Bmore Media Readers Weigh In on "Diner," Male/Female Sculpture
Last month, I shared an unpopular opinion of a controversial sculpture
Now, I’m about to share contrarian view on another work of art. I don’t like the movie “Pulp Fiction.” The dialogue that many heralded as groundbreaking seemed very contrived to me. The car scene in which John Travolta tells Samuel L. Jackson that a Big Mac in Paris is called “Le Big Mac” seemed like something Quentin Tarantino overheard an exchange student say, but nothing he had first knowledge of himself.
I now know that the “exchange student” was Baltimore-raised Barry Levinson.
I had an aha moment Dec. 10 when I saw his classic movie “Diner” for the first time at a 30th anniversary screening at Johns Hopkins University. I was quite taken with this
car scene in which Paul Reiser says that he doesn’t care for the word nuance, but digs the word gesture. This
was the genesis of so many witty TV shows and films that depict characters who talk about nothing -- yet say everything.
Other Bmore Media readers who saw the film and stayed for a post-movie discussion with Levinson shared their views.
In the house that I grew up you could see the real Hilltop Diner that served as a meeting place for Boogie and his gang. I'm from a younger generation but seeing the movie again is a chance for me to be nostalgic. It was fun to hear the conversation after the movie. It never occurred to me the ways "Diner" was a progressive movie for its time, paving the way for "Seinfeld" and the careers of not only Levinson but also many of the actors.
-- Harry Bosk, Towson
My uncle (a Hollywood director) gave me three Barry Levinson films when I went off to college here in Baltimore to familiarize me with the city. They've shaped my understanding of Baltimore and I'm a big fan! I learned that "Diner" was very unusual -- and rejected by the studio -- when it was made because there wasn’t a traditional plot or lots of action, but instead focused on interactions between realistic characters. This led to other character-driven entertainment such as Jerry Seinfeld, Larry David and even the "bromance" films of Judd Apatow.
-- Auni Husted, Hampden
And other readers weighed in on that oh-so beloved sculpture near Penn Station.
I like the way the sculpture reveals itself as you head south into the city on the JFX, sort of peering over the bridge. The juxtaposition of old and new is wonderful. It has a simple, industrial quality that works with the railroad industrial look. Most of all, I like the fact that it inspires discussion about the role of public art.
-- Fronda Cohen, Pikesville
It's not beautiful or interesting, which is what some people like, I guess.... But it's a thing, and we have it.
-- Rachel Wilkinson, Lauraville