INTERVIEW SAINT VINNY
Italian American character actor VINCENT PASTORE chats to BRIAN DONALDSON about his new film American Cousins, set on the mean
streets of Glasgow.
‘Well, you got to be careful what you say in interviews.’ When a mobster says that to you, it can be quite scary. When a guy who has played more than his fair share of screen wiseguys in his time says this to you, it’s not quite so scary. But still fairly unsettling. Vincent Pastore is recalling his memorable time on The Sopranos, when he played Sal ‘Pussy’ Bonpensiero, one of boss Tony’s key henchmen who turned to become first an FBI snitch and then, inevitably, fish feed. The ones he’s being careful about are the real mob, the hoods who watched the show and complimented it on its accuracy. ‘I know they weren’t too happy that I played a rat because it kind of glorifies the way it’s become; it’s against the code. But that was television, it’s not real life.’ In American Cousins, Pastore has climbed the
ladder to become a New Jersey boss (called Tony, of all the muddafuckin’ ironies) who has a couple
of capos in a spot of bother with a bunch of black-hearted Russians and a pair of psycho Scousers. So he advises them to hole up with relatives in Glasgow (or Glaz-gow, as both Vincent and ‘Tony’ have it). He stays with Roberto, a mild-mannered cafe owner played by Gerald Lepkowski, and his fading grandfather Nonno (Russell Hunter). But the pair have their own problems, owing plenty money to a local zero
called Jo Jo.
A clash of two subsections of one culture ensues with both amusing and moving results. ‘When I was working on it, I had the feeling that it
DRUG DRAMA SPUN (18) 100min u
With his feature film debut Jenas Akerlund proves acclaimed music promo directors are Quite capable of making movres that are as flashy as they are empty. Akerlund re-employs the glossy. hyperkinetic Visual style of his promos (see ‘Ray of Light' for Madonna and 'Smack My Bitch Up' for the Prodigyi for this trip into the spun-Out world of crystal meth users. There's no arguing this is a good-looking film. from the manic camerawork to the cut and paste editing. Intended to appro><imate the distorted world of the meth user. Akerlund's problem is tht he’s not working from a decent scnpt. This three day wrndow into the lives of California crack addicts — written by Creighton Vero. inspired by meth user Will
Misogyny and crystal meth
De Los Santos' experiences — has little to say. Beyond provrding an impression of a lifestyle. Spun makes no comment upon. nor provides insight into. the culture. Furthermore. the film does nothing to flesh out its cast of crazy characters: Jason Schwartzman's college drop- out. John Leguizaino's dealer. Mena Suvari's uptight girlfriend. Mickey Retirke's cook and Brittany Murphy's pole dancer. Worse. there's a nasty misogynistic streak running through Spun: a naked woman handCuffed to a bed. a ciose up of a girl defecating a crotch shot of a fat lady as she spills Junk food over herself. All Spun's got going for it is its gloss and a good (thOugh wastedi cast. (Miles Fielderi I Selected release from Hi 28 Nov. See prevrew. page (52.
was a Lock Stock kind of film because the beginning of the movie is a gangster story and then it becomes a family story and then it becomes a gangster story again and ends up as a I then did stuff like The Ref with Denis Leary.’ family story again. And it’s very funny; I think it’s going to work.’ While Pastore may be on screen for less than ten minutes, he pretty much succeeds in stealing the show.
Pastore was a late starter to the acting game. Having run a club in New York frequented by the likes of Matt and Kevin Dillon, he was introduced to the late producer/ director Ted Demme and caught the acting bug big style in his early 405. ."(w‘ ‘zoz; See regent page (5.1.
Vincent Pastore welcomes GIaz-gow with open arms
‘That man believed in me. He gave me a part in a film called The Bet and that movie started to change my life because I then picked up an agent.
As well as, frankly, a lot of mob movies. ‘I have to say that I never play the same gangster twice; they all have different personalities and backgrounds. I’m not going to feel bad about it or deny it, because it’s how the business sees me.’ The mob’s verdict on American Cousins is pending. (Brian Donaldson)
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Altll l( )USI (ll ASSICZ THE SPIRIT OF THE BEEHIVE (PG) 98min .0...
Victor [rice is what many would call a precious tilrnniaker'. He makes about a film a decade and he has a desire not to repeat himself in any area.
Shaping Spirit of the Bee/rive around .Jaines \"Jhale's carnp filiii classic lrarikeristerri. Luce focuses on young Ana iAna lorreriti ‘.‘./Il()53(} obsession ‘.'.’|lIl the rnonster segues into a fascination With an escaped conyict, Set shortly after the Spanish ciyil war in a sriiall ‘.'|H£tt}(} barely touched by the \.’l()l(}ll(I(} but affected by its nation‘s/ide presence. I: rice's filrn evokes an (tl'll()f;l)tl()f(} more than it tells a story. Sure. there haye been plenty of films dealing ‘.‘.’|Itl childhood and the fascination XVIII] cinerna iinost obvrously Cine/72a l’.‘rr.’rdr:;or. but no tilrnniaker has interioi'ised the process quite so much.
\"Vllétl l rice does in 7/re Spirit of the Bee/we is to suggest the spiritual possibilities of a young untainted life. not through ‘.'.'i(I(.‘l theological claims. but through a girl's naive. even falsifying, imagination. Where most would accept the death of the riionstei as society's |ll()‘.’|l£tt)l(} ieyenge on the uncontrollable. for Ana the riionster and also the fugitiye's death represent a strange kind of belief in the beyond.
[Qrice is easily one of Spain's niost focused and significant tilriiriiakers. Ashe says: ‘I think all the films I have made haye ch;ir‘acter‘istic: they describe a ]()lllll(}\,’ of discoyeiy. a spiritual Journey. At the outset there is a consciousn 2ss that is beginning to discover things and at the end of the Journey that consciousri >:;s has understood soniethingf (loiiy McKibbini I / r/rnhouse. lr/rriburg/i from lue 1’ l)er.‘.’r> Hui-10M;
A stinging classic
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