemingway's life
(and I'm ashamed to admit I'm one of them) into the story from square one,
telling his story with just the right amount of (self-)irony, with a
fitting meanness, and an unapologetic view on the writer's life.
short, no matter whether or not you care about Hemingway in the least or
if you like or don't like filmed live performances, if great writing and
great acting's your thing, you need to watch this one!
review © by Mike Haberfelner
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