Star Of The Day (Barely) Iron Mike Tyson — Driven By An Unstable Mars

tysonWhen Iron Mike had a leaner build and a fatter wallet

A little late on the draw again today, but sometimes, that’s how these things go. The day is nearly done here on the edge of the continent, but I still have a few hours to reflect on the birthday and life of Mike Tyson.

A few years back, I thought that the ultimate reality show would have been Mike Tyson and Michael Jackson together, in the same house, rehabbing their lives and images. I’m I am shocked that no one ever thought of this and if they did, even more surprised that neither Jackson or Tyson would have accepted this. They were both being handled The Nation of Islam. The ratings would have been off the charts and both Mike’s could have settled some debts and made a little cash on the side. But we’ll never know now.

Mike Tyson’s star is rising again, albeit amidst the recent tragedy of his young daughters death. “Tyson” by James Toback (whom I recently interviewed) the biopic, was released to critical acclaim. He did a star cameo turn in the recent hit, “The Hangover,” just a had an Ali vs.Tyson video game released and will be portrayed by Jaimie Foxx in an upcoming movie based on his life. It seems as though “Iron Mike” is back in the ring of life.

Tyson’s exact time of birth is not public, but we can certainly see that from the angles in his chart, their are angels and demons fluttering in and out of his life.

When we look at the life of a warrior, and make no mistake, Tyson is a warrior, we look to Mars.

Mars in Tyson’s chart is problematic and might have destroyed a lesser spirit. His natal Mars in restless Gemini (Mars 22 degrees) squares his natal Pluto, Uranus and Starurn, while opposing his natal Moon. Mars squaring Uranus is combustible, erratic and unpredictable. Mars squaring Pluto can be self-destructive, addictive, violent and driven towards some form of regeneration through close encounters with death. Continue reading “Star Of The Day (Barely) Iron Mike Tyson — Driven By An Unstable Mars”

Q & A With James Toback, Director Of “Tyson” And The Saturn/Sun Connection

14641Confessor priest and noble savage?

1966 was a big year for maverick film director, James Toback. The son of wealthy Wall Street investor-father, and a mother who was the head of “The Women’s League Of Voters,” he graduated Magna Cum Laude from Harvard, where he would quickly pick up his first writing assignment, doing a piece for Esquire on Cleveland Browns running back and fellow iconoclast, Jim Brown. He would later team with Brown and help pen Brown’s autobiography. With a 0 degree Sag Sun, Toback would always be drawn to sports as a love and future subject matter. Aquarian, Jim Brown was a perfect point of departure to launch a career for Toback that would eventually take him into cinema as a writer/producer/director with a reputation as an outsider, a risk taker, here’s that term again, “maverick” tackling unique subject matter and themes in documentaries like the big, sprawling, all star confessional, “The Big Bang” which featured people from all walks of life ruminating on life, sex, death, fame, failure, love and fear. It featured the likes of jazz pianist, Cecil Taylor, boxer Jose Torres, the late film producer, Don Simpson and flamboyant hoopster, Daryl Dawkins.

He also directed the extremely ambitious, “Mindwalk” with Sam Waterston, John Heard and Liv Ullman, who portrayed a politician, poet and scientist in that order. The three of them spend the majority of the film riffing on theories inspired by the physicist, Fritjoff Capra, with the luscious backdrop of Mont. Saint Michel as the silent partner in their often fascinating trialog.

James Toback also wrote and directed on of my favorite films of all time; “Fingers” starring a young, Harvey Keitel as a psychotic, classical pianist, who was also a the son of a loan shark. One of his father’s debtors, a well connected mob figure owed his dad some money and Keitel’s character was pressed into service to collect for his dad. The stark contrast between the painful sensitivity and brutish violence that Keitel’s character could channel would also be on display in another figure that would loom large and become an important figure in Toback’s own life. Unbeknownst to Toback, way back in 1966, was the year that Mike Tyson came into this world. “Iron Mike” is the star of his new, riveting, documentary on the life and times of Mike Tyson, simply titled “Tyson.”

Toback has known Mike Tyson since Tyson was just 19 and getting ready to take the boxing world by storm. The astrological connections are most certainly there and while I could get granular, it’s Toback’s Saturn in Cancer at 9 degrees which rests almost directly upon Tyson’s Cancer Sun at 8 degrees that is most telling in the context of the film. A long time experiencer of psycho-analysis, Toback plays the role of the psychic priest in Tyson’s life and the film manifests in a type of reckoning for Tyson. The saturnian/sun connection highlight’s Toback’s ability to evoke a sympathetically karmic reset, while allowing Tyson to confess the most private thoughts in his mind, which he does without much effort on Toback’s part. At the end of the film, after we witness Tyson being as brutally honest with himself as he was with his opponents in the ring, he comes away as a much more sympathetic character, who is painfully self-aware of all of his misdeeds, errors and contradictions of self. In this regard, the film is an agent of redemption and Tyson’s destiny has likely been forever altered by Toback’s unconditional observance and capture.

I recently caught up with James Toback in SF and we sat down to talk about his life as a director, Tyson, the man and the movie. The following is a pod cast of our conversation, followed by a trailer for “Tyson.”