Sunday, November 30, 2008

Boys in the Band — DVD

Quite apart from William Friedkin's effective filming of the play, this new DVD is worth renting for the features—on the play, on the movie, on the aftermath—which have been bundled together by CBS Home Entertainment (though there's little chance of your seeing them on WUSA even at two o'clock in the morning). Watching it, I'm struck by this famous passage of Harold's, cooly responding to Michael's "warning":

Are you now? Are you warning me? Me? I'm Harold. I'm the one person you don't warn, Michael. Because you and I are a match. And we tread very softly with each other because we both play each other's game too well. Oh, I know this game you're playing. I know it very well. And I play it very well. You play it very well too. But you know what, I'm the only one that's better at it than you are. I can beat you at it. So don't push me. I'm warning you.

What is this game? the game of annihilation? No doubt that's a game Michael plays and, as it turns out, Harold can play too, and better, but is there any reason to suppose it's Harold's game the way it is Michael's? What's more, Michael doesn't push him further, yet Harold rounds on him shortly thereafter and demolishes him. Doesn't quite add up to my mind.

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