Monday, November 14, 2005

"Not I"


As many of you know my love for Julianne Moore runs deep. But lately, after too many Laws of Attractions and Prize Winners in a row the affection has felt shallow. I needed a pick-me-up. So, when visiting Nick this past weekend for our bi-monthly futon festival we decided to take a gander at one of the only three entries in Julianne Moore's 40 deep filmography that somehow escaped my hungry gaze.

Not I, directed by Neil Jordan, is a short film on an amazingly intense Samuel Beckett monologue. A disembodied mouth speaks rapidly about itself, unwilling to reveal/accept its identity. This third person confessional interrogation filled with interrupted asides --"what? who?"-- is delivered by Julianne Moore with speed, precision, and barely a breath taken for all of its 14 minutes. While the editing certainly plays a part in the films rapid-fire hypnotic appeal, Moore's grasp of the material is entirely compelling on its own --perhaps no surprise given that existential panic remains her specialty. Her varied and vocally fascinating delivery prevents the intelligent abstractions of Beckett's monologue from being lost or misunderstood during the extremely odd experience of watching only a mouth for minutes on end.

Sometimes you see a film at exactly the right moment. My love for Julie Ann is more than rekindled, it is dangerously close to combustion again.

(You can read more about this short film here.)

11 comments:

adam k. said...

Wow, that is intense. Was this before or after they did End of the Affair together? Perhaps I should see this, because I too have found it hard to scrounge up any Moore love as of love. She needs to get back on track pronto. I am not hopeful for Freedomland. But there is always the past, anyway.

NATHANIEL R said...

I assume it was either made during the shoot of End of the Affair or directly afterwards. The entire team is the same: Jordan, Moore, Roger Pratt on cinematography, etc...

Anonymous said...

How do you come across this? Is it on another DVD? Or... what?

-Glenn

NATHANIEL R said...

It's on the first DVD of BECKETT ON FILM which I believe is a five disc set.

ModFab said...

If you think Moore is incredible performing this piece, you should have seen Marian Seldes do it two seasons ago in BECKETT/ALBEE. Suspended twenty feet in the air. She was unbelievable.

NATHANIEL R said...

ooh Marian Seldes. I love her.

Paul C. said...

How many of the BECKETT ON FILM titles did you watch? PLAY is pretty great- possibly my favorite Minghella film- with Alan Rickman, Kristen Scott Thomas, and Juliet Stevenson reciting breathless dueling monologues while standing in giant urns. I also dug KRAPP'S LAST TAPE, directed by Egoyan and starring John Hurt, but given the confessional nature of the play it's even better in person, as when I saw it with David Kelly a few years ago.

tim r said...

I liked all the aforementioned. Play, which I agree was really superbly done in that Minghella version, is hilariously spoofed in Todd Graff's Camp - do you remember? Three hopeless thesps standing in this skip while the director keeps telling them not to "screw up the blocking". Genius!

NATHANIEL R said...

Camp had so many great moments. Tis a pity it wasn't a better film overall.

tim r said...

Indeedy.

Popcorn and Cigarettes said...

It's not Julianne Moore version, but if anyone was interested the version with Billie Whitelaw, it is available on YouTube.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=otjKETciw2c

Now that I have seen this, I think I will have to go out and buy Beckett on Film...