Monday, October 29, 2007

ALWAYS CRASHING IN THE SAME CAR

For those of you who may be Withnail and I cultists awaiting the return of the two down-and-out antiheroes of Bruce Robinson’s brilliant 1988 comedy, the wait is over. Sort of. Actors Richard E. Grant and Paul McGann have finally found occasion to share the screen again, but it’s not a Withnail sequel. Instead, it’s a short film directed by Duncan Wellaway entitled Always Crashing in the Same Car. The film, as well as the accompanying London Times article from which the movie can be downloaded, was produced in conjunction with the British Film Institute and leads of with the familiar Handmade Films logo, the company founded by George Harrison which provided funds for many of the best British movies of the past 25 years, including The Long Good Friday, Monty Python’s Life of Brian, Mona Lisa, Time Bandits and, yes, Withnail & I. The movie can also be accessed via the McGann Brothers web site. Wherever you see it, see it. It’s a stunner, and the boys are as good together as they ever were, albeit in a completely different context.

(Thanks to David Hudson and GreenCine Daily for another invaluable heads-up.)

6 comments:

Jonathan Lapper said...

.
Well, I haven't seen this short film yet but I just wanted to say that Richard E. Grant is one of the most criminally overlooked actors out there. He's just fantastic in everything he does and no one seems to know who he is. I'll check this out as soon as I have time (i.e. not at work).

bill said...

I wouldn't call myself a "Withnail and I" cultist, having only seen it once, but I do remember it fondly, particularly Grant's line "How do we make it die?"

But although I like Grant generally, sometimes he's just way off. He's by no means the biggest problem with "Bram Stoker's Dracula", but he has a couple of moments in it that make me cringe. And yet I like him in "Hudson Hawk". Go figure.

Jonathan Lapper said...

Dracula is so "all over the place" that I try to treat it as little vignettes rather than a whole movie because it is truly one big disjointed mess. But I do love seeing Grant shooting himself up during one of the "where the hell did this scene come from?" diary entries of the good doctor.

bill said...

There are definitely things I like about "Francis Ford Coppola's Bram Stoker's Dracula". I like Gary Oldman's creepy-old-woman Dracula a whole lot, and I think casting Tom Waits as Renfield was kind of inspired. And there are some terrific visual. Most of all, I think I appreciate the attempt. I wish more filmmakers of Coppola's stature would attempt to make a serious horror film.

But Reeves...and Hopkins...and Winona Ryder's accent...and Dracula Wolf Sex...

But speaking of Grant, outside of "Withnail and I", I think much of my exposure to his work comes from that brief period of time in the early-to-mid 90s when he was a bit of a go-to British character actor in Hollywood movies. Are there some lesser-known movies of his I should seek out?

Jonathan Lapper said...

You've probably seen everything I could name: L.A. Story, Henry and June, The Player. He's never been given a big enough or juicy enough role to "make it big" but I have found him excellent and underrated in everything I've seen him in so far.

Re: Dracula. I love Gary Oldman's performance in that movie. And I forgot about the wolf sex in the garden. Thanks for bringing that cherished memory back to the surface.

bill said...

Oh, yeah, "L. A. Story"! "What's that noise?" "Oh, that's just my damn testicles."

Or something like that. Anyway, I really like that movie, and you're right, he's very funny in it. "I'm all hot from running!"