(Welcome to The Best Movies You’ve Never Seen, a series that takes a look at slightly more obscure, under-the-radar, or simply under-appreciated movies. This week’s column shines a light on films featuring actors whose careers have become equally obscure and forgotten.)
Quentin Tarantino’s 10th film is currently in theaters, and its inexplicable attitude towards Bruce Lee aside, it’s a warm, affectionate, and extremely entertaining Hollywood daydream. It’s an ensemble film, but at its center sits a character named Rick Dalton — an aging actor a few years past his greatest success, still struggling as both a person and an artist. Actors are a fairly common character-type in movies, and Rick belongs in the subset of washed-up has-beens desperately hanging on in pursuit of relevance.
He’s in good company too as Hollywood and its cousins have gifted film fans with numerous gems on the subject. From Sunset Boulevard (1950) to Clouds of Sils Maria (2014), and from Theatre of Blood (1973) to JCVD (2008), it’s a character and a story we never tire of seeing brought to life on the screen. Movie stars are icons beyond our reach, but people struggling in their everyday lives and careers? Why, they’re just like us!
All of the films mentioned above are worth seeing or re-watching, but I’m here to recommend some great examples you probably missed. Keep reading for a look at six great lesser-known movies about washed-up actors.
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This week, Dave Chen, Devindra Hardawar and Adam Quigley chat about the honesty of Universal chief Ron Meyer, praise the wonders of the Jurassic Park Blu-Ray, and critically evaluate A Serbian Film. Special guest writer/actor/producer Paul Scheer joins us for this episode.
You can always e-mail us at slashfilmcast(AT)gmail(DOT)com, or call and leave a voicemail at 781-583-1993. We’ll be reviewing The Immortals next week. Tune in on Sunday night (11/20) at Slashfilm’s live page at 10 PM EST / 7 PM PST as we review Martha Marcy May Marlene.
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The film that could get you in trouble just for showing it, Srdjan Spasojevic‘s A Serbian Film, is actually going to be released in the United States. Invincible Pictures will release an edited version of the ultra-violent, controversial film in select theaters on May 13 and simultaneously release the full, unedited version, online. Read the full release and more about the controversy after the break. Read More »
At last year’s South by Southwest, one of the most talked about films was A Serbian Film. Directed by Srdjan Spasojevic, it’s about a former Serbian porn star who is seduced back into the business but gets in way over his head. From there, the film goes to some of the deepest, darkest places imaginable: pedophilia, necrophilia and worse. It’s sadistic, incredibly offensive and, looked at in a certain light, highly provocative.
Since the premiere at SXSW, A Serbian Film has been labeled unreleasable in many countries and thereby remained on the festival circuit, mostly in late night programs where it has actually garnered some acclaim. However, the October 2010 screening of the film at the Sitges Film Festival in Spain took the controversy over the top. Subsequent to the screening, a Barcelona prosecutor filed a complaint against festival director Angel Sala accusing him of exhibiting child pornography, and the details of the suit are now emerging. Read More »