We were sad to hear of today’s passing of Dennis Hopper. Dennis and Streetplay crossed paths in 1999 during the filming of Knockaround Guys, which featured a scene where he and John Malkovich played handball (see our coverage of behind-the-scenes action). Here’s the film trailer:
This wasn’t Hopper’s crowning cinematic achievement (they waited until 2002 to even release the picture), but we still have fond memories of seeing him chasing a little blue ball around the court.
Perhaps more memorable in Hopper’s connection to sport was his popular series of Nike advertisements playing the paranoid, unhinged character Stanley. Here’s a memorable ad, a 1995 Super Bowl commercial:
Also not to be forgotten is Hopper’s portrayal of the down-and-out “Shooter” in the film Hoosiers. Here’s a scene featuring a temporarily rehabilitated Shooter:
Careful readers of this blog may remember our last post about Baron Ambrosia, the host of Bronxnet’s show Bronx Flavor, and a YouTube clip showing him playing handball against someone dressed like Divine’s character in Pink Flamingos. The Baron has explained it all in his recently released episode: he’s playing for the Bronx against the evil “Queen of Westchester” to determine the ownership of City Island:
Baron Ambrosia plays handball-click to watch the episode on BronxFlavor.com
The Baron doesn’t provide an embed code for us to plant the show in our blog–and it’s not on YouTube–so click through Web 1.0 style and enjoy the contest! By the way: I’ve seen The Queen of Westchester many a time lurking through the Galleria in White Plains.
We have no idea of the context of this video–if it’s just for fun, or part of a past or future Bronx Flavor episode–but it’s great nonetheless. If anyone involved in this video–from the “real” handball guys to Divine’s love child to even The Baron himself–reads this post, please contact us at Streetplay, if just to say hello, or even if you want us to help with any street-game-themed upcoming episodes of Bronx Flavor!
I’m not sure whether this is great–keeping the games alive for future generations–or whether it’s just more fodder for the oft-heard argument that videogames keep kids indoors getting fat sitting on the couch. And it’s true: this is at least the second street game-based videogame available (MLB Stickball is the first I know of). I don’t know my take on this yet: maybe this will encourage kids to go outside and play the games they rehearse on the Wii. And I love my Wii, so it would be a little duplicitous to say an ill word against it. But I do wish that the “handball” depicted here were the Ace-King-Queen version, though (where the ball hits the ground before hitting the wall). And where’s skully?
I mainly wish the milieu depicted by publisher Majesco Entertainment weren’t so shabby; it’s an insult to people who actually lived (or live) in the city as a child. The implication is that the street is a dirty, ragtag place that (thankfully) the shiny white Wii box is saving you from having to experience firsthand. Hey, when I grew up, that setting was my home, and it was the greatest place to be in the world.
It was nice to hear that handball is still capturing some attention in the media world. Noted NYC handballers Cesar Sala and Satish Jagnandan, along with New York Magazine writer Peter Duffy, were interviewed on WNYC’s Brian Lehrer show on Tuesday, August 4, 2009. You can listen to the segment in its entirety below.
Longtime Streetplay readers will recognize Cesar as a friend of and contributor to the site. Congrats on the interview!
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