Friday, 9 January 2009

Esquire (February 2009) now on stands: includes former junior senator from Illinois + Mickey Rourke

This would be Esquire's inauguration issue then. The inimitable Andrew O'Hagan writes about Obama therein. Elsewhere, the excellent Miranda Collinge interviews Michael Sheen. My contribution is a short consideration of The Wrestler, now in UK cinemas. The bits that are taken for pull-out quotes in these cases are usually a wager on what is the reader's likely interest. In this particular case:
"In The Wrestler’s first reel Aronofsky keeps his camera on The Ram’s shoulder, as if the film were hard-edged docu-drama. But in fact he’s just shooting his star, teasing us before revealing Rourke’s face – the complexion tandooried and tenderised, the lips like waxen fruit."
Call me hypocrite, lecteur, but I go on to say that I do wish people could stop writing about the tragic case of this actor's former handsomeness - it's a little bit unseemly - but then The Wrestler makes this impossible: the movie is just such a big untrammelled load of Rourke.
For the sake of full disclosure I should admit that back in late 1986, while Rourke was rumoured to be in Belfast researching an accent for a movie role with the help of the playwright Martin Lynch, I undertook a most unwise night of underage drinking in some unsuitable pubs he was (no doubt wrongly) rumoured to be frequenting. Why? Well, no doubt the touching hope of bumping into him and striking up an instant rapport. I lost it at the movies, indeed...
Currently one notes that Rourke is really putting himself out there for the awards season, and much is getting written about his Early Life and Later Lost Years, including an interview piece in the New York Times by Pat Jordan about which, one supposes, the subject may have mixed feelings.

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