Monday, October 12, 2009

Tyson: After the Fall

Highly recommended: James Toback's documentary Tyson (2009). Not only is the film well constructed, but the director allows Mike Tyson to speak his mind in a non-intrusive way. Unlike the usual interview technique, there is no talking head across from Tyson. During filming, Toback asked questions from behind, like a cagey modern Freud. The results are outstanding. Tyson's unique observations are fascinating, and well-worth hearing. Tyson also appeared with Oprah Winfrey earlier today in a way that supplemented the film.

Tyson is one of the most interesting documentaries I've ever seen. There are other films on boxers that are good, too, covering Muhammad Ali, Sonny Liston, Smokin' Joe Frazier, George Foreman, Joe Louis, Rocky Marciano, and so on. What's amazing to me is how familiar these icons are, largely through cultural osmosis, as primal archetypal figures. Tyson shows a mortal person in a memorable way.

Today's Rune: Movement.


JR's Thumbprints said...

You forgot to list Chuck Wepner, "The Human Tomato Can." Remember: He did knock Ali down in the ring. Made him mad as hell too. Still, Ali boxed. No ear chewin' here.

As for Mikey, I'm sure he's still fighting demons.

jodi said...

Erik, I plan to use that doc as hopefully a way to debunk the "nervous as Mike Tyson at a spelling bee" line!