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The Reeler Blog

The (Late) News: Roy Scheider, 1932-2008

By S.T. VanAirsdale

No longer in Monday haiku form (it's awfully hard to remember a man in 17 syllables), some of Monday's movie news of note from around New York:

--The best Oscar-nominated ex-boxer to ever come out of Orange, N.J., actor Roy Scheider passed away this weekend from complications from a staph infection (and after a protracted battle with multiple myeloma). He was 75. Mourners today are remembering his career-defining turns in Jaws and All That Jazz, though I'm partial to The French Connection and Eric Kohn has fine words for Scheider's later work as well: "You could tell he cared, even if you didn't."

--The best Scheider story, meanwhile, belongs to Jack Mathews, who was there when Paul Newman recalled turning down All That Jazz: " 'What do you think of the role now?' I asked. Newman answered with a gesture, raising his right hand to his head, forming a pistol and pulling the imaginary trigger." But, he adds, Scheider turned down The Deer Hunter, so maybe it all evened out.

--In other news, Berlinale attendees Paul Thomas Anderson and Daniel Day-Lewis expressed their appreciation in person to NYC film journalist Jurgen Fauth, the man responsible for So what did Fauth do? Ran off to the next screening, leaving the Blood brothers in the lurch. That's just cold.

--Recalling "one of the most closely and compassionately observed films of a tendentious decade," Dave Kehr offers a well-done NYT profile of Taking Off director Milos Forman in advance of the Czech master's upcoming MoMA retrospective.

Posted at February 11, 2008 12:33 PM

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