Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Confessions of a Dangerous Mind (2002)

Confessions of a Dangerous Mind is based on a Charlie Kaufman screen play, so you know it’s going to be freaky. And indeed it is. Charlie Kaufman is known for oddball screenplays like Being John Malkovich, Synecdoche, New York, Adaptation, and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Not only does Confessions of a Dangerous Mind have the weirdness of Charlie Kaufman but also depicts the life of the ultra weirdo Chuck Barris of The Gong Show fame. The movie, based on Chuck Barris’ autobiography, tries to convince us that Barris, in addition to creating a host of mod game shows (The Dating Game, The Newlywed Game, and the Gong Show etc.), is also a CIA agent and George Clooney (also the director of this movie) plays his bullying contact who forces him into being a gun for hire. Wikipedia says that it was never proven that Barris was a CIA agent, so who knows what to think about that. What’s also weird about this movie: strange camera angles, bizarre lighting, surreal colors, and cuts back and forth in time. Though highly stylized it’s really funny at the same time, partly because of Barris’ reaction to events and also from some star’s cameos like Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, George Clooney, Julia Roberts (*take note of bizarre kissing scene) and a don’t miss hilarious drill sergeant played by Robert John Burke. All in all, I am glad that I got a chance to see this movie which was not on my radar. Thanks Michelle for tuning me into this movie.

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