Saturday, July 18, 2009
Richard Burton's Excellence and Why I Love It
Richard Burton's acting left an impression on me from the first time I witnessed it. HIs delivery was characterized by such ease that I couldn't help but appreciate it. His face seemed to ooze a kind of aversion for affectation and cheap mimicry that I instantly appreciated.
I liked Burton even when he started to act Hollywood. He seemed to do it because he got a kick out of the whole scenster culture.
And who could blame him?
It's kind of tough to let a freak show go unexplored, is it not?
The hardest thing for me to tolerate is cheap imitation.
I have been trying to understand if such intolerance has anything at all to do with some permeating vanity I've neglected to detect before and all I can deduce is: 'nah, not really.'
The reason why I can't stand cheap imitation is because it interferes with authenticity and originality of essence. Furthermore, it delays the learning process. And I really can't stand the latter.
Enter Richard Burton.
He stands on the opposite end of this aversion.
If you don't know his work, well then, chop, chop, get to it. You're missing out.
And if you're a Shakespeare lover who doesn't know Burton, repent first, and hit Netflix later.
Also, read today's NY Times feature on Richard Burton, courtesy of Dick Cavett.
Few do acting the way Burton did. And fewer have his version of chutzpah.
And here's a bit from the Dick Cavett interview of Burton:
“I hope I don’t frighten you, Mr. Burton.”
“No, Mr. Cavett, you do not. I do that to myself.”
Read and view it here.
Tip of the hat, RB.
graph per google images