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A Brief Celebration of Harold Pinter

A Brief Celebration of Harold Pinter

In The Guardian, British playwright David Hare recounts some of the reasons I love the films (and, of course, the plays) of Harold Pinter. “In the spare, complicated screenwriting of Pinter, ‘yes,’ ‘no’ and ‘maybe’ become words which do a hundred jobs,” he writes. My first film class at UCLA introduced me to Pinter’s collaborations with Joseph Losey, most memorably “The Servant” and “The Accident.” I even wrote one of my first college film papers way back in 1991 on Losey and Pinter’s use of objects to sublimate the character’s conflicts — the making of an omelet in “Accident,” the tossing of a ball in “The Servant,” a game of cricket in “The Go Between.” They’re brilliant scenes, where monumental clashes of class, generation and sex get played out in little bitty games, and the best dialogue is what’s left unsaid.

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