INTERVIEW MOLLY PARKER
Star of Suspicious River
Necrophilia, lapdancing and sex in seedy motels feature in Molly Parker’s filmography, but the young Canadian actress refuses to be typecast.
‘I wouldn’t have done this film with anyone else, explains Molly Parker of her involvement in Suspicious River, her second collaboration with director Lynne Stopkewich following the bizarre but much-admired necrophilia romance Kissed. ‘After Kissed, we became quite good friends. She asked me to do Suspicious River and I was quite reticent about agreeing to do it. Not because I wasn’t excited to work with her again, but because the script was so dark. I then read the novel by Laura Kasischke, and I understood why Lynne wanted me to do it.’
Combining the stories of a young girl who witnesses the trauma of her mother’s murder, and a smalltown motel receptionist who performs sexual services for the male guests, Suspcious River makes for often dismayingly bleak viewing. For Parker, a composed 28-year-old, the material was interesting. ‘More on an intellectual than an emotional level,’ she says. ‘I think it’s a story about self-destruction. It is quite harrowing, it is extreme, but I think anyone could get it. And it was easy to key into the character, because the book is written from her perspective. It’s in her head!
Was it not difficult, though, to play such a blank- faced, emotionally withdrawn character? ‘The hard thing,’ she replies, ‘is that Leila doesn’t ask herself many questions. She’s disconnected and numbed out by her traumas. She has a death-wish and she ends up where she ends up because she makes choices that will take her there.’
Though Parker got her head around the
challenging role, Suspicious River wasn’t otherwise an easy shoot. It was filmed near Vancouver in Pitt Meadows close to where Parker herself grew up on a farm. ‘It poured with rain every day,’ she sighs, ‘we didn’t have a lot of money, and we had to do it quickly.’ Filmmaker and star also had different conceptions of how Leila should be acted. ‘l was on the side of realism and Lynne would be on the side of stylised artifice.’
Next month also sees the release of the Wayne Wang and Paul Auster collaboration The Center Of The World, in which Parker is cast as a lapdancer who spends a weekend in Las Vegas with an internet entrepreneur client. In contrast to
I think Susp
icious River is a story about self-destruction
Suspicious River, Parker enthuses about that film’s ‘Iiberating’ experience. She’s referring to acting on digital video: ‘Because video is so cheap, you can shoot and shoot and try different things. It’s the difference between being in front of a camera, which is the size of a small car, and being shot by something the size of a hand.’ Finally, Parker denies the inevitable question regarding the risk of being typecast in sexually explicit roles. ‘Before those films I played five mothers in a row,’ she counters, ‘and I’ve just done two comedies.’ (Torn Dawson) I Suspicious River opens at the GFI'. Glasgow Fri 7 Sep.“ Film/rouse. Edinburgh Fri 74 Sep. See review page 25.
THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS
(15) 108 mins .00.
Roarrng o‘f the start Irne rn a cloud of burnrng rubber. Rob Cohen's strrr)ped-doxvn street— ractng rnovre was a deserved ‘sleeper' success rn the US. delrverrng the pure. adrenalrsed entertarnrr‘ent that over~powered. poorly-tuned auto movres such as Gone In (50 Seconds and Drrven only prorr‘rsed. Desprte rts rr‘odest $38 ntrllron budget and lack of over-pard star‘s lrke Nrc Cage and Sylvester Stallone. thrs spoke (Irrectly to the audrence's need for speed. Straddlrng the '.vhrte Irne bet'.'reerr docun‘entany detarl and ultra-herghtened realrty. its sleek rrrrages and gurck-shrft edrtrng convey the rllrcr‘. thrrlls of street-racr'rg. Through the assccrated clothrng. rrrusrc and slang. rt aiso captures the rr‘utlr- ethrrrc. tr'rbal flavour of a drstrnctrve urban sub—culture burlt aro.rnd fast cars. sex and defyrng authorrty.
‘I'irat sard. thrs rs strrctly 'B' r"()‘.’r(; stuff. so don't go expectrng orrgrnalrty. The prerr‘xse. about a clean-cut.
handsome cop. Brran (Paul Walker). who goes undercover to bust a daring truck-rackrng gang. possrbly lead by top-dog racer Dorr‘rrhrC rVrn Dreselr. rs lrfted from Kathryn Brgeloyr's Pornt Break. The sweet romance I_)et\.'~.reen Brian and Domrnrc's Srster lvlra lJordana Brewsterr srts uncorr‘fortably alongside all the testosterone-charged actron and rrraIe-bondrng rrtuals. In a role created specrally for her. lvlrchelle Rodriguez rGrr/frglrtr. playrng Dominrc's grrlfrrend Letty. rs reduced to scoxvlrng and loungrng agarnst her rrtan's hot rod.
Thrngs hot up when Brran
starts to 'go natrve': pressured by
hrs bosses for a gurck result. he rs torn between hrs duty as a cop and hrs respect for Dorrtrnrc. whose frrendshrp and loyalty he must betray. Even thrs SCHN- serrous stuff. however. rs expressed rn cod exrstentral dralogue rerrrrnrscent of 19:30:; Juvenrle delrnguent rnovres. But Irke the sOuped up cars wrth therr custorr‘ parnt robs and C()ll‘.l)tll(}l‘- controlled fuel-rnrectron. thrs strearr‘rlrned. hrgh-r_)erforn‘ance rr‘achrne v/rll slarr‘ you back rn your seat and have you elrngrng on for dear Irfe. In short. thrs rs the best flatout actron prcture of the year. A gurlty pleasure perhaps. but an undenrable pleasure all the same.
I General release from Hi 14 Sep.
MUSICAL MOULIN ROUGE (18) 108 mins 00...
ll/lou/in Rouge ought to go out with a
government health warnrng: Not for the
faint-hearted or those of dulled senses. Baz Luhrmann's follow-up to William Shakespeare's Romeo . Juliet is a wildly unrestrained. gloriously camp. lude as hell musical love stOry that re- rnvents the form from the Golden Age Hollywood song and dance spectaCLrlars up.
The setting is late 19th century Paris. in particular the eponymous dancehall- cum-brothel. But Luhrmann has transformed the MOuIin Rouge. with its absinthe-drinking can-can dancers and sweltering. be-mOustached impresario
Intoxicating with pleasure
Harold Zidler (Jim Broadbent. Superb as are the whole cast) into the rave capital of Europe. Into this den of iniquitous pleasure comes Christian (Ewan McGregor). a young poet with a big heart. brought there by the dwarf Toulouse-Lautrec (John Leguizamo) to flog his songs to Zidler. lvlistaking Christian for wealthy weasel The Duke (Richard Roxburghl. Zidler introduces Christian to Satine (Nicole Kidman). a dancer loaded with enough seductive talents to secure much-needed finance for the nightclub from the money man. Christian comes out to Saline and they fall in love. but will love conquer all or will the The Duke buy his way into Satine’s heart? Spiralling around thrs fairytale myth is a barrage of imagery. all manic camerawork and digital pyrotechnics. The camera zooms out from Christian's Ioner garret to a bird's eye view of the city and then rockets straight into Moulrn Rouge where the dancers perform their leg-splitting dance. And from the opening can-can routine to the closing Indian-themed dance number. the costumes and sets are incredibly extravagant. But the most breathtaking liberties of all are taken by Luhrrnann and his co-writer Craig Pearce who have woven 20th century pop rrrusic hits into the fabric of their frlrrr. This. however. is no mere anachronistic s0undtrack. In one scene between Christian and Saline. for example. the song lyrics actually become Irnes of dialogue spoken-sung between the lovers. It's
almost fucking opera.
There's no middle-ground wrth Luhrmann's film: yOu'Il either fold y0ur arms in a huff and Irate rt. or abandon yourself to it and fall in love. And if you do. like the rnhabrtants of the lvloulin Rouge. it'll leave you intoxicated with pleasure.
I General release from Fri 7 Sep. See feature. pages 16.
t3 Sep 20 Sep 2001 THE LIST 23