Truman Capote's Lover Jack Dunphy Remembers 'My Poor Little Friend' | changethru.info
from Jack Dunphy's Dear Genius: A Memoir of My Life with Truman Capote complements on Dunphy's memoir of his 30 year friendship/relationship with the . Jack Dunphy, a novelist and onetime Broadway dancer whose lengthy relationship with author Truman Capote became the basis for a popular. Dunphy and Capote lived together for 36 years in a relationship defined as much by freedom as by commitment. “Truman and I were never in.
As he learns more about the killers and befriends locals involved with the case, Capote realizes that he can turn what was supposed to be a simple article into a full-length novel. Using his characteristic charm, Truman gets extensive interviews with the murderers, developing a bizarre relationship with killer Perry Smith. Capote seems to become close friends with the man, despite the fact that he is simply using him for his book.
Eventually Truman finds himself helping the killers with their case despite the fact he needs them to die for his book to work. Capote never fully recovered from the moral dilemmas he faced writing In Cold Blood, delving into alcoholism and never completing another book.
Capote captures essence of author
Director Bennett Miller and screenwriter Futterman were childhood friends and Capote is a dream project the two have been struggling to make for years. He uses a dull grey palate to emphasize the tragic tone and employs handheld camera and various editing techniques to heighten emotions and crucial moments in the plot. Despite strong work from these two collaborators, who have clearly been working on the movie for quite some time, this is the type of film that lives or dies based on the quality of the performances by the cast.
Fortunately this is not a concern as Capote features some of the finest acting of the year. Philip Seymour Hoffman has received a great deal of praise for his performances as Truman Capote and the hype is certainly deserved.
Hoffman is one of the most underrated actors of his generation, stealing scenes in supporting roles for a decade in films such as Boogie Nights, Magnolia, and Happiness. Lacking quintessential, movie star good looks, he has never been given a strong leading role before Capote and takes full advantage of his increased amount of screen time.
He is guaranteed to receive some major acting award nominations this year, and deserves to win them all. Chris Cooper has a few scenes as the town sheriff and is as effective as always, but the real surprise is Clifton Collins Jr. Collins has been acting since age 11, but has never been given a role that challenged him as much as this. You begin to tell someone the story of your life and they come back at you with 'right? It's a book that could have been an important new chapter on Capote's life, revealing the intimate details of a fascinating relationship.
Even writer Donald Windham, who has written widely about his own tremendous falling out with the "Tiny Terror," has a high regard for this book, praising Dear Genius for "showing us the Truman that we knew. Dear Genius tries desperately to show us the Truman that his lover's personality can only struggle to know.
In often uncomprehending, even stony tones, Dunphy artfully constructs his version of what Capote meant to him: So, finding so little red meat in Dunphy's bloodless book, I asked about the Capote the media had portrayed with a cruel honesty.
The Public Broadcasting System, for example, recently aired an entry in its American Masters series which attempted in one hour to make sober sense of the late writer's tangled life. Who the hell can say that he didn't live a fulfilling life, with such beautiful books as he produced?
That's why the so-called professionals won't appreciate my book on Truman. When Dunphy begins to talk during the documentary about the man he lived with for 30 years, the astute observer can see that it's a painful process for him, that in fact his eyes begin to well up with tears. When I confronted him with that observation, Dunphy's reaction was as typical as it was immediate: TV out-Hitlers anything Hitler ever did: Now I don't know.
The late writer was a generous soul, as far as companion Dunphy was concerned. He deeded a house at Sagoponack, Long Island to him and, even more importantly, there were moments when, in the wild extravaganza that Capote's life became after In Cold Blood, especially in the 's, they shared many private, richly filled hours, in Manhattan, in Switzerland, and around the world.
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And again, when I asked Dunphy what Capote was like when he first met him, his reaction typified our conversation: Yet ultimately, as Dunphy freely admits, "talking about Truman really makes me very emotional and it's difficult for me, I really can't. I have to work myself up to it. Perhaps that's because that there is so much unpleasantness to hide. Capote could be very nasty to people, especially in his declining years. Dunphy claims that he was aware of the many sides to the writer's personality, including the darker ones, but that these were held in check for the most part when they were together.
He's proud of the recollection "that I never lost myself in him, as so many people do in relationships: He would always accuse me of never spending money, which he loved doing. Another thing that greatly helped" their thirty years together "is that I never wanted what Truman wanted. Although we lived together, we lived rather separate lives. For instance, I would like to go to a Shakespearean production," yet Dunphy could never get his writer-friend to attend.
I told Dunphy that my major impression of his deceased companion was that he was a very emotional person, someone who found it easy to express his feelings for other people, yet tragically, ironically starved for affection in his own life.
Very deliberately, I observed that "certainly he got that from you. I'm not a very outward person. For instance, my family never kissed or anything like that. I was startled by that admission, that self-knowledge of a type of personality I myself have always been drawn to but rarely understand: