SUNY Purchase '05
"I don't compromise my values and I don't compromise my work. I won't give in." -Michael Moore
Review By: Rocco Passafuime
In 2004, Dutch filmmaker Theo Van Gogh was tragically assassinated by a jihadist after having been publicly a longtime critic of the Islamic religion. However, an ambition of his that had gone unrealized was his desire to make Americanized versions of some of his films.
So the people behind many of Van Gogh's films openly sought out filmmakers who would be interested in Americanizing films. One of them who accepted the opportunity was actor and director Steve Buscemi, who is the first out of the gate with an Americanized take on Van Gogh's work with Interview, now available on DVD.
Pierre Peders (Steve Buscemi) is a former war correspondent who now does interviews with celebrities, a gig he makes no secret of disliking. His latest subject is a wild, relatively small-time actress named Katya (Sienna Miller).
As they begin their interview in a restaurant, they immediately lack little common ground and it falls apart relatively quickly. When Pierre leaves in a taxi, Katya distracts the driver, causing a car accident and Pierre to hit his head.
Ultimately, she invites Pierre back into Katya's loft as he attempts once again to resume the interview. However, the interview turns intense for both of them as they end up learning a lot about the other than they ever could have ever intended.
While the idea of making a film literally only a small handful of actors in even fewer locations is interesting to say the least, Interview unfortunately ends up being fairly lacking. While both Buscemi and Miller deliver fantastic performances, their characters are ultimately too self-indulgent in their foibles to really fully resonate with the viewer, which adds to the limited plot wearing thin by the final third of the film.
The DVD's picture quality is in the 1:85:1 anamorphic widescreen aspect ratio with the sound quality in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround. The DVD also comes packed with plenty of special features.
The first feature is audio commentary with director/co-writer/actor Steve Buscemi, which is fairly informative. Rounding out the special features are two featurettes that contain interviews with the cast and crew.
"Interview: Behind-The-Scenes"Â features behind-the-scenes and rehearsal footage and discusses how the film was conceived and produced. "Triple Theo, Take One"Â discusses how Interview was intended to be one of three Van Gogh films to be Americanized and features Dutch actress Katja Schuurman, who played Katya in the Dutch original and has a tiny cameo in the American adaptation.
All in all, Interview is fairly interesting as an example of a more intimate and simpler style of filmmaking. However, while it has great performances from its star actors, the film's deeply dysfunctional characters ultimately leaves this film with little for the viewer in a film that is already fairly limited in its plot.
Movie Grade: B-
DVD Features Grade: B-
Overall Grade: B-