Saturday, February 14, 2009

The Sleepless Film Festival Presents an Academy Awards Special - A Drink with Mickey Rourke: An Evening at the Shamrock Social Club, Part II


Welcome to the Persian immersion!

Please find a space on the rug and sit facing East. The wine has only just started to pour.

Cold Southern mornings are marked by a damp cataract the blurs the air and makes your bones feel wet. Then again, your bones are already pretty wet, what with all the goo.

Clearly I am going over the top in my recent fascination with Mickey Rourke, but The Wrestler was such a great movie, and he was so fantastic in it. For the most part, I don't think we see very much good acting in films nowadays. When I am watching American movies from that great age of the 1970's (Altman, Cassavetes, Hopper, Scorsese, DePalma, Coppola, Lucas, Schrader) or even Euro flicks from the 60's/70's like the movies of Roeg or Godard, the acting in these films tends to be honest and sincere action and dialog - no more, no less.

Nowadays we see to many actors ACTING! This is what makes Rourke such a wonder in this film. There is a scene where Rourke tries to re-establish his relationship with his estranged daughter. It's probably the most emotional scene in the film, and the nature of the scene is such that there is an immediate danger of the acting becoming forced, attenuated, cliche and overly-sentimental. For one moment in the scene - Rourke's biggest moment in the film - he spins perilously close to the edge, but he doesn't wobble. He glides right up against it, and then he glides away. Not only is the scene moving because of its content, but also because while we are watching Randy the Ram reclaim his dignity in his daughter's eyes, we are simultaneously watching Rourke reclaim his squandered gifts and his place as one of the best actors of his generation.

Here is a great, long interview with Rourke in the full-flush of post-Wrestler hype. This chat took place before Rourke received his Academy Award Nomination.

This is the new video for my song "The First to Know"

Joe Nolan

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