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David Mamet

by Thom Bennett

David Mamet established himself as one of America's great modern playwrights long before adding filmmaking to his repertoire. Having penned such great stage works as "American Buffalo" and "A Life in the Theatre", Mamet's unique gift for lightening-fast dialogue and edgy storytelling translated well to the big screen.

Mamet found his way to Hollywood initially as a screenwriter. His first produced screenplay resulted in the 1981 Bob Rafelson film "The Postman Always Rings Twice". His subsequent work as screenwriter yielded such films as "The Verdict" (1982), "About Last Night..." (1986), "The Untouchables" (1987) and "The Edge" (1996). It was only a matter of time before Mamet tried his hand at directing his own screenplay. "House of Games" (1987) served as Mamet's directorial debut. This slick film about con artists was full of Mamet's now trademark fast dialogue and a cleverly twisting and turning plot line that keeps you guessing throughout. "House of Games" established Mamet as a first class filmmaker.

In addition to his own films, David Mamet continues to write for both film and televison, as well as continuing his theatre work. Additionally, Mamet's translation of Anton Checkov's "Uncle Vanya", was used for Louis Malles last film "Vanya on 42nd Street" (1994), an intimate reflection of the art of acting.

Mamet's directorial work is "Things Change" (1988), a lighthearted comedy which he co -wrote wil Shel Silverstein, a screen adaptation of his play "Oleanna" (1994) and "The Spanish Prisoner" (1998), a elaborate, engrossing film which once again examined the art of the con. His most recent film " The Winslow Boy" will appear at this year's Cannes Film Festival.

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