Wow, who was it who just said that separating the artist from the art is essential? Gotta love the timing on this one.
Well, I still believe in that statement, but let's be honest - it's not easy. It's not easy at all to appraise the work of a creative person who says or does things that are reprehensible to you, and I have my blind spots that I probably should work at overcoming. That said, I still believe it's the work that matters in the end. Why? Because as creative people, we like to believe that our work will outlive us. Even if the artist is forgotten, the work - if it's good enough - can have a life of its own and can influence future generations. And that's the most we can hope for in this life.
What do we know about The Beaver? The screenplay by Kyle Killen topped the 2008 "Black List" of unproduced screenplays, meaning it was highly sought after. Both Steve Carell and Jim Carrey were attached to the film before Mel Gibson came on board. Insiders on the film tried to stir up some Oscar buzz for Gibson on the belief that The Beaver might be released late this year. And perhaps most notably, director and co-star Jodie Foster, a long-time friend of Gibson's, continues to stand by him.
The trailer itself is intriguing in terms of not only Gibson's performance, but the art-imitating-life factor (especially when Foster's character says "I will continue to fight for you"). It looks like it might have a substantial element of sap running through it as well, though from what I've read from those who have read the screenplay, that's not the case.
Right now, my feeling is that I think I may give it a shot, though more on the basis of Foster's reputation and the much-buzzed-about screenplay than Gibson himself. I think Foster's continued support of Gibson is remarkable and should not be minimized; indeed, I think it's her presence that could mean the difference in how well The Beaver does. I'd be very interested in hearing what other people think about this.
The Beaver (trailer)
- Danny Boyle says Trainspotting 2: Electric Boogaloo is only a matter of time. (Cinematical)
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- Speaking of The King's Speech, has a whispering campaign against it already begun? (Scott Feinberg)
- It's hard out here for a black director. (NPR)
- The facts and the fiction behind Peter Weir's new film The Way Back. (BBC)
- How the MPAA regards the sex in Blue Valentine versus the sex in Black Swan. (LATimes)
- Leonard Maltin talks about the Disney/Dali collaboration Destino. (Movie Crazy)