David Mamet and Male Friendship: Buddy Plays and Buddy Films by Arthur Holmberg

By Arthur Holmberg

Utilizing insights from psychology, sociology, anthropology, and the background of sexuality, Holmberg explores the anomaly that drives male bonding. own interviews with Mamet and with the actors who've interpreted his significant roles make clear how and why males bond with one another and supplement shut research of Mamet's texts.

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Extra resources for David Mamet and Male Friendship: Buddy Plays and Buddy Films

Sample text

The “business” is theft; the “here,” Don’s junk shop. Teach states clearly that he sees his association with Don as a business proposition: he expects profit from the friendship. ” Although Mamet’s bon mot may not be a universal truth, it goes to the heart of his dramaturgy. “People always and only speak to get something from the other person” he continues. “The point is not to speak the desire but to speak that which is most likely to bring about the desire” (Kane, Mamet Honor among Thieves? 37 in Conversation 74, 219, 75).

In the film, when Teach hears Fletch’s name, Hoffman looks up, eyes dark pools of hurt and fear. Not only has Don not reassured Teach of his affection, he has also insulted his masculinity by insisting that they need Fletch, Don’s beau idéal of a man. Just as Teach was jealous of Don’s affection for Bob, he is also insanely jealous of Don’s admiration for Fletcher. Teach wants to be singled out by Don as special. ” Not wanting to leave, Teach lingers, but Don refuses to play gin. Hoping against hope to get what he wants, Teach wrings the adieu into a melisma.

Although Teach needs Don for emotional comfort, he also wants to dominate him, revealing a conflict in male friendships. 14 Their conversations become a joust with the tables constantly turning, depending on who can create the illusion of knowledge and therefore of power. “It’s all about two people who want something different,” says Mamet. ”15 Power here means making the other person bend to your will. Teach and Don constantly negotiate and renegotiate their power relationship through language.

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