Friday, March 7, 2008

It Must Be the Apocalypse...

...because I don't know how Boarding Gate could get released otherwise! WHAT?! NO! How is this movie being released? I saw Boarding Gate at Cannes, at the premiere screening, so director Olivier Assayas and star Asia Argento and lots of people responsible for it were there (Michael Madsen was conspicuously missing). I don't know how they could make that movie and then show their faces in public like they're proud of it. I can't believe I saw this movie at Cannes, at the Lumière (possibly the best theater in the world), with the best picture and sound quality ever, in this super formal setting with people all decked out in tuxes and dresses (I wore an evening gown to watch this!), on a screen that also premiered The Diving Bell and the Butterfly and No Country for Old Men. Ugh.

I saw a film called The Banishment right before it (the "that" I refer to in my first sentence), and here's what I wrote about Boarding Gate while I was in Cannes:

"Immediately after that, I saw Boarding Gate, starring Asia Argento and a really fat Michael Madsen. Boarding Gate is perhaps the worst film I’ve ever seen in my life. If not the worst, it’s definitely in the top three. For awhile, it was amusingly bad, but it was just torture by the end. The plot is muddled, the lighting is terrible and inconsistent, and the acting is miserable. These characters are the most unsympathetic people ever. There were these painfully long dialogue sequences between Madsen and Argento that seem like preschool imitations of Mamet or Tarantino. The sex and fight scenes (sometimes one in the same) were awkwardly choreographed, and I’ve never seen two more uninspired performances. Michael Madsen has really let himself go. I know it’s cruel, but he looks like he ate Orson Welles in A Touch of Evil. And Asia Argento strapping a belt around his neck in some sort of bizarre foreplay is an image I’ll be seeing in my nightmares for a long time."

If you're prone to nausea, avoid this movie because of the ultra-shaky, sloppy handheld camerawork, and also because Michael Madsen and Asia Argento get it on, very explicitly, S & M style, for long periods of time. It's NASTY. Blechh. In addition to being disgusting (it's so, so foul), Boarding Gate is also totally absurd in its ineptitude. Seriously, I saw it with a few other people, and we were trying so hard to be polite and not let the laughter erupt (since the filmmakers and stars were sitting in the same theater), but the movie was so painfully bad that we weren't always successful. It was really amusing for awhile. Even the creepy sex stuff was laughably cringe-inducing. You laugh because you don't know how else to react to the terrifying images burning your retinas. The fact that the screening was at 1 a.m. was undoubtedly a factor in our amusement, since we were already totally exhausted and delirious from the festival, which had only just started. But, as the minutes agonizingly ticked by in the beautiful Théâtre Lumière that night, the adrenaline completely ran out, and the movie stopped being even funny bad. It just turned excruciating. It was like the anesthetic wore off in the middle of surgery.

Michael Madsen is AWFUL in Boarding Gate. Madsen and Argento do some of the most appallingly bad acting ever. And he's completely gross (see above: "eating Orson Welles in A Touch of Evil"). So, naturally, when I saw that the co-star of one of the worst films in cinematic history (yes, it's THAT epically bad) was standing only a few feet away from me in Cannes, I had to introduce myself and ask to take a picture.

That's me, Michael Madsen, and good friend/fellow Boarding Gate torture victim and survivor Maggie. Another good friend and fellow survivor, Rachel, took the picture. This was maybe the next day or only a couple days after seeing the movie. I do respect Michael Madsen and his work. He's been great in some stuff, and it was cool to meet a celebrity. Mainly, though, I treasure this photograph because I can say that I took a picture with Michael Madsen, star of Boarding Gate, one of the worst movies I've seen in my entire life. How many people can say that they met and took a photo with the star of one of the most atrocious movies ever conceived? It was oddly special, and so surreal. The whole hilariously painful, truly unforgettable experience of Boarding Gate is captured for all eternity in this picture.

Reminiscences aside, I don't even want to give Boarding Gate the publicity of writing this entry, but if I can dissuade people from seeing this movie, then it was worthwhile. It's pretty under the radar, so if you haven't heard about it, consider yourself lucky. Let it stay buried under the radar where it belongs. Don't waste your money on this trash. See it at your own risk. Boarding Gate is VILE.


By the way, did I mention that it's one of the most awful movies ever made? I mean, EVER?

Oh, the horror...the horror.


Bill Treadway said...

Maybe Madsen ate Steven Seagal too. Madsen at one point was really good and I don't know what the hell happened.

Hey, you may be the only one who can say I got a picture with an actor who was in one of the worst pictures ever made. I doubt Jenny McCarthy would ever pose with me for a picture now.

"Oh the horror the horror". So know we know what really killed Col Kurtz. He screened this and Dirty Love back to back.

You want to see Dirty Love. I want to see this movie.

Matt said...

I was there at Cannes as well, and I wasn't just crying with laughter. I was bawling like there was no tomorrow.

On the bright side, you did get a picture with the guy forever immortalized in Reservoir Dogs. And this time, he's the one stuck in the middle with you.

Anonymous said...

thanks for stopping by my blog. It's always nice to know that there are other people out there interested in film and not just my same circle of friends who stop by to read my ramblings. I must admit that I seem to have liked the film more than yourself, if only because I'm a huge Assayas fan. I think there are kernels of interesting ideas at play in the film, they're just surrounded by junk. If you're curious, J. Hoberman has a negative review over at the Village Voice website, and he's a vastly superior writer to an amateur like myself. Interestingly enough, Nathan Lee has an appreciation of Asia Argento just a couple of posts down from the Hoberman. It's interesting to see different perspectives, and I've spoken to a few people who absolutely love Boarding Gate! Different stroke for different folks, I guess. -Daniel