haiku review: New Rose Hotel¶ by Rob Friesel
Walken cast as Fox;
it almost works but misses.
Still beats Mnemonic.
SPOILER WARNING: Honestly, New Rose Hotel would have been truly great but only if Abel Ferrara had had the presence of mind to keep it as a 30-45 minute short film. Instead, he tells the story twice: first as a really effective (and at times quite clever) to-film adaptation of William Gibson’s short story (check it out in Burning Chrome, if you haven’t already) and the second as a truer-to-the-written-version frenetic and vaguely psychedelic flashback freak-out. To Ferrara’s credit, Gibson’s short story gives you enough material to want to make a film out of it but not enough to make a feature length adaptation of it. When we popped this in, I was really expecting something much more similar to his film The Funeral; the tone is close, the style is definitely his, but it just doesn’t all pull together with the same cohesion. The really sad part is that it would be almost too easy to blame it on Christopher Walken for giving too much life to Fox and taking away from Dafoe’s portrayal of the narrator – – but maybe that’s just it, Gibson really does give us little more than an empty shell in that character, a vessel that Fox steers into Sandii and which Sandii steers straight into oblivion.
Still waiting for someone to adapt “Hinterlands”. (At least Ferrara’s adaptation had a sly reference to it. Nicely done.)
currently playing: Max & Harvey “Big Amoeba Sound”
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