Sunday, October 3, 2010


In classic Orson Welles style, The International opens with a murder; we have no idea how or why but we are drawn into this rainy Berlin movie opening. So begins a movie that is so breath-takingly unconcerned with commercial potential that the casual viewer unconcerned with cinema-art, but rather two hours of movie cliche to sleep to or brainless explosions may be puzzled at first. But there is more - the leading man, Clive Owen is simply a dirty, bloody dissheveled mess; Naomi Watts is no shrinking violet who should be Owen's love interest, but in the end, simply disappears. Essentially the primary antagonist, an international banking concern is so all-powerful they seem to know everything; greed and corruption and world-wide conflict and arms sales are the rules of the corporation. Armin Mueller-Stahl, a bank operative, sums up the film's idea fixe, " you know the difference between truth and fiction?...fiction has to make sense."

In a homage the Orson Welles' "The Lady from Shanghai" there is a shoot-out at the Guggenheim Museum during a video installation utilizing mirrored glass that contemporizes the famous gun-play in the circus house of mirrors at that film's end. Beautifully shot and edited, The International is an uncompromising film that is artful and entertaining reflecting the director's knowing art-making practices.

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