Because the screen is the only well-lit mirror in town

Saturday, August 16, 2008

The FRED Enigma

Among the other clues that I am the center of the world is the weird way in which FRED as the name of a brother or friend--often deceased, usually quite tall, sometimes dimwitted, generally a good guy but easily corrupted... reappears in films, music and literature of the "very cool" variety. Cool like me, Erich, who has a brother Fred, too, three years younger and big as a house... in spirit and in height! He likes beer and off-road vehicles and is licensed to carry firearms.

But what of these other Freds?

PHREDO - in the Godfather... He's called Freddy in Puzo's book. We all know about him, or we wouldn't be here. But what about... Fred, the "brother" of Anna Karina in PIERROT LE FOU. Fred, the dead brother in BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY'S, Fred, the dead fisherman in NIGHT OF THE IGUANA. "Fred's dead baby, Fred's dead."

FREDDY's DEAD from the SUPERFLY score by Curtis Mayfield and DROP DEAD FRED who is played, as I dimly recall, by the mod guy in the Young Ones. There's other Freds too... I won't name them all now, but there's an alarming number of Freds who are main characters' brothers out there... When will the man behind the curtain come and Truman Show me?

What was the last straw? FRED CLAUS, starring Vince Vaughn.

And before I forget may I plug Gary Oldman in Nicholas Roeg's TRACK 29... an underseen performance in a weird ass film. Is he called Fred? Is he ever.


1 comment:

  1. And don't forget Audrey Hepburn's unseen, semi-retarded brother Fred, whose name she weirdly applies to friend/lover George Peppard in Breakfast at Tiffany's. He ended up much like Fredo and Drop-Dead Fred.


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