Tag Archives: cameo

Word Up! CAMEO WATCH with Larry Blackmon #2 – The Clash in The King of Comedy (Martin Scorsese, 1982)

The second in an occasional series of contributions from a bona fide star.

Yo! It’s Larry Blackmon here, and let me tell you this: what I don’t know about CAMEOS ain’t worth knowin’!

Today its the turn of Limey punks The Clash, and their blink-and-you’ll-miss-it (especially-if-you-didn’t-know-about-it) appearance as “Street Scum” in Scorsese’s bleak satire. It turns out that Marty and Bobby (de Niro) were big fans of the boys, and regulars at their legendary New York shows, so they invited them on set. OW!

Rarely spoken of in the hallowed context of his great work (Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, Goodfellas etc.) and a massive box-office flop upon its release, The King of Comedy is one of Scorsese’s most underrated films. It’s strange – but I like it. Mightily prescient about today’s cult of celebrity, and full of treats (including Jerry Lewis’ magnificently sour performance as TV host Jerry Langford), it confounds expectations in a chilling manner; I guess the crackers who had seen Raging Bull a couple years before just weren’t ready for it. Shorn of the directorial pyrotechnics traditionally associated with Scorsese, it is filmed in a deliberately flat TV-sitcom style which foments the icy tone and disconnected-from-reality nature of the characters.

For my money, it also contains one of De Niro’s finest performances. As the ingratiating, insecure Pupkin, he totally disappears into the role, creating the type of wheedling wannabe who was probably a rarity in 1982, but is comparatively run-of-the-mill now. Compared to some of the freaks and psychopaths we’ve been exposed to in reality TV-land, Pupkin is someone you’d (almost) happily go for a Coca-Cola with.

Anyway, with regards to The Clash cameo – don’t just take my word for it,  I could be jivin’ you!  Have a watch:

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Word Up! CAMEO WATCH with Larry Blackmon #1 – Treat Williams in 127 Hours (Danny Boyle, 2010)

The first in an occasional series of contributions from a bona fide star.

Yo! I’m Larry Blackmon from 80s funk superstars Cameo, and I’m here to let y’all know about my favourite subject … that’s right – CAMEOS!

First up, its the original Prince of the City Treat Williams as Aron Ralston’s dad in 127 Hours. Would you believe it, he’s only in a couple of scenes and he doesn’t have a single line of dialogue. That’s some crazy shit – I can’t even find a picture of him in the film on Google! Still, he looks the part; he’s aged well, and his square-jawed gravitas makes you a little sad that he never really became a massive star in his own right.

For my money, 127 Hours is an intense, visceral and ultimately moving film, in which Boyle spins a pretty thin tale (for the uninitiated – true tale of a cocky hiker who falls down a canyon, gets his arm stuck and then chops it off with a penknife) into a universal parable about keeping in touch with your loved ones.

Boyle is a restless filmmaker and this shows through in his relentless use of cinematic tricks (flashes forward and back, split-screen, changes in film stock, soundtrack manipulation) to flesh out proceedings and create a necessary context for the suffering Ralston (an impressive James Franco) . It’s no Shallow Grave and it certainly won’t be for everyone (yes, its gruesome and a little trite), but it knocks Slumdog Millionaire into a cocked hat. And did I mention its got Treat Williams in it? Fo’ sho’!

Anyway, later Cameo fans! Until next time.

Larry B x