December 3, 2004

An Ethan Hawke For The 21st Century

Last night as a part of the Reel Pieces series at the 92nd Street Y, Cinecultist and Josh Cultivated Stupidity took in a screening of Gattaca (1997) before a discussion with the film's star, Ethan Hawke. It's sort of a relief when a pre-teen crushes of ours continues to be a credit to CC's interest in him. Hawke's a well-spoken and thoughtful interview subject, with the right awount of wry self-mockery and sincere, serious interest in the "craft" of acting.

CC enjoyed his release from this year, Before Sunset, quite a bit but we left it feeling a bit like a Jewish mother towards poor, gaunt Ethan. Someone needed to be force feeding that boy baked potatoes on the set, he was just far too thin. We were worried. However, last night he appeared to be in fine form, full of banter and also filling out in a reasonable way his brown corodoray suit thing. Welcome back from the precipice, E. It's feel comfortable to offer the guy nicknames because his on stage comfort with the moderator Annette Insdorf. She was well prepared and able to cover the breadth of Hawke's filmography from Explorers to Tape to even his theater work.

Watching Gattaca again after all of these years, it really did hold up surprisingly. The performances are all quite nice and the visual style, of sci-fi futuristic America combined with a '50s modernist aesthetic really works. If you're not totally sick of Jude Law this season (6 features!), it's worth a rental for his performance as the crippled Valid alone. As Ethan pointed out in the interview, the boy is gorgeous. We can understand how that was his initial impression of him as he walked into the casting office to read.

Getting back to Ethan, we're excited to see him take the stage in Hurly Burly later this year (he mentioned being in the process of memorizing lines) but we still think we'll avoid the remake of Assault on Precinct 13. Doing these more commercial projects might allow him to continue to do the small things too, but that doesn't mean we have to go see them in the theaters when they look that dreadful.

Posted by karen at December 3, 2004 8:34 AM