This week on IFC News:
In honor of that Adam Sandler 9/11 movie we’re still unable to sit through the complete trailer for, members of the IFC News team look at the mixed results when a few of our favorite comic actors gave in to the urge to go serious. (We wouldn’t go so far as to group Sandler as one of our favorites, though we’d make the liquored-up argument for the Dadaist brilliance of "Billy Madison.")
Did you regard the whole 2003 effort â€” the Internet campaign and the fund-raising and the talk show appearances â€” as part of the performance?
In the movie, you can see two different people. Most of the time when I was doing interviews and all that stuff, I was trying to imagine, "Who is Bjorn Turoque? Who is this fantasy? If this is my fantasy of a rock star, what’s he like?" The more times I’d do interviews, the more I got to know him. But there are moments in the film when it’s just me talking. So the whole experience is in some ways a performance, but what surprised me was that, looking back, I actually did get obsessed with it. I always knew it was funny, I always knew it was kind-of a joke, but I really couldn’t stop.
[Poitras] never intrudes on her own movie; what we see, remarkably, has the electric heat of a new experience, of seeing what has been heretofore officially proscribed. Best of all, the film is so immaculately constructed that it cannot be dismissed with charges of partisan subjectivity â€” Poitras covers the waterfront as she avoids ideology and cant, and yet everything that unfolds, from the combat-copter rides over Baghdad to the Arab TV footage of the Fallujah bombing, is first-hand evidence of an illegal occupation, an oppressed native people, and an abundance of needless pain and decimation. Without uttering a word herself, she calls the cards on every prevaricating pundit and politician blathering about "the enemy."
As the eponymous subject of Spike Jonze‘s "Being John You Know Who," Malkovich has become a symbol within the iconography of fame-crazed, identity-confused wannabes. As such, his casting is perfect even before he utters a word on screen. It’s a tremendous performance, but it’s basically all the movie has; no one else on screen stays around long enough to make an impression or serve as an appropriate antagonist.
On this week’s podcast, we discuss how the four biggest box office draws so far this year are among the worst reviewed, and wonder at how much power critics hold over the cineplex and arthouse crowds anymore.
And Christopher Bonet has the list of what’s new in theaters on this busy, busy week.