Michael Fassbender gallery above, including a bonus James McAvoy shot
Michael Fassbender, coverboy of the new Details (June/July 2014) and subject of a bromantic piece on his relationship with co-star/pal James McAvoy, relates some advice given him by his frequent director Steve McQueen:
“'We're gonna by gone one day, so why not just let it all hang out? Don't worry about falling on your face, because that's inevitably gonna happen if you're really searching.'”
He also recounts losing consciousness after his character rapes Lupita N'yongo's in a 12 Years a Slave scene:
“It was the rape scene—not a pleasant place—and there was a lot going on within 'Epps,' a lot of conflicting emotions. It was one of those things. For the most part, I don't...get so intense. I wish Steve wouldn't say anything about that.”
Delicious Michael Fassbender graces GQ (November 2013), and tells the perfect story about fame as an aphrodisiac:
"You become a lot more successful in terms of, like, talking to a girl. She's all of a sudden more interested in me. I know that, like, three years ago, she would've walked away after two sentences left my mouth. I remember I was sitting at this table at this thing, and I was talking to this girl. I was like, 'God, I am so boring right now.' But she was like, 'That's so interesting!' I was like, 'You know what? Five years ago, this would not have been interesting.'"
It's been a big week for religion for me, at least on film. I started by seeing Prometheus, the Alien prequel (sorta) by Ridley Scott and starring Noomi Rapace, Charlize Theron and Idris Alba and followed it up with its antithesis, a documentary about the recent traveling production of Terrence McNally's so-called "gay Jesus play" Corpus Christi.
I'm a sucker for space movies and count the original Alien as a favorite, but I am at a loss to explain how the latest installment in the series relates to the others. I'm actually not all that confused regarding the mythology (despite many potential questions or outright black plotholes) so much as confused why the tone of Prometheus is so 2001: A Space Odyssey when the original couple of movies were much more character-driven. The fun of the first Alien was relating to the regular but quirky, flesh-and-blood people who were trapped on that godforsaken ship in the middle of nowhere. In Prometheus, the characters are bloodless, humorless (even when cracking jokes) or, in the case of Charlize Theron's head honchette, a Metropolis Mary so robotic she's suspected of being less human than the ship's resident machine, the eerily effective (and HAL-like) Michael Fassbender. (No, there are no scenes of the actor's legendary penis bursting out of anyone's tummy, but his performance is stunning.)
The basic plot is that two researchers (Rapace and Logan Marshall-Green, scientist lovers with no chemistry) have discovered ancient symbols across all known cultures pointing to a galaxy far, far away where they believe the human race was engineered by another sentient group. A trillionaire with a desire to live forever (Guy Pearce in atrocious old-man makeup, even though he's never shown young in any scenes) funds an expedition to the planet where he hopes mankind can meet its maker, but it's a trip clouded by the conflicting agendas of those on board. The captain (Idris Alba, exceedingly unnatural in a role meant to mirror the sort of flip attitude of Harrison Ford's Han Solo) cares only about his job, some of the crew just came along for the money, the scientists are driven by a need to answer life's greatest questions. And then there is that damned android, who's not supposed to have emotions yet who seems hellbent on ignoring commands and hastening what's bound to be a troubling outcome.
I did like the movie and was consistently interested in where it was going. However, Rapace is no Sigourney Weaver (she barely registers on screen and sports a weird 'do reminiscent of Janet on Three's Company once she grew her hair out) and some of the film's biggest twists are easily guessable early on. In many ways, the film is an atheistic masterpiece. But as a movie, it's only heavenly in stretches, including some truly chilling scenes toward the end and one scene that is a terrific PSA against unsafe sex.
In direct contrast, Corpus Christi: Playing With Redemption, is the type of film that could make even the least spiritual among us have flutters of faith. If not in God, then in the power of a group of people taking on a sore subject not for wealth but for the greater good.
The documentary, directed by Nic Arnzen and James Brandon, touches on the original, tumultuous Off Broadway debut of Terrence McNally's play Corpus Christi, which was targeted by the religious right as sacrilege for presenting the son of God as a gay man, but spends most of its time chronicling Arnzen's recent production of the play. His version casts many women in the otherwise all-male play and has been on the road to places as far-flung as Scotland and as uncomfortably close to home as Texas, which one man of the cloth refers to as "the heart of darkness" in the film.