It almost puts Mel Gibson into a kind of insane-genius league, not too
far from the adventures of Werner Herzog. But it wasn’t for hours after
I had staggered dumbly out of the cinema that I realised which German
director Gibson really was channelling – and again, this is hardly
going to recommend his film to anyone. Apocalypto is like something by
Leni Riefenstahl, both from her Nazi period (the prehistoric Mayan
Nuremberg, the mad, declamatory leader) and from her later,
primitivist-anthropological period of photographing Sudanese tribesmen.
Both Stephen Humphries at the Christian Science Monitor and Richard Corliss at Time declare 2007 the year of the "threequel." Actually, Nikki Finke at LA Weekly said similar things weeks ago, only with a bit more "Day of the Locust"-esque tones of impending doom. Also, our New Year’s resolution: For overall health purposes, avoid reading any metaphors comparing the movie business to a sex act.
The surrealism of always being Borat was wearing thin, he says, so he welcomed the chance to drop it for his Oscar campaign.
"There’s a slight philosophical problem if Borat starts talking about himself acting in the film," Baron Cohen says, in a smooth British accent, far from his Kazakh alter ego’s high nasal octave.
Donâ€™t ever name a character after a man or woman you love.
I learnt the lesson painfully: Nomi Malone of Showgirls was named after my beloved wifeâ€™s childhood nickname, Nomi â€” the name I called her in intimate moments. Not any more. Not after a stark-naked Elizabeth Berkley came up to her on the set and said: â€œHi, Nomi, Iâ€™m Nomi.â€ Not after Showgirls turned into one of the great bombs in film history.
Despite some striking details and a mesmerizing performance by Michael Caine as an aging hippie, the movie develops from one that could be described in 25 words or less to one that could be described in 10 or less. Not surprisingly, most critics, including me (I wrote a Critic’s Choice for the film two weeks ago), are obsessed with how adept Cuaron is at handling long takes and a complicated mise en scene — we’re celebrating the technique and minimizing the banality of the story.
We’re curious to come back to the film in a year or two â€” we’ve seen "Children of Men" twice now, and both times the technical achievements hit us like a shot of adrenaline. We do think there’s much more to the film, but would love to see it without that rush of "Goddamn, that shot was so hot!"
And over at the Chicago Sun-Times, a recovering Roger Ebert makes an appearance to rave about "Perfume": "This is a dark, dark, dark film, focused on an obsession so complete and lonely it shuts out all other human experience. You may not savor it, but you will not stop watching it, in horror and fascination."
+ Apocalypto (Guardian)
+ At theaters in 2007, the year of the ‘threequel’ (CS Monitor)
+ The Year of The 3quel (Time)
+ Orgy of Sequels Climaxing in 2007 (LA Weekly)
+ Will the real Sacha Baron Cohen please stand out? (USA Today)
+ Lessons from the front line of film (London Times)
+ Thinking Inside the Box (Chicago Reader)
+ Perfume (RogerEbert.com)