Tuesday, August 28, 2007


Next week, when I’m not so overwhelmed by the real world, I promise to submit some actual original material around here. But tonight, in the aftermath of a long study session, I found myself plugging the name of one of my favorite actresses, “Shelley Duvall,” into YouTube just to see what would come up. The first embedded clip is a somewhat corny but delightful slideshow of Duvall images set to Joni Mitchell’s “Raised on Robbery.”

Which got me wondering if her lovely number from Popeye, "He Needs Me," so effectively quoted by Paul Thomas Anderson in Punch-Drunk Love, was available anywhere. Guess what-- I found it. (Unfortunately, the embedding option was not available, so just follow the link.)

Finally, I reacquainted myself with a fine written and visual appreciation of Shelley Duvall by Eric at When Canses Were Classeled that was published in the days just before Altman received his honorary Oscar.

If you love Shelley like I do, enjoy.



Greg said...

Who would have ever thought it was possible for someone on the planet Earth to be "born to play" Olive Oyl from the Popeye cartoons?

She is so perfect for the part that I wonder if Altman decided to do it for that reason alone?

Dennis Cozzalio said...

This will be no surprise, Jonathan, that I absolutely agree with that thought. Duvall was so perfect in the part that I thought hers was the performance of 1980.
I bet Altman imagining her in the role was a great motivation for him.

It's sad to think, though, that this was the last time she ever worked for him. As Eric states in his article, Altman was apparently miffed by a change he perceived in Duvall which some say he attributed to her experience with Stanley Kubrick.

Greg said...

Yeah well, it seemed like a pretty bad experience for her so maybe she did change. I'm sure you've seen the "on the set" footage shot be Kubrick's wife during production. Kubrick just doesn't seem to like her very much, and her complaints about working while sick seem a little melodramatic.

Greg said...

Oh and one last thing. I know it's derided six ways to Sunday but I think Popeye is the most visually beautiful of all Altman's films. Really. I do.

Back to my cardboard box.