peteg's blog - noise - movies - 2018 12 30 TheBeliever

The Believer

/noise/movies | Link

On the recommendation of Ryan Gosling fan Leon. Before BlacKkKlansman there were Dan Burros and Frank Collin and maybe still others yet to be made into movies. Out of this writer/director Henry Bean assembles a story of an intellectual self-hating New York Jew who is so extremely skeptical about the morals drawn from the classical stories (Abraham and Isaac in particular) that he becomes a violent neo Nazi. Some counterpoints are drawn: that we're all abstracted cosmopolitans now, that anti Semitism is obsolete for the purposes of fascism. Bean makes far more out of his challenging premises than approximate cognates American History X and Romper Stomper (etc). He (bravely) seems satisfied to let some ambiguities ride; for instance, the sacred never goes away for Gosling's character: it is easier for him to contemplate killing people than see the desecration of the synagogue.

Billy Zane and Theresa Russell constitute a creepy right-wing couple. Summer Phoenix is perplexing as a Judaism-curious young lady with the wrong priors. Gosling looks a lot like Joker Matthew Modine in Full Metal Jacket. Bean went on to write Basic Instinct 2.

Roger Ebert was uncomfortable. kylopod at IMDB. Julie Salamon was uncomfortable and wanted more closure.