Charlottesville Rampling

Measure: Charlotte Rampling

All news is entertainment and a portmanteua is a word made from two words, in this case a name, Charlottesville Rampling. portmanteauwords

Sometimes a picture can say more than mere words. An expression. That’s how the two words arrive. Charlotte Rampling is my favorite actress to not be nominated for an Oscar in her role as Dorrie, in Stardust Memories, 1980. That film was a darkly funny play on the notable excesses of some European filmmakers, and their angst over the mystery of existence. To make light of these things is to somehow overcome their appeal. Charlottesville is the recent site of social unrest, tragedy, and violence. In the grand scheme of things what happens there isn’t important, but it is has been an event we will all remember. What we take from this, is the emotion, or the emotion of the players.

We might choose to internalize these emotions, put them in neat boxes where they remain contained, or perhaps we raise a fist, in a cathartic show of support, for one group or the other.  Not to demean the somberness of this tragedy, I do wonder what would have happened if a group of Southern history professors had shown up to defend the statues of their Confederate hero’s.

The nominee for Supporting Actor (or actress as they used be called) must have a substantial amount of time in the film, and must have a role in the plot. A lot of good performances have been left along the road over the years. Some have managed almost magically to climb to the top, John Cassavetes in the Dirty Dozen, 1967. He had to separate himself from 11 other aspiring Supporting Actors. Break it down scene by scene and you notice that in almost every scene the action begins with Victor Franco, and travels through his character. He manages to almost make it to the end of the film, he was more than good enough. He won the Oscar, perhaps a tribute to his other work, like Edge of the City, 1957, where he plays an Army deserter who befriends a black longshoreman, and is killed in a fight to defend him from the racist gang foreman.

There was Murray Hamilton, who played Mr. Robinson in The Graduate, 1967, who made an impassioned rant to Benjamin, in the boarding house.  A small but precise and memorable emotional outpouring.  He was not nominated either. These events and others we remember, which have no place other than our collective memory, which passes along with us, in time, although the wounds in the South seem as though they were never meant to heal, until one day when the Union is dissolved, from apathy no doubt, will they be sealed over.


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