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A final farewell
New York Post, by John Podhoretz

Original Article

Posted By:LittleHoodedMonk, 6/28/2013 8:01:23 PM

Nothing is quite so unsettling as an untimely death. It throws us off, makes us unsure of where we stand, suggests a disordered malignity in the universe. That helps explain the visceral emotional reaction over the past week to the death of James Gandolfini, which was marked by a funeral attended by thousands at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine yesterday. His death at the age of 51 feels personal to those who loved his acting in a way it would not have if he had died at 81. It’s not right, not fair, that someone so young should just suddenly be gone. We know the universe is not fair;

Comments:
I watch a tremendous amount of TV [including right now], and for some reason, have never really cared to see "The Sopranos." Maybe it was the original advertising about language and Mafia stuff. Ironically, now, I have still no desire to see, even with programs & movies now way off the charts for sex and violence.

RIP. My opinion to your work doesn´t matter, anyway.

      


Post Reply  

Reply 1 - Posted by: Pros7767, 6/28/2013 8:30:21 PM     (No. 9399419)

Excellent article. Very much to the point.

His talent will be missed.

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Reply 2 - Posted by: maggie2u, 6/28/2013 8:33:02 PM     (No. 9399420)

I´m with you OP. I didn´t know who this guy was until some friends were saying how sad it was he died. We must have looked confused and they explained he was in the show Sopranos but we had never watched it.
I´m sorry he´s dead, 51 yrs is WAY too young and from all accounts it sounds as if he was a good actor.

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Reply 3 - Posted by: Shells, 6/28/2013 8:33:53 PM     (No. 9399422)

So very sorry for the loss of your sister, John.

This is beautifully written and insightful.

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Reply 4 - Posted by: Hazymac, 6/28/2013 9:20:39 PM     (No. 9399482)

Same as #3, I send my sincere condolences to John, and to his father Norman and to his mother Midge Decter.

This essay is an appreciation of Gandolfini´s no doubt strenuous emptying himself of his emotions each episode playing the role of a complicated and brutal man quite different from Gandolfini himself. Might such a role have taken enough out of him to shorten his life? Who knows? I thought the Sopranos was a very skillfully done show. It was an American cultural icon of its time.

The several LDotters who know me away from this site know that my beloved godson is an actor who lives in Hollywood. In every area of his life he is as fine a person as I have ever met, one I know that my friends here would love if they ever got to know him. Although I share many LDotters´ low opinions of much of the motion picture/televison industry, I know from personal experience that there is a considerable amount of light in that dark city.

Parenthetically, Glenn Beck recounted the "I didn´t know Satan was here" remark that Gandolfini made to him in front of his sons at a ballgame. Beck concluded by telling his listeners that after Mrs. Gandolfini agve her husband holy heck following the mean-spirited remark, James turned back around and apologized for what he had said. Glenn said that he and his sons had heard worse, and forgave him. Apologies require some character.

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Reply 5 - Posted by: annie xango, 6/28/2013 10:55:58 PM     (No. 9399617)

#4 thank you for the story re Glen Beck...somehow I only had heard the first part and never knew re the apology...kudos to Mrs. G and James..

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Reply 6 - Posted by: veritas, 6/28/2013 11:11:10 PM     (No. 9399645)

Quite a loss in many ways.

I never saw The Sopranos weekly, via HBO, not being a subscriber. But when staying in a motel in the process of moving, when Rush was talking very positively about the series, I got the chance to watch an episode a day for a while. I´m very glad it came to me that way. And I bought the DVDs. [See it that way.]

I consider it one of the finest movies ever made [and perhaps the longest, obviously]. Yes, episodic, and parceled-out, but much more a movie than TV series.

In some ways, the story line was very simple: bad guys will do as they wish. Limits and standards we live by almost osmotically may as well be quirky customs from some vanished culture to these guys. And living as they do, their choices and paths sometimes conflict with those of other men just as violent and lawless. And, sometimes, as complex.

Movies and TV differ from many other art forms in the mode of complexity of their creative contributions. Gandolfini deserves plaudits for his hard work in helping discover, helping develop, and communicating Tony to us. The same can be said of just about every actor in the series. [cont.]

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Reply 7 - Posted by: veritas, 6/28/2013 11:25:56 PM     (No. 9399667)

cont.

It´s harder to know from outside how much of The Sopranos was producer David Chase´s, but he´s been given much praise. But consider -- he started his great "mobster movie" in the waiting room of a pshrink. With a challenged, troubled Boss who might or might not become a patient. And Dr. Jennifer Melfi came and went, and came and went.

Much has been made of the last episode: it ended; it didn´t end. But -- in fact, neither did The Sopranos "have a beginning." Dr. Melfi came into Tony´s life, and he came into ours. Tony, and Sil, and Paulie, and Carmella, and Christopher, and Uncle Junior, and so on.

It´s a good time to watch it again. Maybe after "I, Claudius"? The 35th Anniversary Edition DVD set is on the way!

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