Saturday, February 18, 2012

Actor of the Year: Michael Fassbender

It takes balls of steel to boldly go where few actors have gone before. We take our hats off to Tom Hardy, Ewan McGregor and Vincent Gallo. With Hunger (2008) and Shame (2011), Irish-German actor Michael Fassbender joins this elite circle of luminaries—bold actors who's never squeamish when it comes to flaunting their lightsabers. 

"The idea of male frontal nudity baffles me: Women can parade around naked, but the guy conveniently has his pants on. I remember my mom saying, 'It's always the women who are naked.' So this [one's] for you, Mom!"

He went the whole nine yards twice. Luckily, they paid off. Critics gave him best actor awards for Hunger (British Independent Film Awards, Stockholm Film Festival) and Shame (Venice Film Festival, Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards).

Although Hunger established Fassbender as a major talent in the UK, it was Jane EyreX-Men: First ClassA Dangerous Method and Shame — all released in 2011 — which jumpstarted his acting career. It seems every major director, from David Cronenberg to Steven Soderbergh, wants a piece of Fassbender. In the works is Ridley Scott's Prometheus with Charlize Theron and Guy Pearce, followed by Steve McQueen's Twelve Years a Slave with Brad Pitt. No word yet if he'll walk around in his birthday suit in any of these movies—not that his mother would mind (God bless her).

Photograph by Sebastian Kim from the February 2012 issue of Interview

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Essential Movie Posters: 2011

Its metallic blue-gray tint, in-your-face tagline, and dark, sinister silhouette all add up to a progressive, riveting marketing tool. For all its perfection, it falls short of originality. We've seen it before (check out the Social Network's glum movie poster). There's no bigger turn-off than a rip-off, but if it's light years better than original, that's a different story.

Scottish actor Gerard Butler is a low-life drug dealer (Sam Childers) who, through the grace of God, finds himself a changed man. A solid gray cross frames Sam, emphasizing the influence of religion in his life and the Sudanese society he finds himself embroiled in. Strife and faith rarely make good bedfellows, but in this particular case, they're a match made in heaven.

It's one of the more unconventional movie posters of 2011, taking "quirky" to a whole new level. By using a jigsaw puzzle as its canvass, it gives us something to think about. Is Septien a documentary about graffiti? A film about drug abuse? A short on unruly juveniles? 

Its hard not to love this poster. Its raw, organized chaos defies logic and convention.  

It has no tagline. No discernible pattern. No clue whatsoever. It's green. It's huge. It's an impenetrable cipher. It's like staring at a blank wall—the only difference is, this one's actually pretty. You'll never guess what you're missing unless, of course, you watch the trailer. 

Making the Boys is a 90-minute documentary on The Boys in the Band, the world's first gay-themed play which eventually was made into a movie in 1970. The poster makes clever use of the vibrant, jolly colors gay pride has been associated with. Each color is represented by an outstretched arm with the hand and fingers reaching upwards. The vivid colors provide an endearing contrast to the black, stolid background, downplaying what we already know—life without the gay community is a, dry, sordid affair.

The poster magnifies the mystery lurking in the German film, Sleeping Sickness. We see a man with his back turned against us. Who is this person? A doctor? A civilian? It's hard to tell with the dense, impenetrable vegetation looming in the background. 

The poster provides a nice contrast between man and the environment. We may think otherwise, but in the ultimate scheme of things, we know who always has the last say.