Saturday, September 29, 2007

Take Two

There was a huge buzz around the screening of 'Being Michael Madsen' mainly because the man himself was going to be there, and Michael Madsen is a genuine star. Okay, so he's not Robert De Niro, but people know him, even if he is apparently trying to shake off the tag of being 'the one from Reservoir Dogs'. So the screening was sold out, but I was lucky enough to get a free ticket.

The film is a mockumentary about Michael Madsen turning the tables on a tabloid journalist by having him filmed by a documentary crew. It mainly consisted of talking heads from Madsen, his celebrity friends and sisiter (who completely stole the show) and actors playing the documentary makers and the journalist (Jason Alan Smith from the bar the previous night!). I enjoyed the film - it lost pace a bit about three quarters of the way through and also probably suffered by everyone else (bar his sister) being so far overshadowed by Madsen, who is just so big a prescence. Afterwards, there was a quick Q&A, where the director came out with the same dislike for documentary makers he had expressed the night before. Madsen was gruff and huge, which is what being Michale Madsen is all about.

I wasn't sure whether I was going to stay for the next film or not - being out late every night was taking its toil. But the tickets weren't selling well and having been talking to the man behind the film the night before, I felt bad at the thought of it being empty. Of course, I didn't exactly buy a ticket, I got a freebie as part of my volunteer staff status. I am so so glad I decided to stay. Alex Holdridge (is this name dropping if someone isn't actually famous yet -future namedropping perhaps?) was so nervous and to make matters worse, there was a technical problem with the sound. While it was being sorted, the lead actor, Scoot went down to the front of the audience and started talking to keep people's attention.

"In Search of a Midnight Kiss" is the best film I've seen in a long time. It was so good, I nearly cried. Its about a man going on a date with a woman on New Year's Eve. Alex described it to me as like 'Before Sunrise' with more jokes, and comparisons with that are inevitable as it involves a couple who've just met, walking around a city talking. But really that does it an enormous disservice (and I told him this afterwards when he asked what I thought). I found Before Sunrise rather pretentious, the dialogue and situation unrealistic but this felt so real. It was beautifully shot in black & white, the music was amazing, the acting was great - Scoot McNairy being incredibly likeable (unlike Ethan Hawke). But if you liked Before Sunrise, you'd like this, and if you didn't like Before Sunrise, you'll like this. There was an older couple sat in our row (probably in their sixties) and the man stood up and said that he realised he wasn't the film's demographic, but he and his wife thought it was wonderful.

Anyway, I really can't do this film justice. Go and see it when it is released. It is going to be released in America (and hopefully the UK too) around Valetine's Day as "a romantic film for cynics", which it is perfect for if you believe that every cynic is just a disappointed romantic.


M said...

Thanks for the review. I will plan to go see 'Midnight Kiss' when it hits here in the U.S.. Something to look forward to!

And I don't like Ethan Hawke either. I can't even figure out why he's a working actor. Nothing appealing at all there, and actually, I find him creepy.

Roses said...

It sounds like you've had an amazing weekend.

I will definitely keep my eyes peeled for the film. As a habitual loather of rom com, anything which is not dipped in saacharin and rolled in honey has got to be worth the two hours.

SandDancer said...

M - Ethan Hawke seems to be well-respected amongst industry types - I think they see him sort of independent renaissance man. But I find him incredibly unlikeable on screen when he is meant to be sympathetic and his novels are dreadful.

Roses - it definitely isn't a typical romcom and I think you would really like it. It was especially good considering it was made for a small budget with the director and main actor putting the cost on their credit cards.

Girl With The Golden Touch said...

Sounds good, cant wait to see it. I havent seen Before Sunrise, I might have to invest in that too?