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Kaleem Aftab talks to one-time wunderkind Harmony Korine as he releases his first film in eight years, a love story featuring celebrity impersonators

It‘s the emotions the movie elicits rather than the

armony Korine was thrust into the limelight aged 22. when his sensational script for Kids 5 plot that fascinates Korine. Ultimately. the film is

garnered him the status of overnighti

sensation. Then came Gummo. a film made in the best traditions of German maverick Werner Herzog. which

established the young California-born director as an

American auteur. His reputation for irreverent humour was cemented with the release of his cult but critically maligned collection of notebook ' scribblings. A Crack Up at the Race Riots. By the time Korine made his Dogma 95 flick Julian Donkey- Boy (1999) he was well on his way to an alcohol and

drug-fuelled haze.

Herzog playing a Jesuit Priest who jumps out of plane

It's been eight years since Korine recruited Ewen

Bremner to play the schizophrenic lead in Donkey-Boy.

Despite not featuring in the director‘s latest feature. Mister Lonely. the Scottish actor had a huge influence

on this wonderful. esoteric film when he suggested that

Duncraig Castle in the picturesque Highlands town of

Plockton would be the perfect location to house a

commune of celebrity doppelgangers.

Diego Luna plays a Michael Jackson double working in Paris. His life is turned upside down when he meets a Marilyn Monroe impersonator (played by

Samantha Morton) who convinces him to come to

Scotland and live with a community of imitators. On

arriving in the Highlands. 3 smitten Luna is dismayed

to discover that Monroe is married to Charlie Chaplin (Denis Lavant).

Being a Korine film. what sounds like a recipe for a

mainstream rom-com is anything but. So. it‘s only a small surprise when the action diverts to Werner

l with nuns on motorbikes in Panama.

about finding a place in the world where you can be

content. a philosophy the 35-year-old follows in his

work. ‘For me whatever the reaction is. I know in my heart that I made the movie that I set out to make.’ he says. ‘It is the film that I dreamed of making. so what is up there is 100% me and what I wanted to do.‘

The movie was a family affair. Korine married Rachel (who plays Little Red Riding Hood) soon after shooting wrapped. and his brother Avi co-wrote the script. The director adds: ‘My brother and l

worked for a while on the script. We had these images

and we tried to figure out the best way of saying the things we wanted to say and the best way to say it. It was very scripted up to a point. and like all my films. once we got onto set I tried to create a little more of a chaotic environment and allow the actors to jump off the script and take it into different directions.’

It‘s amazing to see a collection of characters. from James Dean to The Queen. all sharing the screen. As Korine explains. deciding who made the cut took a lot of consideration: ‘We worked hard on trying to figure out who all the characters in the commune should be. Obviously they should all be iconic and instantly recognisable and be the most visually interesting. We wanted to trade some characteristics from those

figures' real lives and incorporate those into the

commune.‘ The result is arguably the most exciting visual treat since the Jacko‘s moonwalk.

Mister Lonely is on selected release from Fri 14 Mar. See Also Released, page 50.


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Quirky. sweet natured American independent about a withdrawn young man and his very public relationship with a life-sized sex doll. See review. page 50. GFT, Glasgow; Cameo, Edinburgh and selected release from Fri 21 Mar.

* Back to Normandy Nicholas Etre et Avoir Philibert revisits French cinema history. See review. page 50. Selected release from Fri 14 Mar.

III The Orphanage Excellent, genuinely creepy Spanish ghost story. See review. page 47. Selected release from Fri 21 Mar.

III Redacted Brian De Palma makes his best film for years with this modern media montage of an act of US army brutality during the Iraq conflict. See review, page 46. Cineworld Renfrew Street, Glasgow and selected release from Fri 14 Mar.

II! The Spiderwlck Chronlclea Very good adaptation of Tony Dfierlizzi and Holly Black's popular children's fantasy adventure novels starring the gifted Freddie Highmore in two different roles. See review, page 49. General release from Fri 21 Mar.

It Mister Lonely Harmony Korine’s unhinged comedy drama about celebrity impersonators. See interview. left and Also Released, page 50. Selected release from Fri 14 Mar.

* The Idge of Heaven Thought-provoking. multi strand Turkish/German drama. Fr/mhouse, Edinburgh until Thu 20 Mar

It Ace In The Hole Region 1 only DVD pressing of Billy Wilder's long unavailable, darkly cynical 1951 satire of the US press starring Kirk Douglas. Out now on PDX.

13—27 Mar 2008 m us? 45