Friday, November 25, 2005

Obscure Movie of the Moment

The Corpus Callosum ordinarily eschews popular culture, preferring instead to focus on weightier matters. Today is different.

In 1986, Armand Assante starred in what was to become his lowest-grossing movie ever. What is most unusual about this film, is that I know it exists, even though it came out when I was an intern. During that period of time, most of popular culture dropped into a black hole, as far as I was concerned. Was it really any good? Or is it just that, while I was watching it, nobody was bleeding on me, and that made it seem good?

Belizaire the Cajun can be thought of as a study in the universality of racial injustice. It has funny parts and serious parts. It has a tinge of the occult. Assante displays great versatility in portraying a complex character in Belizaire. That, in my view, is one of the elements of a good movie. The character of Belizaire is not one of those characters who seems familiar; he is not someone who appears in just about every movie you see. It is the richness of character that brings the movie to life, and makes it worth watching.

Those who are not interested in intricacies of character development may be more amused watching something else, like Dumb and Dumber. But if you like to see an actor portray a character that is interesting enough that you'd like to have a cup of tea with him, then Belizaire the Cajun just might be for you.