Sunday, September 09, 2007


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Manohla Dargis meditates on the greatness of Jodie Foster in this essay in this weekend's NY Times. Dargis exalts Foster's trajectory as an actor, her androgyny, her performances-as-autobiography, the inevitability of her success, and argues interestingly that Foster is one of the few actors that can be called an auteur, a phrase usually attached to directors. My favorite passage recounts an interview between Andy Warhol and Foster back in 1976 for his magazine Interview:

Andy Warhol: So, when are you going to get married?

Jodie Foster: Never. I hope. It’s got to be boring — having to share a bathroom with someone.

Andy Warhol: Gee, we believe the same things.

Warhol was impressed that she had appeared in a commercial for Coppertone, running about in frilly white panties and a California tan, and asked if she had received any “nut mail” for doing “Taxi Driver.” And he mentioned “Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore,” in which she played a scarily mature street kid, one with a foul mouth and a wayward mother. “You couldn’t tell whether you were a boy or girl.” Absurd, funny, sly and freakishly on target, Warhol seized on her appeal instantly, pinpointing everything that defined and has continued to define her screen presence: her beauty, talent, androgyny and ambition (she was excited about the publicity she had received for “Taxi Driver”), yes, but also a willingness to exploit her body and a taste, or perhaps instinct, for provocation.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had a crush on Jodie Foster when in 1970 I saw her, about my age, starring in the TV series The Courtship of Eddie's Father. Sadly, it was my favorite role for her. Her career declined in my opinion. I like her in interviews but her roles are too similar to me.


12:35 PM  
Blogger Adam Ted said...

Foster might not be for everyone, though, I find it harrowing that she has managed to maintain a career, being so singular an androgynous oddity in such a fickle, fickle business. Even if you don't like her roles, the fact of career of her is notable. She's an asexual symbol!

6:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I take your point. What other woman has maintained a career for so long without the usual sexual wiles? I can't think of one even as I try to cull some sad sack friend of the leading lady who never gets the man. Those sidekick roles don't give an actress longevity in the film world, so indeed Jodie Foster has created a unique niche.


8:06 AM  

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