Tuesday, September 25, 2012

While I'm reading 'Whistle,' I'm going to be a little bit obsessed with Adrien Brody, ok?

The Stella Artois commercial from the 2011 Superbowl - I don't even like American football, but I'm not going to forget that one easily. Liking Adrien Brody is problematic. It could be the first chapter of a book titled The Field Guide to Liking Boys Who Seem Completely Douchy. This doesn't help.

Dude, I told you the douchy facial hair was going to be a problem.

The thing is, thanks to Terence Malick's film, I'm imagining him as Geoffrey Fife, who in Whistle is called Marion Landers. (James Jones explained in his introduction to Whistle that he hadn't originally intended to kill Prewitt in From Here to Eternity. After he'd written Prewitt's death scene, he was forced to rename the character Bob Witt in The Thin Red Line, and then he had to change all the names. Milt Warden became Edward Welsh, Maylon Stark becomes Storm, etc.)

There's this Tumblr blog called Adrien Brody Confessions. This is one of my confessions.

It says, "I think he played Leonard Chess as an odious money-grubbing Jewish stereotype. Et tu, Brody? But I still love to see him kiss Beyonce." I've expressed the same sentiment before, right here on this blog. I believe I called Cadillac Records "written by Borat, directed by Louis Farrakhan."

This is my other confession - again, a sentiment you may have read here before.

It says, "I also think he should've had to make out with Nick Stahl in The Thin Red Line, 'cause in the book Fife and Bead are secretly lovers."

Geoffrey Fife a.k.a. Marion Landers certainly likes girls, too. A scene from Whistle:

"When the record player ran out of disks and shut itself off, she left it. But every time Landers tried to get his hand under her blouse onto her breasts or push his hand up along her stockings under her skirt, she pushed him away and fought him off hard. Once he managed to get two fingers far enough up her skirt to touch her panties and feel the cushion of her pubic hair beneath. But that was all.

"After two hours of this, sporting a powerful throbbing erection so swollen that it hurt him, wet in the crotch from all the unutilized lubrication fluid that was pouring out of him, Landers disentangled himself and got up and blew out his breath and looked at his watch. Had to be getting back to the hospital. Carol got up too, with a questioning look in her slightly unfocused eyes. But she made no protests. At the door as she let him out, she said in a soft voice, only, 'You're not very forceful.' Landers was across the porch and down the steps and halfway down the walk before he realized what she had said and what it meant. But when he turned back to look and debate going back, the lights went out as he watched."

Boys and girls, let us not play this game. It is a stupid game and someone is going to end up hurt. The way to get what you want is not to make the other person try to guess, but to use your words.

Carol and Landers only go out that one time, but then she starts seeing Mart Winch. Winch is married and has two young sons (something never mentioned in From Here to Eternity, that I can recall - I had the impression Milt Warden was single), but almost as soon as he lands in San Francisco - after he gets through a bad bout of malaria and dengue fever - he's screwing this awesome factory girl named Arlette. (I fucking love Arlette, a '40s feminist if there ever was one.) Winch flat-out tells Carol he's too old to play games with her. And also that he needs to teach her how to kiss, because she's too "mechanical."

Good for him. To me, Winch is a lot more sympathetic than Warden and Welsh were in the previous two books. Maybe it's because Winch, like James Jones himself, is suffering from congestive heart failure (which would kill the author shortly before he finished the novel), so it's clear that he represents the author in the way that Prewitt did in the first novel. I refuse to imagine Mart Winch as Sean Penn. Sean Penn is on my permanent shit list. You make my girl Madonna cry, you and I got a problem.

Adrien Brody, as far as I know, is not a bad guy - just kind of pretty and dumb the way you might expect a movie star to be. I love his pretty hazel eyes. So while I'm reading about the wartime convalescence of Marion Landers, I'm gonna be a little obsessed with Adrien Brody, ok?

This does not mean that I am not still completely in love with Prewitt/Witt/Prell. (About halfway through Whistle, Prell is out of traction, semi-mobile in a wheelchair, and trying to figure out how to get Della Mae, the girl who comes to read Treasure Island to him, to give him a blowjob.) Bob Witt is still my fictional boyfriend. I'm just saying that if anything should happen to Prell, Landers is my back-up fictional guy. 


Maurice Mitchell said...

Andren Brody is a great actor. My favorite role of his is from The Village for some reason. He really went all out with his acting in that one.

Erin O'Riordan said...

Agreed - but then again, I am one of those M. Night Shyamalan fans. 'Signs' is still one of my favorite movies ever, despite the fact that Mel Gibson also has a spot on my permanent shit list.

Sharon Martin said...

There's nothing wrong with a bit of obsession lol !! Thanks for popping over this week to our weekly book blog hop xx

Erin O'Riordan said...

Thank you for hosting it, Sharon.

Erin O'Riordan said...

'Whistle' spoiler, 400 pages in: Having figured out the technique with the blonde who "won him" at the party, Prell has talked Della Mae into sex, gotten her pregnant and subsequently married her. I am so excited that Prell has Baby Boom progeny. And jealous 'cause, you know, I wanna be Witt/Prell's fictional baby mama.

In other news, James Jones taught me the word "gamahouche," an antique term for oral sex.