Posted tagged ‘mickey rourke’

The Ram’s gearing up for his biggest match yet…the Oscars

January 20, 2009

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Allow us a blast from the past for a moment: The Wrestler closed the 46th annual New York Film Festival last October, but it’s generating a lot of Oscar buzz. And if you’re checking it out in theaters now, you may enjoy some of our past coverage:

Read NYFF festival correspondent Tom Treanor’s review.

Watch one of FilmCatcher’s excellent video interviews, this one with Darren Arronofsky.

Heck, checkout New York Mag’s hilarious “Ten Things You Need to Know About The Wrestler”

See all of our Wrestler coverage

The Ram is back! Learn all about the making of Darren Aronofsky’s The Wrestler

November 28, 2008


Mickey Rourke in The Wrestler

In a rare treat that would make an extra-special pre-holiday present for the cinema loving/hair metal-listening/professional wrestling fan in your life, the Film Society screens Darren Aronofsky’s The Wrestler with a whole host of key behind-the scenes contributers on deck to talk about the making of the buzz-worthy film.

On Tuesday, December 9 at 7 join producer Scott Franklin, cinematographer Maryse Alberti and editor Andrew Weisblum as they discuss the peculiar challenges of their own spin on the underdog-sports-hero-makes-good story. Buy tickets

PLUS, check out our archives for exclusive coverage on the Wrestler:

Read NYFF festival correspondent Tom Treanor’s review.

Watch one of FilmCatcher’s excellent video interviews, this one with Darren Arronofsky.

Heck, checkout New York Mag’s hilarious “Ten Things You Need to Know About The Wrestler”

Getting the sense that we are just a tad excited about this event? Check out everything the filmlinc blog has written about the Wrestler. We’ll see you front row center.

Snapshots: Mickey Rourke, Evan Rachel Wood and Darren Aronofsky

October 14, 2008

New York Film Festival Snapshots sponsored by:

Mickey Rourke, Evan Rachel Wood and Darren Aronofsky at the closing night party for the Wrestler

Photo: Godlis

NYFF Closing Night: The Wrestler brings the camera to the arena

October 10, 2008

Mickey Rourke in The Wrestler
Mickey Rourke in The Wrestler

Darren Aronofsky, director of the virtuoso Requiem for a Dream (2000) and last behind the camera for The Fountain (2006), is striking at new ground with The Wrestler, a film of surprising compassion about the small-town circuit of professional wrestling. Aronofsky himself mentioned at the NYFF press screening that he’s always been curious why there were so many boxing films as an American oeuvre, but none that tackle the sensation of professional wrestling. With this film, he does it graceful justice.

Ahead of the camera is a sublime, anchoring performance by Mickey Rourke as Randy “The Ram” Robinson, a man well past his heyday from the sold-out crowds of his professional wrestling career in the mid-1980s. His very vitality, however, still lies with wrestling; it’s his only source of income, all he knows how to do, all he loves to do, and he moves up and down the mid-Atlantic through towns like Rahway, New Jersey and Wilmington, Delaware to do it. He’s well-respected among his fellow wrestlers, though it’s clear that he’s approaching the eclipse of his career. Playing to smaller arenas and various perversions of the standard WWF glam of the 80s (including one match involving stapleguns and barbed wire), The Ram is running out of gas, finally collapsing of a heart attack after a particularly brutal match.

This heart attack is the pivot of the film; The Ram, more aware of his mortality than ever, is adrift with a job behind the deli counter at a Central Jersey supermarket. He tries to reach out to his estranged young adult daughter (Evan Rachel Wood), though he isn’t sure of his own intentions. He tries to forge a deeper relationship with Cassidy (Marisa Tomei), a simpatico stripper he’s known over the years; it’s perhaps with her that he is able to grapple with hope with respect to What Comes Next in his life, and a scene where the two share a mid-afternoon beer at a dive bar is both tender and unflinching in its honesty.

The screenplay by Robert D. Siegel is a fascinating deconstruction of two people whose lives are critically connected to their jobs; both are past the prime their profession requires, and this fact alone is an inevitable threat to their respective occupations as professional entertainers. Tomei’s Cassidy serves as an effective foil to Rourke, playing both parallel and counterpoint to The Ram and thereby provides a satisfying depth of context to the film. Rightful praise is being showered upon Rourke; his performance is effortless and careful not to drift toward the sentimental. Tomei (who likely can boast more shirtless screentime than many other over-40 Oscar-winning actresses) is always a welcome presence onscreen, though this role doesn’t grant her the access to the break-out intensity of some of her past work.

Much of the pleasure of Aronofsky’s work is in his sincerity to the material. Reaching out to the professional wrestling community, Aronofsky casted only professionals as the wrestlers in his film. He’s careful to not mock his characters despite their flirtations with destitution. This ode to a fictional wrestler at the pinnacle of his life is captivating and never rings false; Aronofsky is consistently proving himself to be one of his generation’s most gifted and earnest filmmakers.

The Wrestler closes the New York Film Festival this Sunday night.

See the filmlinc blog’s complete coverage of the Wrestler

Weekend guide: it ain’t over ’til Mickey Rourke has ’em pinned to the mat

October 9, 2008

The film festival may close this Sunday with a body slammin’ “Ram Jam” in Darren Aronofsky’s paean to professional wrestling, hair metal, and Mickey Rouke. But before then, there’s plenty for festival-goers to take in:

Close to the bone: Sometimes horror doesn’t involve things that go bump in the night. Master of J-horror Kiyoshi Kurosawa delivers a chiller that hits close to home with Tokyo Sonata, the story of a recently-laid-off salaryman who hides his predicament from his family. (Thursday and Saturday)

A date with a master: The New York Film Festival offers unique opportunities to hear directors talk about their craft. This Saturday, watch Arnaud Desplechin’s Catherine Deneuve-starrer A Christmas Tale, then listen to the celebrated director talk about his craft in an HBO Director’s Dialogues.

Make benefit glorious nation of Kazakhstan: No, Borat isn’t back. Instead, two fine films showcase the flourishing of cinema in an emerging region, according to FilmCatcher’s Damon Smith. This Saturday, travel halfway across the globe, and see the world with new eyes, through Tulpan and Chouga.

Oshima Triple Threat: Soak in three of the director’s finest films on Sunday.

It’s Hard Being Loved By Jerks: This thought-provoking French doc unravels the controversy around the publication, in a satirical weekly, of a number of cartoons poking fun at Islam. A panel of experts help unpack the film’s findings after the screening, making this Sunday afternoon event a post-brunch no-brainer.

The blog continues: The festival may be winding down, but we’ll continue to use this blog to give you sneak peeks at our programming, exclusive video content, special giveaways and much more! Coming next week: Film Comment magazine brings your the chance to win one-of-a-kind Wong Kar-Wai goodies in a competition judged by the master himself!

Darren Aronofsky on his love of wrestling, Mickey Rourke…and Axl Rose?

October 9, 2008

From the folks from Filmcatcher, an interview in which Darren Aronofsky holds forth on the powerful collaborations that made The Wrestler possible, including working with Mickey Rouke and the Boss.

The Wrestler closes the 46th annual New York Film Festival on Sunday.

Snapshots: Mickey Rourke, Darren Aronofsy, Marisa Tomei

October 5, 2008

New York Film Festival Snapshots sponsored by:

Mickey Rourke, Darren Aronofsy and Marisa Tomei of The Wrestler

Photo: Godlis