I bumped into my old Staffie pal Rizza again the other day. I hadn't seen him in ages. He was wearing sunglasses as he strolled down Lounsdale Road heading into town. The sun was out, an unusual occurrence for October in Paisley but we'd been experiencing a bit of an Indian summer, but it wasn't so bright that he needed to shade his eyes, so I asked him, "What's with the specs? You a big Who fan now?"
He gave me that big grin, raised his eyebrows in a distinctly Jack Nicholson manner and told me, "It's in case I get papped."
"What do you mean 'papped'?" I replied.
"I'm in the movies now. Did you not catch me in 'White God'?"
"What's that? Sounds racist," said I, wondering if Rizza had been brainwashed by some cult.
"I'm acting now in films. In Europe. You should watch it. I'm not the lead, but I'm in all the pivotal scenes."
"I bark a bit."
"Good for you."
The master was getting antsy, wondering how long the interaction was going to take. He's so selfish. It's not like I complain when he stops to chat with the neighbours. Tugging me away, I called out to Rizza, "You want to join us at the park?. The master's got two tennis balls with him. We could share."
"Like you ever shared a tennis ball," remarked Rizza. "Catch you later." And he headed off.
Not even a sniff for a bit of doggy. He had changed, matured even. Maybe he was a European cinema star now. Perhaps no longer a virgin. Heading in opposite directions, I never got to ask.
I looked up the film on IMDB. No mention of Rizza in the cast credits. But then I thought maybe he has a stage name now. I realised I would need to watch it.
Speaking nicely to the master I suggested he add it to his Lovefilm rental list, high priority, and he agreed. He's a sucker for a dog picture. He gives them lots of 'Likes' on Facebook. A few days later it arrived and I got to watch it while he was at work.
It is brilliant, but not for humans. The best way I can describe the film is it's a European/ Tarantino cross breed of a film for the viewing pleasure of dogs. Even the bluray has an option to show the subtitles in 'dog' (I wish). Occasionally, I'll admit, I had to hide my eyes behind my paws: during the dog fighting scenes and in the dog shelter. But then those bastard humans get their comeuppance, which made it all worthwhile.
The lead part of Hagen played by Luke deserve an Oscar for dog acting. He was amazing. Expressive, nuanced and funny in places, yet capable of turning nasty like the best of us. I really enjoyed his performance and 'Luke' forward to his future work (see what I did there). Unless he gets typecast and never works again. That would be sad.
As for Rizza, he does appear in it, briefly, panting in the cages at the dog fight. It's a blink and you miss it role but he seemed happy about it. I didn't notice if he was in the other mass dog scenes. He certainly wasn't shot by the police. I can't see him in the poster either.
Wait! This could be him in the press pics. If it is, what a star!