The Playgoer: When Harold met Charlie

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Thursday, June 05, 2008

When Harold met Charlie

Pinter and Rose, that is.

Pinter's been on Charlie Rose a few times, the last, with the playwright being in ill health, being by far the most...cordial. I prefer this session from summer 2001, during the big Lincoln Center Pinterfest. He's still in top form, impressively healthy and robust. (He was acting in one of the shows, after all.) And doesn't shrink from a fight, especially when Charlie starts in with some jingoistic politics, including--explicitly--"American exceptionalism." ("Ugh, one more European beating us to death about the death penalty...")

Warning: this is a rough, often hard-to-watch interview. So if awkward pauses and barely veiled hostility makes you flinch, viewer discretion advised. Then again, if that's you, you probably haven't sat through a Pinter play, either.

One welcome respite from the proceedings is a meaty clip from the criminally unavailable 1981 Ben Kingsley-Jeremy Irons film of Betrayal. (Release the DVD!)

Enjoy. And assume the cringing position.

It's just the first 40 minutes. You can stay tuned for Mitch Albom after.

(Tuesdays with Harold--probably not coming to a theatre near you soon.)


Anonymous said...

I think I might have a video copy of Betrayal - when I get home I'll check and let you know.

Anonymous said...

I'm not usually so fond of Charlie Rose as an interviewer, but this may be the best Rose interview I've seen. Except for the Beckett parody, of course.Maybe he has a natural affinity for absurdism...