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In which the author asks 20 questions about Bill Murray’s appearance in the film Zombieland.
1. Why is Bill Murray in Zombieland? 2. Why does Bill Murray play himself playing a zombie in Zombieland? 3. Why do so few film critics mention Bill Murray’s self-aware performance—a performance upon which Zombieland‘s status as self-aware, semi-cool, awesome/shitty horror-comedy depends—in Zombieland (or at least not this one, this one, or this one? 4. Is Bill Murray’s self-aware performance in Zombieland an answer to his serious—but unrewarded, Academy Award-wise—turns in the overrated Lost in Translation and the underrated Broken Flowers?
5. Does Bill Murray want to be a capital-A Actor (Brando, DeNiro, Penn)? 6. If Bill Murray wants to be a capital-A Actor, does his self-aware performance in Zombieland undermine that aspiration? 7. Does Bill Murray have the chops to be a capital-A Actor? 8. Is Bill Murray capital-A Acting in The Razor’s Edge, or just mugging for the camera? 9. Is Bill Murray capital-A Acting in Hamlet, or just mugging? 10. Is Bill Murray capital-A Acting in Lost in Translation, or just mugging? 11. Why is the one film in which Bill Murray doesn’t mug, but capital-A Acts (and Acts well), so obscure? 12. What is capital-A Acting? 13. What is lowercase-m mugging? 14. Is capital-A Acting categorically superior to lowercase-m mugging? 15. Is capital-A Acting categorically different than lowercase-m mugging? 16. Does the author have a coherent theory of the differences between capital-A Acting and lowercase-m mugging, or does he just have vague feelings? 17. Who is Bill Murray? 18. What does Bill Murray want? 19. Who is the author? 20. What does he want?