I really love how Mindhunter 2 focuses almost entirely upon the Atlanta Child Murders investigation over the last…what, five episodes? And on the eventual discovery of likely child-murderer Wayne Williams, and how the guy who plays Williams (still searching for his name) looks almost exactly like him. Ditto the actors who play Charles Manson (Damon Herriman) and David “Son of Sam” Berkowitz (Oliver Cooper).
In the below video Holt McAllany (who plays Bill Tench) explains how and why the resemblance is so precise.
I was completely riveted and I may even re-watch for good measure, but there are two things I wasn’t especially transported by.
One was the subplot about Tench’s malignant son, Brian, who says exactly four words (“Did the fish die?”) in the whole series and is clearly destined to become some kind of super-fiend when he grows up. Nothing happens, nothing develops…the kid is just a zombie from the get-go. Brian is adopted but what a nightmare regardless, and there’s no way out of it for poor Bill and his wife Nancy (Stacey Roca).
The other “what?” is the serious attention paid to the love affair between Anna Torv‘s Wendy Carr and Lauren Glazier‘s Kay Mason, a foxy divorced bartender. Their relationship is not without intrigue and the performances struck me as exactly right, but the whole subplot is just an aromatic sideshow. It has nothing whatsoever to do with serial killers, interviewing serial killers, finding Wayne Williams or the BTK killer, FBI politics or the BSU. Takeaway: Workaholics and obsessives aren’t that great at relationships, etc.
Until I watched this clip, I’d never seen color-and-sound footage of Marlene Dietrich being interviewed. All my life she was this sparkling, glistening black-and-white figure, acting lines and presenting the classic Dietrich persona. Born in ’01, she was 70 when she sat for this interview. Nice makeup, great hair, the shape of her mouth, etc. Judgment at Nuremberg was her last substantial role. Her Christine Helm in Witness For The Prosecution might have been her most glamorous and charismatic. I never cared for her dark-haired gypsy in Touch of Evil.
I respect and admire the six films Dietrich made with Josef von Sternberg more than I actually like watching them. She was a tiny bit chubby in those films; I prefer the older, sleeker Dietrich of the late 40s and ’50s….the Dietrich who had a hot and heavy affair with Yul Brynner in the ’50s, and who also did the raunchy with Errol Flynn, George Bernard Shaw (really?), John F. Kennedy, Joe Kennedy, Michael Todd, Michael Wilding, John Wayne, Kirk Douglas and Frank Sinatra.
“We used to wake up, read the paper, see all the terrible things in the world and say ‘at least my life is better than those poor slobs.’ But now it’s the opposite. Social media tells you everyone is having more fun — with more toys and more friends — than you. They’re always in St. Kitts having Mai Tais at sunset, while you’re in Canoga Park selling your plasma at dusk. Before Instagram, you could be a loser but not feel it. Because the winners weren’t always in your face. Even the most mundane posts, of avocado toast in a hipster coffee shop, sends the message ‘I’m having fun and you’re not…enjoy your cup of noodles, fatty.’