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Confessions of a Dangerous Mind
2002, D: George Clooney S: Charles Kaufman
George Clooney's directorial debut brings Kaufman's adaptation of Chuck Barris' believe-it-or-not TV-producer/CIA hitman autobiography to vivid, hallucinatory life. The shots are often filled with blazing super-saturated color; it's gorgeous. The film jumps around time like Heller's Catch 22, opening, and nearly closing, with Barris (Sam Rockwell) naked and unshaven like a castaway, holed up in a New York hotel, too terrified to answer the door. Clooney, Julia Roberts and Drew Barrymore's performances were good enough that I was aware of them as characters rather than as Media Presences (although it probably helped I don't see a lot of Big Hollywood pictures). Laughs are scattered throughout, but more of the nervous funny-strange variety than the hearty funny-ha-ha type. Whether you believe it or not, there's a certain logic that the man accused of lowering the common denominator of television for all time should be damaged, sociopathic, and possibly a hired killer. The film is unsettling, compelling, creepy and thought provoking. Recommended.
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