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Beowulf in our magazines

THE MOVIE: Beowulf

Ray Winstone • Anthony Hopkins • John Malkovich • Angelina Jolie • Crispin Glover
DIRECTOR: Robert Zemeckis

Beowulf poster artwork THE CONCEPT:
Through digitally-enhanced live-action, the movie tells the oldest tale in the English language. After destroying the demon Grendel (Glover), the warrior Beowulf (Winstone), incurs the wrath of the beasts ruthlessly seductive mother (Jolie) who vows revenge

U.S. RELEASE: November 16 2007, Nationwide
• Rated: PG-13


I told Bob Zemekis that I knew the story, but I didnt. [He laughs] Where I went to school we read about Al Capone, so Beowulf was very new to me. The story is about ambition, greed and hate, and then love at the end, and that finding what you really wanted was there all the time right in front of you. It kind of reminded me of Hollywood, in a way, and the ambition in people, and thats exactly how I approached it.

[Doing the movie] was remarkably reminiscent of doing plays because you go in the morning, you dont wait for lights, you dont wait for the camera, continuity doesnt matter too much, you just act all day. Its a very good story, very good text, it was quite liberating because at times the process of making a regular film has remained quite medieval, especially with the amount of time it can take.

It was confusing at first becaue we had to do these weird gestures and pull faces. I wasnt quite sure what the purpose was because it was a room very much like this, with no costumes or scenery. But there was so much positive energy coming from Bob Zemekis it made it easy. Im really proud to be a part of this great movie.

I was brought into a room with Bob and he showed me this picture of a woman half painted gold, and then a lizard. Ive got kids and I thought, Thats great. Thats so bizarre. Im going to be this crazy reptilian person and creature. Shes evil, shes temptation, and shes very fun to play.

I worked with Bob one time before, on the first Back to the Future film, about 20 years ago. And it was interesting working from one technology to this different technology, in terms of style. I liked this way of working more, where you were finding it as you were going through it. Its rare that Im in a film that I actually like, but Im really excited about this film. I just saw it the other day and it feels like a strange hallucinogenic experience.

We all do films these days, and so much of it has become a business, youve kind of lost touch with the artistic process and the fun of it. And Bob is a real artist, and he loves it so much. Hes so enthusiastic, and so original, and you really feel that you remember youre a creative person, and you have fun with everybody else. I needed that as an artist , so it was really great, and Im really grateful for the experience.

Written by Judy Sloane. Back to top

Visit the official Beowulf site
Images above © Paramount Pictures
Feature © 2007 Visual Imagination.
Not for reproduction.

Film Review, #690, December 2007 cover

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