The Pick-Up Artist and the failures of virtuosity

Long, Christian (2014). The Pick-Up Artist and the failures of virtuosity. In Erin E. MacDonald (Ed.), Robert Downey Jr. from brat to icon: essays on the film career (pp. 17-28) Jefferson, NC, United States: McFarland.

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Name Description MIMEType Size Downloads
Author Long, Christian
Title of chapter The Pick-Up Artist and the failures of virtuosity
Formatted title
The Pick-Up Artist and the failures of virtuosity
Title of book Robert Downey Jr. from brat to icon: essays on the film career
Place of Publication Jefferson, NC, United States
Publisher McFarland
Publication Year 2014
Sub-type Research book chapter (original research)
Open Access Status
ISBN 9780786475490
9781476617039
Editor Erin E. MacDonald
Chapter number 1
Start page 17
End page 28
Total pages 12
Total chapters 19
Collection year 2015
Language eng
Formatted Abstract/Summary
James Toback's 1978 film Fingers opens with a ninety-second shot of Jimmy Fingers (Harvey Keitel) behind a piano, practicing Bach's Toccata and Fugue in E Minor. Fingers longs to be a concert pianist, but is caught between this desire and his job as a debt collector for his mobbed-up father, and he would appear to be very different from Robert Downey Jr.'s middle-class Jack Jericho in another Toback film, The Pick-Up Artist (1987). Nevertheless, the latter film functions as a sort of sequel to Fingers. The Pick-Up Artist also begins with its protagonist alone, honing his craft, as Jack Jericho practices his pick-up patter in the bathroom mirror. But whereas Fingers investigates and queries musical virtuosity, The Pick-Up Artist investigates and queries verbal virtuosity...

In The Pick-Up Artist, and in Fingers, we see that virtuosity--both in failure and in success--offers a great deal to film makers, who can wrestle with the ways in which total mastery might operate. However, even the fictional characters within Tobac's movie come to see that virtuosity represents the triumph of fantasy as a way to deal with concrete problems, not a way to solve them.
Q-Index Code B1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

 
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Created: Tue, 24 Mar 2015, 09:04:51 EST by Ms Stormy Wehi on behalf of School of Communication and Arts