Monday, October 5, 2009

Surviving Helena

Going way off the reservation when I reveal I was watching the second season of Flight of the Conchords the other night and saw the episode in which Art Garfunkel makes a cameo. Laughed pretty hard, yet not as hard as one of the only other times I recall seeing Garfunkel in a film, (outside of Catch 22). The unintentionally funny Boxing Helena also starred Julian Sands, Sherilyn Fenn - that chick who wore the awesomely tight sweaters in Twin Peaks - and Bill Paxton. Me thinks it was the movie that Kim Basinger was sued for breach of contract for leaving and gladly paid $$$ to get out of. At its core was a decent idea for a scary movie, but the end product was, well I hope it wasn't what anybody was going for. The director, Jennifer Lynch, (daughter of David) spent the last fifteen years or so in hollywood purgatory for that one and re-emerged recently and quietly with a hell of a sick picture called Surveillance. So glad she got the chance to make another flick. Reminded me of the gratitude for second chances I felt after seeing Richard Shepard's bounce back effort, The Matador after his flop The Linguini Incident sent him to development no man's land. The cast of Surveillance got new leases on their careers, (in my eyes), too. I've never seen Bill Pullman so good, so creepy and nervy and jittery. Even though I love some of his pictures - The Last Seduction, Lost Highway, he's not been the strong link. And Julia Ormond had one memorable performance before this, the detached detective in Smilla's Sense of Snow after spending her earliest exposure as the woman coming between men, (Legends of the Fall, First Knight, Sabrina). French Stewart shakes free his 3rd Rock persona as a bored cop abusing travelers on his beat, (think a far more sadistic version of Super Troopers) and Cheri Oteri makes a solid go in a dramatic role. As Lynch recalls in one of the special features ...the phone rang and I picked it up and heard "You are the sickest bitch I know" and I said, "Dad?"... So, yeah. Second chances and reinventions. Good for them. Now for a Garfunkel image makeover.


Paul D Brazill said...

Garfunkle is great in Nick Roeg's 'Bad Timing' which is on of my fave films and a masterclass in fucked up relationships.
I thought Boxing helena was alright, mind you.

Scott Phillips said...

Garfunkel is pretty awesome in "Bad Timing."