Reign of Terrorism
Simple rule of thumb for exceedingly crazy-arsed long movies: a movie can be as long as it needs to be, just so long as anything over the perfect runtime of 90 minutes is absolutely necessary. Most movies could use a good trim (the 3rd LOTR flick) and some could stand to be expanded (Zodiac, duh!), and some shouldn’t have been made longer than 5 minutes (Nerderberg’s insufferable Che). Olivier Assayas‘ Carlos, a sprawling and masterful 3-part French TV mini-series epic, turned into one gigantic film for other countries, clocks in at a WHOPPING 330 minutes (5 1/2 hours), and we can honestly say that not a single moment was wasted, even if one’s eyes will fall out of their sockets after sitting thru it. (there will also be a 165 ‘theatrical cut’ being shown in theaters, which we have yet to see and are THIGHLY curious to check out what got cut in half!!!)
What’s moist hammazin about Assayas’ mammoth undertaking is not how he pulled it off (but seriously, HOW DID HE?! 2 decades of story, shot over 7 months, in 7 different countries, in countless languages, all looking MIGHTY 70s/80s GORGEOUS!!), but how dang fast it all flys by!!! ZIP ZIP ZOOOOEY!!! Luckily he took his pacing cues from Fincher’s Zodiac! Even if the film went unmade, the work and research that Assayas and co-writer Dan Franck put into a 300 page screenplay is worthy of applause all on its own!!!! And guess what, so little is actually known about Venezuelan global terrorist Carlos the Jackal (Édgar Ramírez, who deserves a ton of accolades, and more accent marks in his name) that they had to make up a bunch of stuff!!! And who cares, hispecially if it’s so dang captivating (even if it’s hard to maintain fluid and tense drama for that long of a period)! It’s like what Finchy and Sorkin pulled with The Social Network, but Carlos deals with stuff that’s actually important, like hurting people, and not juss their feelings!
OK, there’s some known stuff about the Jackal, like killing some cops, taking some hostages here and there, flying planes to shady countries, drinking tons of whiskey, smoking tons of fags, banging some slutty revolutionary chicks, plotting, plotting some more, plotting some more after some more, until he eventually became a bloated nonentity and a relic dinosaur of terrorism’s past, before eventually being captured!!! In a shellnut, that’s the entire story
Carlos is the flipside of Spielbergo’s Munich, AKA the best movie of 2005!! While we’re not likely to put Carlos at the very very top of our list at the end of 2010, in time, that may turn out to be a decision we regret. What to do, what to do???? Dunno, but you should give up 330 minutes of your life to see this, which you’ll gladly never get back!!!
Carlos will be released as follows:
TV – broadcast premiere on the Sundance Channel from Rocktober 11 thru 13 (sorry about the late notice!)
THEATRICAL – opens in NY on Friday. 330 minute Special Roadshow Edition at IFC Center – Roct 15 to Nov 2 ONLY. The 165 minute ‘theatrical cut’ will be shown at Lincoln Plaza Cinemas. Both the extended version and the shorter cut will roll out theatrically elsewhere elsewhen
VOD – the 165 minute cut will also be shown on video on demand beginning Rocktober 20
and until next thyme the balcony is clothed…