frisoli, er, ribisi

the 2003 i love your work is nothing special. it is apparently this guy’s adam goldberg’s life work — he wrote it, directed it, produced it, edited it, wrote the score for it, he did everything but star in it. evidently adam had something to get off his chest, a certain, bleak, obsessive view of hollywood and celebrity. i seem to have noticed before that it is not rare for first-time directors to do films about hollywood. is it true? in any case, you have a sense with this guy that he’s working out some personal issues about hollywood. the film is original and watchable enough: it’s edited well, the colors are very good, the real and unreal sequence blend nicely. yet it took us three days to watch it. make of it what you will.

i didn’t want to talk much about the film, as about giovanni ribisi, who i find a sweetly charismatic actor. he’s really good in this. he plays a celebrity who goes nuts — literally. he can’t take it any more. surprisingly, there’s few to no drugs in this movie, so ribisi has to do all the going-nuts work inside. it has to seep out of his eyes and his gestures and the way he cocks his head. i think he’s very effective. his face is incredibly mobile and he can go from scary-looking to childish and sweet very convincingly. i never noticed him much, not even when he starred in the mediocre heaven, but here he comes into his own and shines.

22 thoughts on “frisoli, er, ribisi”

  1. i like ribisi a lot. other films in which he does good work include boiler room (in which he stars) and the gift (which also features a crackerjack performance from keanu reeves).

  2. crazy thing is, i’ve posted photos before, and, yet, now i don’t remember a-tall how to do it. i have this picture of frisoli that will close this discussion once and for all. anybody give me a refresher on picture posting?

  3. michael, how’s the reading of streets of crocodiles going? i’d really like to know what you are thinking of it and, especially, why you were so interested in it in the first place.

  4. For Gio (thanks to Mauer): Basic image source code tag is as follows:

    img SRC=”” width=450

    Be sure to put those brackets around the line of code and the image will magically show up. They’re the things above the comma and period.

    I included the width=450 b/c it was a large image, and that keeps it from being too big for the page. If it’s a smaller image, you can ignore that part.

    QUESTION: when you put the brackets around the line of code, do you need to put the forward slash after the second one? So, at the end of your line, would you put the bracket, then the forward slash, then ??? then the final bracket? Does this mean anything to anyone???

  5. thanks, jeff. they are called pointy or angled brackets. no, i don’t think you wanna put anything after the >. what’s driving me crazy is that i’ve done it before, but the knowledge memory of it is gone gone gone. where did it go? do the place where spare socks go?

  6. bullshit is a good sentiment for grad school. but I’m afraid i can’t share his scientology. Gio–as for Street, I am halfway through and finding my reaction mixed. I should finish in a day or two and post something substantive at the book blog–right now my “understanding” is not so good.

  7. i don’t know why he looks so pleased. he flunked it.
    PS all my problems with picture posting have to do with the fact that imdb doesn’t let you copy pictures. this is what i had forgotten from last time. i am happy i found the sock.
    re: clubland: am i the only one who watched white? i don’t have a problem with that — i’m not going to take it personally or anything — but it would be nice to hear other opinions… just wondering.
    PS 2 isn’t ribisi just gorgeous? look at the leather jacket. so darn sexy.

  8. Gio – I plan to watch White later this week. It’s a good choice – the oddest of Kieslowski’s Three Colors. I’m looking forward to seeing it again

  9. Gio-
    I plan to watch White when I get back, early this weekend–I too look forward to it. But I’ll be a few days…

    As to Ribisi, I especially enjoy his impersonation of Senor Wences.

  10. ees all right? eees all right!

    gio–i will watch white when it gets here from netflix probably in the next couple of days. i’ll try not to take it personally that it seems nobody had any interest in responding to my black narcissus post—is that film now a dead issue?

  11. Gio, I too will get to White after the holiday (and as soon as the household settles down a bit after the arrival of my wife’s eighteen-year-old brother, who just finished his A-level exams and has crossed the pond to forget his worries for a while).

  12. michael, no, it’s just that it’s the final stages of the world cup, if that means anything to you.

    jeff, i suggest vaste amounts of guinness. it never fails to entertain a young lad. chinese food first, with plenty of soy sauce.

  13. I’ve yet to see Ribisi in anything I’ve liked, except Shot in the Heart, a really fine adaptation of Mikal Gilmore’s excellent book about his brother, who was the killer Gary Gilmore. It was directed by Agnieszka Holland and also stars Elias Koteas and Sam Shepard. I’ve not seen The Gift though, and I have heard that’s good. Oh – and i’ve not seen Heaven, which was written by Kieslowski and has Cate Blanchett. Anyone seen that one?

  14. I liked Heaven; it was low-key but impressive, propelled largely by Ribisi and Cate Blanchett. Great closing shots, some glorious images throughout. (I think Tom Tykwer is a very fine director.)

    I am I gather more alone in disliking–as tedious, unspooky, silly–The Gift.

    I kind of liked him in SubUrbia and thought he was the best thing about Saving Private Ryan. In many of his films he can come off a bit extravagantly intense, in Ryan he seemed reserved and soft-spoken, and had this marvelous small “rage” about the way his troopmembers were joking with dogtags.

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