(Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images)
Even if you’ve never seen a single episode of HBO’s global hit series Game of Thrones, it’s likely you’ve seen some representation of Peter Dinklage‘s fan favorite character Tyrion Lannister celebrated across whatever pop culture media you ingest (Rotten Tomatoes included). The role has made the actor a household name since 2011, even though he’d been working in the industry for two decades by then.
Now that GoT‘s seventh season is over, and its eighth and final season is likely more than a year away, Dinklage has had some time to work on other projects, including this week’s Rememory, a sci-fi mystery about a man who attempts to solve the unexplained death of a scientist who discovered a way to record memories. He took some time out of his busy schedule to offer RT his Five Favorite Films. Read on for the list.
A brilliant film told by not one, but two of the best. Wim Wenders and the late, great Sam Shepard.
War and absurdity as it should be.
My favorite film from the maestro [Federico] Fellini.
What it means to be an actor, amongst other things.
The Marx Brothers fix any gray mood.
(Photo by Andrew Goodman/Getty Images)
Irish actor Colin Farrell is a tough man to pin down artistically (it’s how he keeps our relationship with him fresh). With a career that ranges from big box office popcorn flicks like Minority Report to independent ventures like In Bruges, he exhibits an adventurous spirit that is directly reflected in his choice of favorite films. He next appears in the Harry Potter spinoff Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, alongside Eddie Redmayne and Katherine Waterston. We spoke to Farrell about this Five Favorite Films, which you can find below:
The whole feel of this film was something that woke me up to cinema in a way. Before this film it was very much an Amblin world for me. Lots of Indiana Jones and John Hughes and Willy Wonka (the original) and Van Damme action movies and Richard Pryor comedies like Brewster’s Millions, etc. Then a friend introduced me to Paris, Texas. The aching loneliness and sense of lost love that pervades the film from the arid desolation of the desert landscape to the haunting strings of Ry Cooder’s soundtrack just blew me away. Maybe I was 17 or 18 when I saw it, but it stayed with me, and I go back to it about once a year. It also has one of the most honest portrayals of the loss of love between a couple, and the inherent danger within the nature of obsession. This lost love is broken down for the audience in what, to me, is possibly most quietly powerful monologue ever delivered in any film I’ve seen; when Harry Dean Stanton’s character, Travis, finally sits with the woman he loved and lost, and he recounts their story to her. Travis has to turn the chair around, so he’s facing away from her while he speaks. I assume because it’s too much to look at her while he’s expressing where and how such love disintegrated. Yeah, it’s a beautiful, beautiful film.
Oh man, is there a funnier and more poignant film that captures the anarchic irreverence of that period? It’s just perfect, from start to finish, in my book. Ridiculously quotable with mad, perfect performances across the board. Richard E Grant is pure genius, but everyone in the film gives amazing and hilarious and heartbreaking performances. Again, I think loneliness and isolation, and a desire to belong play big parts in this one. The story is as much a love story between the two leads as anything, with a very sad break-up of sorts taking place at the very end; with Withnail left out in the rain.
This was where I fell in love for the first time. As a boy of maybe nine, or so. Marilyn really nailed my little, tentative heart. Something about her insane beauty, mixed with that self doubt and sensitivity she portrayed, was so effecting. The performances from Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon are hilarious. Again, like most great films, this one has some quotes and moments that just stay in the mind and resonate. It’s a film about love and friendship and second chances, I think. Will never get tired of watching this, as long as I’ve got days on my calendar.
This is just maddeningly brilliant. At once sweeping and epic, and yet searingly personal, thanks to the incredible work of Peter O’Toole. It’s such a long film, which I love, and yet there’s not a moment in it that seems like it’s played too long. Everything from the rich orchestral score, to the extraordinary photography of F.A Young, and David Lean at the peak of his powers make this a timeless film, and one that remains, sadly, as relevant today as when it was shot. It’s about political and financial power and about the subjugation of a people, the fight for freedom and the power of the individual to make a stand against the imperial. All the performances are fantastic, from Sir Alec Guinness to Omar Sharif and on. Again, this feels like a perfect piece of cinema to me.
This one. A nostalgia that will never go away. I went back and forth between this, and BIG with Tom Hanks but I ultimately chose this film for sheer entertainment, and for how outlandish the story is, and just how much fun the whole thing is. I saw it recently again, and it just doesn’t date. Michael J Fox, who I loved already from Family Ties, was the coolest thing on two heels for me. I just wanted to be him. The DeLorean. Doc Brown. Time Travel. A bit of young love. All these things played out with such light. A true classic.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them opens on November 18.
Gael Garcia Bernal may be Mexico’s best known acting export of recent years, having made a powerful debut in Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu‘s Amores perros in 2000. A year later he co-starred with Diego Luna (read his five favourites here) in Alfonso Cuaron‘s Y tu mama tambien. After a busy career which has seen him work with the likes of Pedro Almodovar, Michel Gondry and Fernando Meirelles, he reteams with Luna, and a different Cuaron — Carlos — for Rudo and Cursi.
Of his five favourite films, Bernal had an easier time picking them than his co-star — and curiously they’ve both chosen a Disney classic as their first choice — and told us, “These films are definitely a little glimpse on who I am. I could keep going forever to give the full picture. These reflect not only my life but also the work I do.”
“It was the first film I saw and through it I discovered cinema. Simple as that.”
“It was one of the most intense ways of getting into the adult world and I saw it when I was really young. I couldn’t believe that there were stories that were so close to reality. It felt like that, it felt very real.”
“It’s amazing. It’s a story about a family and the whole human drama is there. It’s fantastic.”
“I think that’s when I discovered that the juxtaposition of images is what cinema is all about.”
“It’s a beautiful, beautiful movie. A philosophical introspection on the nature of revolution and change and deciding to be on one side or the other. And it’s about how the outside world makes you decide how to step on one side or the other. It’s possibly one of the most eye-opening films i can ever recommend to anyone because it gives you a glimpse on an internal struggle.”
Rudo and Cursi is out now in UK cinemas.
RT Obscura, the exclusive column by renowned critic Kim Newman, sees the writer plumbing the depths of the RT archive in search of some forgotten gems. In his 13th column, Kim uncovers a forgotten Brando/Brynner war film.
It isn’t only low-budget, no-star, outside-the-system quickies which languish in obscurity. Sometimes, substantial pictures — through no fault of their own — fall through the cracks. This maritime war movie boasts two of the biggest international stars of its era (Marlon Brando and Yul Brynner) along with obviously healthy production values and a strong suspense/action plot with potent emotional/political content. But it wasn’t a box office success in 1965, is rarely cited in 100 Great War Movies lists dominated by much lesser films, Brando fans (taking a lead from the star’s typically dismissive comments) underrate his performance, and television revivals are rare.
I suspect the major problem was the unresonant, clever-clever title (Morituri is Latin for, “we who are about to die,” the gladiators’ salute) – releasing it in some territories as The Saboteur – Code Name: Morituri didn’t help win more audiences – though it’s also true that war movies with mostly “enemy nation” characters haven’t tended to be hits since the days of All Quiet on the Western Front. However, the fact that you aren’t likely to have seen it as many times as, say, The Guns of Navarone, The Dirty Dozen or Where Eagles Dare (other examples of the Mission: Impossible style of WWII film) means it’s likely to be a fresh, surprising, and indeed shocking viewing experience.
A huge shipment of rubber, destined for the tires of Nazi military vehicles, is to be sent from Japan to occupied France on the German merchant vessel Ingo, which is commanded by honourable Captain Mueller (Brynner), who has a black mark on his record because he was drinking rum while an earlier ship was sunk under him. The rubber is so vital that the Ingo will have a submarine escort and is required to make itself over as a British or Swedish vessel to get through various allied blockades.
And Mueller’s life is complicated by eager, Nazi second officer Kruse (Martin Benrath), who wants his job, and a small group of dissident crewmen who are being shipped back to Europe to face political charges. Robert Crain (Brando), a German marine engineer who has skipped the fatherland and is spending the war luxuriously in India pretending to be Swiss, is blackmailed by a British officer (reliable one-scene man Trevor Howard) into boarding the Ingo, posing as a high-ranking SS officer named Kyle. The first of many twists is that the job of the saboteur is not to sink the ship, but to disable the handily-numbered “scuttling charges” so that it (and the rubber) can be seized intact by the Allies at a pre-arranged point along its course.
To pile on the agony, Crain is so good at posing as an arrogant Nazi swine (a role in which Brando has a great deal of sly fun) that a dissident stoker (Hans-Christian Blech) resolves to murder him at sea and the brown-nosing Kruse keeps trying to get into his good graces. On top of all this, the U-boat (commanded by jolly Nazi Oscar Beregi) sinks an Allied ship and the Ingo has to put up with a group of sullen, grimy American prisoners and Esther Levy (Janet Margolin), a Jewish German refugee who has suffered appallingly in a concentration camp. When Mueller tries to treat the girl respectfully, Kruse acts more and more like a Nazi — the obscure Benrath surprisingly holds his own with bigger-name stars as Kruse segues from comical foil to terrifying menace, a small man puffing up to become a murderous monster (some of his traits prefigure Ralph Fiennes‘ performance in Schindler’s List). With the original plan ruined by a change of course, Crain sets about enlisting any help he can get (the dissidents, the Americans, the girl) only to find that it’s not as easy to stage a heroic mutiny as it is for Kruse to usurp the Captain’s position when he has an alcoholic relapse.
As befits this type of performance-driven drama, everyone gets standout moments: Brynner shines especially in a classic good news/bad news scene as Mueller is proud to learn that his son has won a medal then disgusted to find out the award is for sinking an unarmed hospital ship; Brando and Margolin (who ought to have been a much bigger star) share a quietly devastating scene as he tries to enlist her help by warning her about the Nazis only to be told of her appalling sexual abuse in a concentration camp; and, finally, with the ship stricken, Brando and Brynner get one of those resigned, understated chats which put the whole absurd horror of war in context. Margolin makes something extra-special of the frequently ridiculous role of the lone woman among men in war (in an upsetting turn, which probably did little for the American box office, it turns out that the GI prisoners in the hold are only willing to join Crain’s attempt to take over the ship if Esther sleeps with them all), and a large cast finds room for familiar faces like Wally Cox (usually typecast as funny little men, he gets a straight role as the morphine-addicted ship’s doctor who plays a key role in the mutiny), Martin Kosleck and Ivan Triesault (typecast as Nazis, but here in subtly different ‘kraut’ roles), Eric Braeden (later the German on The Rat Patrol) and even George Takei in a Japanese bit-part.
Though it’s a Hollywood film, the director and source material are German. Bernhard Wicki, who also worked as an actor (he’s in Fassbinder‘s Despair and Wenders‘ Paris, Texas), was a solid professional with a long list of film and TV credits. He came to international notice by directing the “German” segments of The Longest Day, then made two English-language films (the other is The Visit, with Ingrid Bergman and Anthony Quinn).
The script is by American Daniel Taradash, who also worked on Sydney Pollack‘s surreal and rewarding war film Castle Keep, from a novel by Werner Jörg Lüddecke, who seems to have been West Germany’s answer to Alistair MacLean. Among the last big-scale action pictures shot in black and white (war-themed movies held out against colour longer than, say, Westerns), it has luminously terrific widescreen cinematography from Conrad L. Hall, whose career had just taken off after outstanding work on television’s The Outer Limits; Hall got his first Oscar nomination (he would win three times) for this credit. He manages equally well by the noirish, sweaty lower decks and fogbound seascapes, and lights faces in especially masterly fashion — whenever anyone has a great line or look, it fairly springs out of the frame. You also get an impressive Jerry Goldsmith score.
It has plenty of thought-provoking content, with a hero who goes through the old Casablanca arc by transforming from selfish but resourceful cynic to committed anti-Nazi. But contemporary fans will also take delight in seeing a sleek, pre-flab Marlon Brando exhibiting catlike grace in a tight sweater as he does a Bruce Willis-in-Die Hard act, dodging enemies while running multiple confidence tricks on everyone aboard, cramming himself into literal tight spots to disable all those bombs (it’d make a great computer game) and running, thumping and dangling through all manner of perils. According to the JoBlo.com boys, we now have a new title and a small plot synopsis for next summer’s "Fantastic Four" sequel. As always, we take uncomfirmed reports with a grain of salt, but if and when more info becomes available, well, we’ll share that, too. JB says the sequel’s title will be "Fantastic Four and the Silver Surfer," which seems like kind of a mouthful, but I guess it’s descriptive enough. As far as plot synopsis goes, here’s what we’re told: "Marvel’s first family of superheroes, The Fantastic Four, meets their greatest challenge yet in FANTASTIC FOUR AND THE SILVER SURFER as the enigmatic, intergalactic herald, The Silver Surfer, comes to Earth to prepare it for destruction. As the Silver Surfer races around the globe wreaking havoc, Reed, Sue, Johnny and Ben must unravel the mystery of the Silver Surfer and confront the surprising return of their mortal enemy, Dr. Doom, before all hope is lost." Sounds good to me. Returning for the "Fantastic Four" sequel are stars Ioan Gruffudd, Jessica Alba, Michael Chiklis, Chris Evans, and director Tim Story. The screenplay comes from "My Super Ex-Girlfriend" scribe Don Payne.
According to the JoBlo.com boys, we now have a new title and a small plot synopsis for next summer’s "Fantastic Four" sequel. As always, we take uncomfirmed reports with a grain of salt, but if and when more info becomes available, well, we’ll share that, too.
JB says the sequel’s title will be "Fantastic Four and the Silver Surfer," which seems like kind of a mouthful, but I guess it’s descriptive enough.
As far as plot synopsis goes, here’s what we’re told: "Marvel’s first family of superheroes, The Fantastic Four, meets their greatest challenge yet in FANTASTIC FOUR AND THE SILVER SURFER as the enigmatic, intergalactic herald, The Silver Surfer, comes to Earth to prepare it for destruction. As the Silver Surfer races around the globe wreaking havoc, Reed, Sue, Johnny and Ben must unravel the mystery of the Silver Surfer and confront the surprising return of their mortal enemy, Dr. Doom, before all hope is lost."
Sounds good to me.
Returning for the "Fantastic Four" sequel are stars Ioan Gruffudd, Jessica Alba, Michael Chiklis, Chris Evans, and director Tim Story. The screenplay comes from "My Super Ex-Girlfriend" scribe Don Payne.