Thursday, February 6, 2014

A Monster Always


So this is the blog post about Philip Seymour Hoffman .  I was just telling Bill this is my John Lennon moment, that desperate feeling of losing someone you never knew but somehow knew through a cultural pipedream.  Scotty got me first.  I was just finishing up a novel about a pedophile when I saw Boogie Nights, and that movie made me feel brave and as if I knew what I was doing because Scotty was in it.  He was stupid, creepy, glorious, and he occupied a space in cinema that was never before occupied and hasn't been since:  he was an inarticulate loser with a beautiful interior life that could only seep out in emotional tirades performed alone.  That scene with Scotty sitting behind the wheel of his souped-up make-believe sports car as he calls himself a fucking idiot over and over into infinity after confessing his love for Dirk is one of those things, right?  It's epic and it's embarrassing, gigantic and very, very small, and yet it also is what makes life worth living.

Philip Seymour Hoffman is no longer among the living.

What the fuck do you do with that?

You watch Capote.  He won the goddamn Oscar for it.

I'm watching it right now as Truman spoons baby food into the mouth of the murderer.  It's one of those dour gorgeous movies, a gothic sweetness leaking through the black Kansas trees.  And Philip Seymour Hoffman's Truman is the pale, red-headed sun the whole situation obits.  That lispy, musical, high-pitched voice, that shiny innocent yet somehow despotic face.  He got into that world by seeing its exterior, by examining what things look like from the outside, and he got in.  He got in.  That's probably what made him feel the most alive and yet it also probably damned him to that sad little death.  You know.  The needle in the arm.

You know what?  I don't fucking care how he died.

I only care about him right now.  With his horn-rimmed glasses and his melodic frilly voice and the silhouette he inhabits with the dignity of a queen.  He made the world safer for freaks.  The sad thing is he also was building his own spiral staircase to heaven.