Dog Day Afternoon: When Pacino showed the range of a true master

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‘Dog Day Afternoon’ proved that there was more to Al Pacino than cold and steely, or loud and shouty. (Getty Images)
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‘Dog Day Afternoon’ proved that there was more to Al Pacino than cold and steely, or loud and shouty. (Getty Images)
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‘Dog Day Afternoon’ proved that there was more to Al Pacino than cold and steely, or loud and shouty. (Getty Images)
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‘Dog Day Afternoon’ proved that there was more to Al Pacino than cold and steely, or loud and shouty. (Getty Images)
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‘Dog Day Afternoon’ proved that there was more to Al Pacino than cold and steely, or loud and shouty. (Getty Images)
Updated 15 August 2018

Dog Day Afternoon: When Pacino showed the range of a true master

  • Pacino plays Sonny Wortzik, an effeminate outcast who desperately, brazenly – and really quite ineffectually – holds up a penniless Brooklyn bank
  • Emerging to collect a pizza delivery or goad the cops, cornered Wortzik becomes an unlikely folk hero, leading the simmering masses against authoritarianism

DUBAI: Once upon a time in Hollywood, Al Pacino’s name was not a byword for lukewarm thrillers or lackluster dramas. In possession of one of the most bankable faces in the movies, Pacino has a reputation that rests largely on just two roles: Michael Corleone in “The Godfather” (1972) and Tony Montana in “Scarface” (1983) – two iconic gangsters whose ruthless, brutish shadows obscure the riches they bookend.

Because Pacino’s script-screening was once judiciously discerning – if not always impeccable – throughout the 1970s, he acted in just eight films. Labors of love, not bottom-line negotiations, these heyday performances were rooted in compulsive zeal, obsessive research and an adherence to Stanislavski’s method system.

The complacency of contemporary Pacino sometimes feels like an insult to this golden run, and at its glorious centerpiece stands “Dog Day Afternoon” – a film which proved defiantly that there is so much more to Pacino than cold and steely or loud and shouty.

Under the nuanced gaze of Sidney Lumet – who directed Pacino two years earlier as the idealistic New York cop in the classic “Serpico” – the 1975 Oscar-winner was a triumph of tone, texture and pacing. And in nearly every frame, Pacino’s presence pulsates with magnetic charisma.

Pacino plays Sonny Wortzik, an effeminate outcast who desperately, brazenly – and really quite ineffectually – holds up a penniless Brooklyn bank alongside troubled friend Sal (fellow “Godfather” star John Cazale). Soon after the cops, the TV cameras arrive, and while he is claustrophobically holed up with his sympathetic hostages, Sonny’s unconventional backstory unravels out into the open.

As the spotlight is thrust onto a dysfunctional wife and lover, curious crowds descend on the scene. Emerging to collect a pizza delivery or goad the cops, cornered Wortzik becomes an unlikely folk hero, leading the simmering masses against authoritarianism.

This remarkable turn of events was based on a real failed heist of just three years earlier. The movie was nominated for six Oscars. Frank Pierson’s script won Original Screenplay. Meanwhile, Pacino – also up against Marlon Brando, Jack Nicholson and Robert Redford – lost out on the Best Actor gong to Jack Lemmon for “Save the Tiger.” That roll call alone is a testament to how far Hollywood has climbed, crawled and plunged.


First Saudi woman to singlehandedly nab a Guinness World Record revealed

Artist Ohud Abdullah Almalki has become the first Saudi woman to achieve a Guinness World Record title singlehandedly with her coffee painting. (Supplied)
Updated 18 October 2020

First Saudi woman to singlehandedly nab a Guinness World Record revealed

DUBAI: Artist Ohud Abdullah Almalki has become the first Saudi woman to achieve a Guinness World Record title singlehandedly with her impressive feat — the largest coffee painting in the world using expired granules, illustrating seven leading figures of Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

This painting is called Naseej 1, and it is spread over 220.968 square meters, 15.84 meters long, and 13.95 meters wide. It is made out of seven connected cotton cloths.

Almalki used approximately 4.5 kg of expired coffee powder and painted all the figures in hues of brown, mixing the coffee powder with water. The edges are done in the “Sadu” style that is a traditional Bedouin decoration style.

“It took me 45 days of continuous work to complete, under the watchful eyes of two witnesses, video recording and drone footage,” Almalki said, according to a press release. “My aim is to remind the world of the centuries-old entente between the two nations.”

The impressive painting features the late King Abdulaziz bin Abdul Rahman and the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al-Nahyan, as well as King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al-Nahyan Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud.

“This tremendous feat would have been impossible without the support of the people around me. I wish this will contribute to empowering the women in Saudi Arabia and beyond,” the artist added.