Thursday, August 14, 2008

Sign on the Cross

Aside from the scintilliating Cate Blanchett and the fantastic music (and despite the fact that heavy hitters like Stephen Malkmus and Sonic Youth cover some of the songs, no one sounds better than Dylan himself, who sings roughly half the material), maybe the best thing in I'm Not There is David Cross' brief appearance as Allen Ginsberg. Aside from a glimpse of a silent Woody Guthrie in his hospital bed, I believe Ginsberg is the only real figure portrayed in the movie. David Cross is such a definitive casting choice for the role - kind of like Sam Shepard as Chuck Yeager - that you wonder if they decided to include the real Ginsberg just because they thought Cross would be so good playing him.

Cross has always been a deft, committed actor, even on the otherwise snarky Mr. Show. Here he is in Fuzz: The Musical, raising the lyrical plaint "Y'all are brutalizing me." While Bob Odenkirk is hilarious as the director, Cross goes further and creates a real, three-dimensional character, which of course makes the whole thing even funnier (some language may be NSFW):

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