“Swimming with Sharks” (1994) dir. George Huang

One of the best (and sadly forgotten) indies from the mid-1990s is George Huang’s dark Hollywood satire “Swimming with Sharks.” “Sharks” is “The Player” filtered through David Mamet and contains one of Kevin Spacey’s finest performances as the Satanic studio executive Buddy Ackerman. The verbal brutality Spacey’s character inflicts on his underling, played by Frank Whaley, is alternately frightening and … darkly funny (if you’re in a particularly sick mood). Attached is the infamous scene where Whaley gives Spacey a packet of Equal instead of Sweet ‘n’ Low. Key dialogue: “You … have … no … brain. No judgement calls are necessary. What you think means nothing. What you feel means (heh-heh) nothing.”

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