pep talks, continued

Perhaps not a pep talk in the Hoosiers sense, but the St. Crispin’s day speech from Shakespeare’s Henry V must be included in this round-up. I’m not inclined to follow anyone into battle, but if you’re gonna die for God and king and country, this is a nice send-off, I suppose.

Here’s the Kenneth Branagh version, when he was still exceedingly fresh-faced and young. He really should have done his Hamlet when he was still this age, rather than like, 45.

My favorite Branagh film is, of course, Much Ado about Nothing, which manages to be miraculous, wonderfully acted, and simply beautiful to look at all at the same time.*  It remains so to this day, despite the super jarring presence of Keanu Reeves, who, really… what? I know he was a big deal back in the 1990s, but a convincing conniving villain he does not make.**

*Can I just add, these are scored SO WELL. Epic, for reals.

**Yesterday I read in Time Out that there is an interactive staging of Point Break taking place in Chicago, where the Keanu Reeves role is played nightly by a different audience member.

Called “hilarious” by Variety and “uproarious” by the Los Angeles Times, Point Break LIVE! tells the story of former College-football-star-turned-FBI-agent, Johnny Utah, in pursuit of the surfing, bank robbing, skydiving, bare-hand-fighting adrenaline-junkie-cum-Zen-master Bodhi Sattva. In Point Break LIVE! the lead role of Johnny Utah is played by an audience member. Anyone can volunteer and step up to the challenge of a grueling (meaning fairly ridiculous) audition process. Using the latest in Applause-o-Meter technology, the winner is chosen by the audience and goes on to star as action hero Johnny Utah for the night, reading all the lines off of cue cards. This method really catches the essential rawness of Keanu Reeves’ acting style. When the action bursts out onto the street, the audience can keep track of it via a real-time feed from the Keanu Kam. At the end of the show, the “volunteer Keanu” is handed a VHS tape of his or her performance.

This sounds AMAZING. And I think going to see it would be the perfect tribute to Patrick Swayze, no? Who’s in?


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