Combustible Celluloid
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With: Steve Buscemi, Sienna Miller
Written by: Steve Buscemi, David Schechter, based on a screenplay by Theodor Holman
Directed by: Steve Buscemi
MPAA Rating: R for language including sexual references, and some drug use
Running Time: 83
Date: 01/20/2007

Interview (2007)

3 Stars (out of 4)

Brawl Talk

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Steve Buscemi directs the first in a series of three remakes, dedicated to the memory of the murdered Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh -- the great-great-grandson of Vincent Van Gogh's brother. (Stanley Tucci and John Turturro will direct the remaining two). Based on van Gogh's Interview (2003), Buscemi's film centers mainly around two characters, a bedraggled reporter for a New York news magazine, Pierre Peders (Buscemi) and a spoiled, emotionally schizophrenic movie actress, Katya (Sienna Miller). Pierre would rather be covering "important" events in Washington, and shows up for an assignment to interview Katya without having seen any of her films or even knowing much about her. She's offended, and he's annoyed, and they part. But when his cab crashes (the driver was ogling Katya), she rescues him and brings him back to her apartment for some first aid. They continue talking throughout the rest of the film. Like a good play, bits and pieces of mystery are revealed slowly; stories are told and are later withdrawn as lies. Buscemi touches upon many different themes, but his main point is to explore the relationship between this older man and younger woman, which teeters uncomfortably between erotic and paternal. Their two professions, and the lying and manipulating that accompanies them, also come into play. Shooting on video, Buscemi makes remarkable use of the luxurious apartment, juxtaposing wide and close angles depending upon the intimacy of the moment. One great scene has the two players watching dueling television sets; Katya watches herself, while Pierre moans over the inferior political consultant talking about a current Washington scandal. Speaking as a journalist who has interviewed starlets, Interview can be a harrowing experience, but it's a highly skilled, emotionally gripping one.

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