Monday, August 3, 2009

American Sweetheart

As a lover of film, I often watch in amazement as an actor embodies their character wholeheartedly. When this happens, it's almost as if I forget I'm watching a film - the actor disappears and all that is left is a parallel world, untouchable, but real if only for a few hours. These actors transform themselves both physically and emotionally, hoping to convince us that they have become someone else. Roles that immediately come to mind are Marion Cotillard as Edith Piaf, Heath Ledger as the Joker, and Christian Bale as Patrick Bateman. Although Bale didn't have to starve himself for the role of Bateman (unlike his recent role preparations) he still managed to bring Bret Easton Ellis' character to life for the screen adaptation of American Psycho. Ellis is one of my favorite authors, and although the film deviates slightly from the book, most people agree that it succeeds in capturing all of the novel's horror.

The art of acting is a fierce creature, always evolving. The next logical step is actors who recontextualize silver screen characters, along with those who played them. Queue up-and-coming thespian Miles Fisher. Fisher takes on Bale's Bateman with the kind enthusiasm and accuracy usually reserved for theater. Check out his interpretation of American Psycho, set to a cover of my favorite Talking Heads track. (Note: The video includes simulated nudity, and other Bateman weirdness so it's probably NSFW).

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