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Not quite a movie review - Beat

SEATTLE, Washington - I decided to rent the 2000 movie Beat because (1) I was reading The Beat Hotel by Barry Miles, (2) I wanted to see Kiefer Sutherland's performance as William S. Burroughs and (3) I read in Luke Ford's interview of producer Donald Zuckerman that the production was a circus and that Courtney Love was a difficult drama queen.

Sutherland doesn't look much like Burroughs but I think he did a good job with his verbal cadence. He had some lines that I would imagine Burroughs speaking but other than that the script didn't seem to have much muscle. He's not in much of the movie.

In fact, there isn't much movie - it allegedly has a 93 minute run time but the credits were rolling at about 75 minutes. From the Zuckerman interview you see that this is because they had to whack whole scenes because Courtney Love just didn't deliver the goods. I think a Kate Winslet or Winona Ryder could have done something here. (Ryder was offered the role.)

I guess the bottom line is, when Courtney Love is insisting on having the make-up people for other cast members fired, the producer and director are arguing over edits, and Mexican co-producers commandeer the film's negative and try to extort you, it affects the quality of the film.


Sally Cyn said...

Courtney Love not only positively and absolutely delivered in BEAT, she carried the film. Her performance was not OTT drama but subtle and fragile. There's some great reaction shots from her in the first 15 minutes or so that got scrapped or chopped up into shitty flashbacks. The original cut (that screened at festivals and is available in the UK and a few other regions on DVD) is far superior to the MTV-styled editing found on the Region 1 DVD. I saw this at the Framline festival several years ago and that audience was affected not by the film but by her performance. I've been a fan of her as an actress since.