"I think one of the issues is, how do you make a relationship work when you didn’t have any role models? A lot of people from our generation — their parents are divorced and their friends’ parents are divorced," he says. "And if you never saw a couple make it work, what guide do you have?"
Hmmmm. That’s interesting. Blame the folks who brought you into this world.
"You can’t be fully in [a relationship] if there’s baggage," Braff says. "Even at the cost of losing the love of his life, [Michael] chooses his integrity, and I think that’s what buys the character back."
But isn’t there always baggage in a relationship?
"There’s always baggage. But there’s large baggage and then there’s carry-ons," the performer quips.
In the New York Observer, Sara Vilkomerson is the latest to add herself to the "Borat" media love-pile (a side effect of an otherwise apparently disappointing Toronto). She recounts the premiere that wasn’t:
So just to see a bunch of screaming fans who wouldnâ€™t recognizeâ€”or care aboutâ€”the influence of Truffaut if it fell from a burning, metaphor-laden sky is a happy novelty for a film festival. And all for a movie that will be equally dismissed as a cerebral retread of Jackass territory and celebrated as a vehicle for the first truly dangerous comedy since Andy Kaufman. Like South Parkâ€™s Trey Parker and Matt Stone, [Sacha] Baron Cohen creates comedy that refuses to be co-opted by the political right, left or middle.
Well, perhaps â€” but that hasn’t stopped people from trying. We have our own reading of the Borat character, but we’ll save it for when we’ve seen the film.
Bernal specializes in grit and gravitas, not rescuing people from invading spaceships, sucking snakes out of planes, or hunting down bad guys as a cop with a temper. His characters do not always get the girl. Often, they make us squirm in our seats. But no matter how taboo a filmâ€™s subject, Bernalâ€™s characters are always fascinatingly human â€” flawed, seeking redemption. Who cares if we relate? We find it nearly impossible to look away.
"When I first moved to America, in 1997,â€ Gondry told me one morning this summer, â€œI understood one word out of 10. So I would recreate whatever was said based on those few words…It was even worse with music,â€ he continued, as he perched on a makeshift desk in a corner of the dimly lighted sound stage. â€œWhen I first started making videos, I didnâ€™t understand the English lyrics. So I looked at the rhythms, and I replicated an abstraction, which made my videos closer to what the musicians usually meant in the beginning. I could never be exact in my work, and that was a good thing.â€
"When they translate ‘wushu’ into English, they call it martial arts," Li explains. "But if you translate it from Chinese, it is from two words: ‘stop.’ ‘war.’ You can expand it to ‘stop fighting.’ So I took a (historical) martial artist’s life and put my beliefs, my story into the film to talk about not just physical, but also mental philosophy about how to be a martial artist.
"Who’s your enemy? Who’s the most dangerous enemy in your life? I believe it’s myself. I am fighting myself. The enemy is not from outside, but inside."
At the New York Times, Terrence Rafferty pens a fairly nice piece in praise of the action star that does contain this clunker: "Except for the violence, what Mr. Li does is ballet," a comparison that should have been laid to rest after that great exchange in "Irma Vep."
People have taken a rumor about the editorial situation of the film and kind of blown it out of proportion, that you’re unhappy. What’s the real situation?
Well, the real situation is that everything’s great. Sony bought the film right after the Cannes Film Festival and there was some old quote that was taken out-of-context and made in passing about how there was something bad happening with the film, and quoted as being recent news. But actually everything is great. I’m almost done with my final cut of the film. It looks like they’re setting a release date and we’re going to have a great release for the film. I’m actually incredibly happy to have had the extra time, breathing room, to finish it. You know, it’s been a long haul with this movie and so the film is in the best possible shape I think it’s ever been in, and I think it’s been like a Rubix cube, and I just needed time to solve it, and I’ve definitely solved it. Just exciting to finally show a trailer to people, just get the concept of the film out there, have them advertise and market it. It couldn’t be better, I couldn’t be happier. I think I’ve been fortunate to finally land at a big studio and have them kind of take me in and say "we believe in this film, and we’re going to let you finish it" and so… keeping my fingers crossed. You never know until that weekend, but so far it’s been amazing so, yeah, that article was, unfortunately, not accurate. It was old information and old out-of-context information. It’s all good.
+ ‘Last Kiss’: Love in the Time Of Cynicism and Divorce (Washington Post)
+ So how adorable is Zach Braff? (Boston Globe)
+ A Star Is Borat (NY Observer)
+ Is America ready for Gael Garcia Bernal? (MSNBC)
+ Le Romantique (NY Times Magazine)
+ ‘Fearless’ Li Moves On (San Francisco Chronicle)
+ Exit Kicking: Jet Liâ€™s Martial Arts Swan Song (NY Times)
+ HOW THE WORLD ENDS: CONVERSATION WITH RICHARD KELLY (Film Threat)