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Igby Goes Down in our magazines

THE MOVIE: Igby Goes Down

Kieran Culkin • Susan Sarandon • Ryan Phillippe •
Claire Danes • Jeff Goldblum
DIRECTOR: Burr Steers

Kieran Culkin and Jeff Goldblum THE CONCEPT:
Angry, rebellious and sarcastic 17-year-old Igby Slocumb (Kieran Culkin), was born into a world of money and privilege. He goes on a quest to free himself from his dysfunctional family and find out what he truly wants in his life.

U.S. RELEASE: September 13 2002, limited • Rated: R


"Igby Goes Down is a movie about things seeming very attractive, pretty and affluent on the surface. Then underneath the surface you have turmoil. It’s about being young and trying to find yourself, and feeling like an anomaly in the cloistered, suffocating world you’ve been brought into. It’s about rebelling against people who are trying to force you to conform.”

SUSAN SARANDON (Mimi Slocumb) on working with Burr, a first time director:
“My feeling is when you have the opportunity to work with someone who has a vision, who feels passionately about whatever their project it, whatever their learning curve is, I’d rather put my money on that experience rather than on a director who is counting the minutes before he goes to dinner. This movie was made on a shoestring. But I’m a believer in shooting fast. I think you get self-indulgent and self-conscious when you have six months to make a film and enough money to buy a small republic.”

“Igby has such a great voice. I also feel he’s like me in some ways. I never went through a lot of his life experiences, but often the way he speaks or the smartass remarks he makes are on par with things I’m thinking.”

“It’s so much fun to play a bad person. It’s so much more fun not to be burdened by sincerity. This woman is self-centered, cold and drugged up, but she has a wicked sense of humor about her. It’s pretty autobiographical; it’s Burr’s mother.”

“That’s going to do wonders for my family! My mother is fine with the character. There are similarities, but Mimi is more of an archetype.”

CLAIRE DANES (Sookie Sapperstein):
“Burr wrote a beautiful script. I thought it was clever and witty and really coherent. I loved Igby. And Sookie’s fun. She’s a pretentious college student, and I’ve been hanging out with college students for a few years now. I thought that it might be good fodder for satire. Sookie’s confused, but she’s a good person. She doesn’t have much focus. She’s surprisingly sincere, although she’s not centered. She befriends Igby, who’s also rudderless, and they get up to no good together.”

“I was pretty good working with the actors because I have a background in acting. Casting Jeff Goldblum was a great safety net for me, because he’d been my acting teacher when I was 20 years old. Jeff sets the tone for me. He keeps everything in the moment, alive and funny.”

“I teach acting at the Playhouse West in North Hollywood. Burr was in one of my first classes several years ago. I hadn’t been in touch with him, but was delighted when he called and asked me to read the script. I was so proud, touched and thrilled to work with him.”

RYAN PHILLIPPE (Oliver Slocumb):
“Oliver is very dark and superficial, but he’s also aware of that fact. He looks down on society the same way Igby does, but he tries to use it to his advantage. He rebels against rebelling. He wants tons of money; that’s what he’s driven by. I’m not sure that’s going to lead him to a positive place, but it reflects the environment he grew up in. It definitely made him cold and unattached.”

“Every action is political, and every film tells you something. This film is about breaking out and breaking away from your family; it’s about choosing to start at square one without anything, which means you’re free. It’s incredibly positive in that sense."

Written by Judy Sloane. Back to top

Visit the official Igby Goes Down site
Images above © UA
Feature © 2002 Visual Imagination.
Not for reproduction.

Film Review, #623, October 2002 cover

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