Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist

March 6, 2015

“Maps to the Stars”; “My Life Directed by Nicolas Winding Refn”

Filed under: Counterpunch,Film — louisproyect @ 8:44 pm

“Maps to the Stars” and “My Life Directed by Nicolas Winding Refn”

Two Movies About Making Movies


Just by coincidence two new films hold up a mirror to the industry that begat them—and the reflection is not very pretty. David Cronenberg’sGrand Guignol satire “Maps to the Stars” is playing now at the IFC Center in NYC and at art houses around the country–his usual venue. Liv Corfixen’s documentary “My Life Directed By Nicolas Winding Refn” opened on February 27th at the Film Society of Lincoln Center and can also be seen on VOD, including Amazon.com. Cofixen is married to Refn, a Danish director who like Cronenberg is famous (infamous?) for making ultraviolent art movies. Both films could be better but if you have the slightest interest in the morbidity of the film industry, as most of my readers do, you’ll want to have a look at them.

The title of “Maps to the Stars” derives from the opening scene when a young and attractive woman named Agatha (Mia Wasikowska) hires a limousine driven by Jerome, who is played by Robert Pattinson. Best known for his performances in the stupefying Twilight Saga series, the young actor has begun acting in Cronenberg features such as this and “Cosmopolis”. It is too soon to tell if he has much more than a pretty face, especially playing Jerome—a pretty face.

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  1. “Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker’s Apocalypse”, about the making of Francis Ford Coppola’s “American Apocalypse”

    Did you mean “Apocalypse Now”?

    Comment by kim — March 6, 2015 @ 10:15 pm

  2. Thanks for the head’s up.

    Comment by louisproyect — March 6, 2015 @ 10:23 pm

  3. I wrote a review of Maps to the Stars.


    Robert Pattison doesn’t have to do much acting. He has a small part where he’s a cold asshole. You can get a sense of him here.

    Mia Wasikowska is pretty good as a sort of scary angry young woman. She’s still a pretty flat actor (kind of Kristen Stewart with more talent). But the fact that she is (as Pattison says) “a little crazy” (meaning a “a little scary”) in American idiomatic English testifies to her ability. She doesn’t look very scary. But she does convey the sense that she might stab you in your sleep if you cross her.

    But it’s really Julianne Moore’s film. I watched it right after I saw Patricia Arquette’s speech at the Oscars. Moore is excellent as a middle-aged woman in Hollywood going to pieces because all the good roles have dried up for women her age. The penultimate scene (where she verbally abuses Wasikowska) is terrifying. Wasikowska’s kind of butch/andronygous and Moore is kind of an explosion of cisgender female toxicity.

    Comment by srogouski — March 8, 2015 @ 4:26 pm

  4. All Pattison really has to do in that scene is pretend Wasikowska grew up watching Twilight and is a bit of a crazed fan.

    I can imagine he’s had to brush off mentally unbalanced young women a number of times in real life.

    Comment by srogouski — March 8, 2015 @ 4:52 pm

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