*Note: this is basically the first time I've actually written a post after promising it. Usually I just pretend I never promised the said post and simply go on about my daily life. ;-D
He's awesome. He's brilliant. HE IS NOT OVERRATED. Certain people (Matthew, I am looking straight at you and into the deepest part of your soul where you realize you are actually a huge James Dean fan [this is not creepy at all ;-D]) don't understand his genius, but it is certain that he is genius.
Now, you can know for sure that he's not overrated-- because I like him.
I am always absolutely quick to like the opposite of what everyone else likes. My mother thinks I do it on purpose, but it's really just that I genuinely usually like the opposite of what's normal/sane/quality (JUST KIDDING. Santa Claus Conquers the Martians IS quality). The few times I do like what ever one else likes, you can be CERTAIN that means it's something of exceeding brilliance (or a film made for less than $50 that everyone just randomly likes).
What this wonderful digressing explanation means...SIMPLY... is that James Dean is Wowzie Kazam.
^There are no excuses for not believing in his Wowzie Kazamness after viewing this photo.
I don't really have anything new to say about James Dean. I'm pretty sure the 13,000* books and 58 million** blog posts written about him have taken care of that.
*Note: Not actual numbers
**Note: Possibly actual numbers
I do think he was a very striking actor. His performances are "felt" by the audience simply because of the sheer force at which they are delivered. His tragic death is not only horrible because he died at such a young age, but also because we never got to see what else he could have done. I would have loved to see James Dean meet the '60s. THAT would have been an immensely interesting sight.
I also think his overwhelming popularity - his "cult" as it were - is FASCINATING. The impact of James Dean is difficult to fully comprehend. A few months ago, I wrote an 80th birthday post for Steve McQueen and coolness. This post is for 80 years of James Dean and awesomely misunderstood rebellion without causation. Awesomely misunderstood rebellion without causation is a category OWNED by Mr. Dean. There's always the random actor who's the "next James Dean" (most disturbingly, Robert Pattison has been recently described as the next James Dean, apparently, because of similarities in their hairstyles.... I fear for humanity. ;-D), but there can't be another James Dean. Because then his awesomely misunderstood rebellion without causation would become some mainstream cool thing or something. And that's clearly not allowed. ;-D
|Obligatory James Dean is eating birthday cake photo.|
P.S. if you are in the mood (and you should be. ALWAYS.) check out this tribute video I made to James Dean's 80th birthday. It's made up of clips from his 3 films and some screentests/home videos/random early '50s TV shows and set to the song "Clothes of Sand" by Nick Drake (a similarly unappreciated, short-lived genius. My mother refers to him as "that depressed Englishman". Thank goodness we won't listen to my mum because we know she's crazy-- Jimmy Stewart is her 2nd favorite actor). <---HOORAY FOR RUN-ON SENTENCES!