Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Philip Seymour Hoffman Talks About Happiness

Philip Seymour Hoffman animatedfilmreviews.filminspector.com
Philip Seymour Hoffman.

Philip Seymour Hoffman Talks About Happiness.

Philip Seymour Hoffman, as you may know, passed away early in 2014 from a drug overdose. He gave an interview not long before that, and it is our topic here.

Hoffman was a brilliant actor who gave some phenomenal performances in independent films. He also had just made the breakthrough to character parts in blockbuster films with "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire." His small role in that film was set to expand in the next two films.

Philip Seymour Hoffman animatedfilmreviews.filminspector.com

All that's over now. Here Hoffman is, talking about happiness.

There are some quite obvious tie-ins from this talk to his passing that you can pick on yourself if you wish. It sounds as if Hoffman has thought a great deal about what he's talking about, which is very personal stuff. Perhaps he had talked about this with someone.

Whenever you have to think a lot about happiness and what it means and how it applies to you, there also are personal demons standing nearby, waiting for their chance.

Blank on Blank always does a great job. The folks who thought up this series did a very good thing. The five-and-a-half-minute video is part of the ongoing Blank On Blank series produced in collaboration with PBS Digital Studios. The brainchild of producer David Gerlach and animator Patrick Smith, the program uses old audio recordings from journalists as fodder for a surreal, sometimes silly, but often poignant animated story.

This is one of the poignant ones.

Hoffman at one point says:
“I think I kill pleasure. Like, I take too much of it in, and therefore make it un-pleasurable — like too much coffee, and you’re miserable. I do that to pleasure often. So I don’t … There is no pleasure that I haven’t actually made myself sick on.”
Well, that's pretty poignant right there.

Let me add that big-time fans of Hoffman's might recall that his character expressed a somewhat similar thought in his little-known independent film "Owning Mahowny" (2003). He played a Canadian bank manager with a ruinous addiction (gambling). He has a troubled relationship with his girlfriend, played by Minnie Driver, and mentions that though he lives near it, he has never visited Niagara Falls. When she asks why, he says that he doesn't want to use all of Canada up, he wants to save some so he can savor it. Finally, at the end, when his world is coming apart, he finally invites her there, but it's too late. It's all about getting just the right amount of pleasure at the right time, isn't it...

Simon Critchley conducted this interview - it was more of an extemporaneous talk -  at the Rubin Museum of Art on Dec. 22, 2012, a little over a year before Hoffman's passing.

It's a very philosophical and abstract talk. If you like that sort of thing, this is the animation for you.

Philip Seymour Hoffman animatedfilmreviews.filminspector.com

From the youtube page:
Published on Jun 3, 2014 
"Learning how to die is therefore learning how to live"
- Philip Seymour Hoffman
Conversation with Simon Critchley recorded live at the Rubin Museum of Art on Dec 22, 2012
Photo Credits:
Music credits:
Courtesy of the http://www.freemusicarchive.org
Scappare di Casa "Never ending story"
Eet "Lungfish"
Jahzzar "Railroad's Whiskey Co"
Noi "Everything Is Changing"
Philip Seymour Hoffman animatedfilmreviews.filminspector.com


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