The Playgoer: David Mamet: All Men are Whores?

Custom Search

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

David Mamet: All Men are Whores?

Seen these TV ads for the Ford "Edge"? Mamet knock-offs, you thought? Well yes they are... by the master himself!
Ford Motors actually signed our most famous living American playwright to direct two thirty-second spots for this new rollout. Edgy, huh? (Or maybe they just figured they'd get the guy who wrote The Edge.)

The ads premiered last week on the heavily Ford-sponsored "American Idol." So, yes, you could say that in a way, David Mamet was on American Idol.

Mamet only directed, the script is by the ad agency, they say. I guess it was either be sued by the guy, or hire him!
Agency copywriters drew up the dialogue in an effort to mimic Mamet's work, and he didn't change any of the words, Engle said. But Mamet was in charge of camera angles, lighting and the actors' expressions.
And for anyone who's seen Mamet diret actors on stage or screen, "expressions" here means, well, they pretty much don't do anything.

Not surprisingly, the ads came to Mamet already pre-encoded with a notably frank jingoistic subtext:
“The inspiration for the new ads came from customers who traded in expensive imports and were delighted with the refinement and performance of their new Ford Edge,” said Barry Engle, general manager, Ford Division Marketing.
The spots are up on YouTube, so you can watch here and here. Go to it, Mametologists.

Personally, I prefer The Unit.

GOULD: What are you?
FOX: What am I...?
FOX: What am I when?
GOULD: What are you, I was saying,
if you're just a slave to commerce?
FOX: If I'm just a slave to commerce?
FOX: I'm nothing.
FOX: You're absolutely right.


Freeman said...

How does David Mamet get away with being simultaneous self-righteous about the world of film and television (Bambi vs. Godzilla anyone?) and also basically working almost exclusively on Shoot 'em Ups and Ford Commercials lately.

Having his cake and eating it too?

Anonymous said...

Is it possible for a playwright, like a sitcom, to jump the shark? If it is, then Mamet has.

Between this kind of faux-artsy shilling, and his screechy, often bizarre, "theoretical writings," (how about his assertion that Jews make good directors because they're genetically prone to Asperger's Syndrome, whose symptoms are, to Mamet, perfect for directors?), he's become a joke.

No one can ever take "Buffalo" or "Glengarry" away from him; at the same time, no one who loves those plays can help but mourn his steady, miserable decline.

Anonymous said...

Anon. 1 is absolutely right. And let's not forget Mamet's bizarre turn to right-wing Zionism. The woman-hating part of his machismo was always off-putting; now he has become a chest-thumping muscle-Jew. He has become embarrassing.