Sunday, March 04, 2007

Favorite Actor Monday: Late Sunday Edition

Sy Richardson delivers one of my favorite movie monologues to a bewildered Emilio Estevez in "Repo Man." Though the monologue is pretty funny on its own (as you will see below), Richardson delivers it with such straight-faced matter-of-factness that he brings it to an even higher plane of hilarity. He's also done some very fine character work, bit parts, and cameos in many good and bad movies for many years.

"Repo Man" monologue:
"Born in Chicago, raised in the city streets. My mama gave me the basic facts of life. Get in the car, boy. Put your seatbelt on. I never ride with anyone unless they wear their seatbelt. That’s one of the rules. You look like you’ve been in a few scrapes. I mean you’re skinny and weak-looking, but you’re kinda wiry, too. I bet you can handle yourself alright if you have to. (laughs) If I get into a fight, man, I’m serious. If someone crosses me, straight off I’ll nut ‘em in the face and bring my heel down on their foot and break the bone. I’m a fighter and a winner. I’m a bad man. You know, everyone can tell the way I am. I walk into a bar or someone’s place of work, they’re shit-scared. They know I ain’t no cop. They think that I’m a killer (pause) and a wounder. I’ll kill anyone that crosses me, or put ‘em in the hospital. I don’t mess around. Know what I mean? I’m a bad man. Like music? Listen to this. (turns on car stereo) I was into these dudes before anybody. They asked me to be their manager. I called bullshit on that. Managing a pop group’s no job for a man. Hey. Guess how many suits I got. Guess how many pair of shoes. Guess how many ties. Shit. I don’t know. Shut up. Must be twenty-five at least. And you better believe they’re all silk. Every one. Think your girlfriend loves you? Guess again. One way to tell if a woman really loves you. If she’ll have your dog. I’m a bad man."

Repo Man (Alex Cox, 1984)
Sid and Nancy (Alex Cox, 1986)
Straight to Hell (Alex Cox, 1987)
Tapeheads (Bill Fishman, 1988)
They Live (John Carpenter, 1988)
Mystery Train (Jim Jarmusch, 1989)
To Sleep with Anger (Charles Burnett, 1990)
The Glass Shield (Charles Burnett, 1994)
Human Nature (Michel Gondry, 2001)

He's also in Charles Burnett's "My Brother's Wedding," which is probably great, but unavailable on DVD or video. Burnett should be more widely known, but the media overlords have decided that only one prominent independent black filmmaker is all the world can handle, and that's going to continue to be Spike Lee in perpetuity. Lee has done some very good work, but is far too often a media huckster and snake oil salesman. Burnett deserves Lee's exposure, much like Albert Brooks deserves Woody Allen's. But I digress from Sy Richardson, who is great.

1 comment:

Amy said...

Just wanted to let you know that my company, Milestone Films will be releasing Charles Burnett's MY BROTHER'S WEDDING as part of a DVD box with his first feature, KILLER OF SHEEP in the fall. KILLER OF SHEEP will also be playing in theaters around the country starting with a premiere at NY's IFC Center later this month. We completely agree about Burnett's importance and artistry and we're out to give audiences a chance to discover his wonderful films for themselves.

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