A couple of enjoyable pancakes

25 Jul

Nicolas Cage

Sassy academic and dangerous friend Hollie has forwarded me to a delicious Guardian interview with Nic by Emma Brockes. The whole thing is a Michael Gove (ironic Cockney rhyming slang for ‘treasure trove’) of delight and worth savoring as one would a favourite cheese. Here is the link, but I will also excerpt some of the interview’s highlights for your delectation:

  • On the revelations of secret NSA Internet monitoring: “I am paraphrasing Benjamin Franklin, one of my founding fathers, who said something to the effect that, ‘Those that would give up their liberty for a little bit of security deserve neither.’ And then I’ll quote myself: ‘The truth is always crucified.’ End quote.”
  • On acting: “I invite the entire spectrum, shall we call it, of feeling. Because that is my greatest resource as a film actor. I need to be able to feel everything, which is why I refuse to go on any kind of medication. Not that I need to!”
  • On The Wicker Man remake: “The fact that that movie has been so lambasted means there’s an inner trembling and power to that movie. It has become an electromagnetic movie!”
  • Brockes, perceptively: “Like so much of what Cage says and does, this should be cheesy, but somehow it isn’t. It’s the fundamental Cage paradox: the guilelessness that makes his performance.”

It’s a great interview, partly because it covers a lot of bases and touches on Nic’s personal life, but also because it taps into Nic’s very American approach to acting as profession. Performance is about baring your soul, but rather than this being a wishy-washy thing, it’s all part of the job. You don’t have to – and indeed, shouldn’t – be precious about making art. Also, Nic is at his most post-ironic. He talks in sound bites, but those sound bites contain earnest truth. Nic is the kind of person who believes in redemption through the action film; the comic book as a talisman of childhood. Nic is willing to play fast and loose with his self-parody, of which he seems both aware and not simultaneously. He astutely notes that the Internet obsession with him (of which this blog is a part) is both affectionate and a little ironic, while at the same time claiming not to be a ‘computer person’. He’s somehow in on the joke and not all at once. He’s earnest, but knows that unchecked earnestness can seem daffy. He’ll assimilate what people say about him into his persona, while refuting these very same claims. He’s a post-modern pastiche of actor and celebrity but in a fun, accessible, human way that doesn’t have time for the kind of academic preciousness that I easily fall into. Dude keeps the balance.

The second link was given to me by my girlfriend and visual novel creator Rachael and it is a thing. Nic’s face on pokémon. “You gotta Cage ’em all!”

#107 Hitmonchan

There probably shouldn’t be much to say about this. It is fearsomely addictive and beguiling. Possibly even more so than Nic’s face on cats. What I find fascinating is that Nic’s face is recognisable even when reduced to its most iconographic elements: the striking eyebrows; the taut yet loose cheeks; the open mouth with white teeth showing; the striking eyes; the expressive sameness of the face. Nic’s face is an enigma that’s I’m never going to be able to get to the bottom of.


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