In his Reddit AMA, Keanu Reeves was gracious, verbose, and formal. He discussed his new movies 47 Ronin and Man of Tai Chi, which is his directorial debut. He also listed some of his favorite things, which all seemed fitting for the famously morose actor. Read some of the best answers from the AMA here.
A little-known fun fact: "For a long time in Los Angeles when I first moved there, when I was 20 years old, it was such a new world and so I saw some guys at a gas station once who had hockey equipment in their car, and I asked them what they were doing, and they said they were playing street hockey, so I asked them if I could play. So I became involved in a street hockey game that took place every weekend for over 10 years, every weekend, red versus black. We would take holidays off and sometimes summers, but the game was going on for over 10 years. That was cool to be a part of. It was a cool thing to have happen. Made some friends."
On filming 47 Ronin: "You know, shooting 47 Ronin was a great experience. It's a story that is very special and close to the Japanese actors, and I could feel that and respected that during the course of the filmmaking. And it brought another element to the filming, it heightened it even more than it usually is. Which was great."
Props he's kept from his movies: "I think I have a coat from the first Matrix. I have the sword from Hamlet, I kept a lot of working scripts, I have the jersey from The Replacements, I've got Constantine's lighter and watch, I have Bill & Ted's shorts (Ted's shorts), I used to have the leather jacket from My Own Private Idaho but I gave that to a friend. And I think that's it."
His reaction to being asked about his favorite movies: "AAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!! Here's some: Taxi Driver, Apocalypse Now, A Clockwork Orange, Stroszek."
On the memes devoted to him:"My first experience with that was Sad Keanu, and I thought it was funny!"
On the Sad Keanu picture: "I think that a picture can tell a thousand words, and none of them can be right. Or true. I'm absolutely a very happy person."
His favorite books: "Where do I begin? Here are some. As a kid, we can start with the Count of Monte Christo. We could start with the Lord of the Rings. Then we could get into finding as a teenager getting into Fyodor Dostoyevsky's The Idiot, Notes from Underground, The Brothers Karamazov, we could get into Jim Thompson, we could go into some William Gibson, then we could do In Search of Lost Time by Proust. And then just getting into the works of Philip K. Dick and recently I was reading Don Delillo, Cosmopolis, I like Updike's the Rabbit Series."
On stargazing: "I believe the other night we had an eclipse of the moon! Which was cool. In the cities, I wish you could see more of the stars, but I always love when I'm in places where you can see that blanket, that twirling, twinkling. That is one of my favorite things."
On his lifestyle: "You know, I've been very fortunate in my life. Which I am grateful for. And I guess it's just to my tastes to keep life as simple as I can."
On air guitar: "You know, I'm not an air guitar afficionado. But once in a while, the air guitar comes out. Especially when you first hear (especially for me) that chord or that moment in the song when the electric guitar cuts in, or blazes out, once in a while you just got to strum all those strings in the air."
His favorite form of martial arts: "You know, I love all martial arts. I don't practice any particular form or style, but yeah, I don't have a favorite...But it was great during the making of Man of Tai Chi, to spend time with the leading man Tiger, who has studied Tai Chi since he was a kid, and it was great to talk about how we could bring some of the ideas of Tai Chi into the story of Man of Tai Chi, and some of the philosophies."
What he's been listening to: "The music I'm listening to right now? Let's see, I just got the new Nine Inch Nails recording. I really like this other band Metz, just got their first album which was great. And I've been listening to a song that I really like from LCD Soundsystem, and the song is 'Someone Great.'"
On Bill and Ted: "Working on Bill & Ted was certainly an excellent adventure. I love those characters. I love the spirit of the film. I like the eternal goodness of these characters. I always thought of them as beautiful fools. They bring a wonder and naivete to the harsh realities of the world. I found them fun to play, and also working with Alex Winter was a great experience. We shared the same view of these characters and the film, and we had a lot of laughs making those movies. And Alex and I are friends."
Read the rest of Keanu's interview here.
Well, this is awesome.
Rob G. Wilson has put together a compilation of scenes (but so much more than that) from films including The Matrix, Fist of a Legend, Tai Chi Master, Drunken Master, The Killer, Iron Monkey, Once Upon a Time in China, Strange Days, Akira, Total Recall, Alice in Wonderland, A Better Tomorrow, Ghost in the Shell, Koyannisqati, Dr. Who: The Deadly Assassin, as well as a clip from Philip K. Dick's famous "dark-haired girl at the door" speech. The project is an extension of another video series, Everything Is a Remix, that takes a deep look at artistic creation (the title's sounds self-explanatory, but the videos are completely enthralling).
More than just a cut-together of awesome scenes from martial arts movies, as it seems at the start, the video actually gradually links the mythologies of these films. It makes wry jabs at specific elements, like the wake-me-up pill in both The Matrix and Totall Recall, but culminates in the all-encompassing philosophy, the big question: what is reality?
The end of the clip offers some worthwhile pieces of literature on the subject. They are listed below the video. Enjoy! Thanks, Rob G. Wilson!
Everything Is A Remix: THE MATRIX from robgwilson.com on Vimeo.
Simulacra and Simulation by Jean Baudrillard
The Hero with a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell
Hard Boiled by Frank Miller and Geof Darrow
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick
Neuromancer by William Gibson
Out of Control: The New Biology of Machines, Social Systems, and the Economic World by Kevin Kelly
The Invisibles by Grant Morrison
"The Allegory of the Cave" by Plato
Source: Robgwilson.com via Vimeo
Attempting to delve into one of Tinseltown’s most curious scandals--the mysterious suicide (or was it?) of the original TV Superman actor George Reeves--the story begins after Reeves (Ben Affleck) is found dead of a seemingly self-inflicted gunshot wound during a late night party in his Benedict Canyon home. The case then unfolds through the eyes of Louis Simo (Adrien Brody) a street-smart publicity hungry private dick hired by Reeves’ grieving mother. As Simo slowly peels back the layers of Reeves’ seemingly glamorous life he discovers an actor of charm talent and sophistication whose every opportunity for a big break fizzled forcing him to lead a frustrated existence slumming in the superhero show he deemed beneath him. Gradually identifying with Reeves’ failed expectations for himself Simo discovers a host of candidates who may have actually pulled the trigger on the actor including his young party girl paramour (Robin Tunney) his longtime lover and patron (Diane Lane) and his lover’s husband a powerfully connected studio “fixer” (Bob Hoskins). It is Brody not Affleck who carries the bulk of the film on his shoulders and the Oscar winner delivers a finely etched turn as Simo who’s fractured potential mirrors Reeves’ but quite simply Simo’s story isn’t nearly as dark or engaging as Reeves’ life or the mystery surrounding his death. Affleck an actor who has had his share of ups downs duds and disappointments in Hollywood delivers one of his most charming and fully realized performances to date even if his spot-on recreation of Reeves’ speech pattern is a bit distracting. The luminous Lane’s acting talents remain in full blossom in a character she’s well-suited to play—the aging beauty fearing the road ahead—and she commands every scene she’s in. Unfortunately there should have been many many more of them. She’s almost criminally underused. Hoskins more menacing then ever and the reliable stable of supporting players like Joe Spano are all top-notch as well; only Tunney apparently trying to channel both Betty Boop and Bette Davis simultaneously seems a bit off her game as the wannabe femme fatale. Best known for his strong turns helming many of the best episodes of television series such as The Sopranos Sex and the City and Six Feet Under first time feature director Allen Coulter’s cool assured hand and meticulous recreation of Cold War Los Angeles are major bonuses here. Even when Simo’s story sags in comparison to Reeves’ Coulter keeps us interested particularly when staging the Rashomon-like sequences depicting the various theories behind Reeves’ demise. But by skimping on Reeves’ story in favor of a less compelling fictional framework built around a private detective investigating the case we never see one key suspect’s possible murder scenario enacted visually and it comes off as a glaring omission.
Imagine the sci-fi spirit of Blade Runner crossed with the drug-induced musings of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and set to trippy animation. Now consider that this animation plays like a book by Philip K. Dick (who also penned Blade Runner’s novel) and you’re likely spinning with imagery; welcome to A Scanner Darkly. Set in Anaheim California seven years into the future an undercover narc named Bob Arctor (Keanu Reeves) is assigned to spy on his druggie friends (Robert Downey Jr. Woody Harrelson Winona Ryder and Rory Cochrane). They’re all hooked on Substance D the latest suburban drug and its side effects--including possible manifestation of separate identities--can be downright nasty. Unfortunately Bob the “scanner ” is hooked too and he leads the ultimate double life unbeknownst to him: By day he partakes in “D” consumption; by night he watches the surveillance tapes as a cop--not realizing he may in turn be spying on himself. Scanner marks a welcome return of sorts for all five actors to their more decadent (cinematic) days. Downey and Harrelson are up to their old Natural Born Killers tricks even though their characters share nothing other than insanity with those in Oliver Stone’s movie. Downey perennially the most underrated actor steals every scene he’s in with his character James’ mile-a-minute psychobabble. Not far off is Reeves who somehow grasps Bob’s drug-induced psychosis almost too well and is much more comfy (and likable) playing the central character in a film that’s not carrying an entire production company. We haven’t seen Ryder in a major release since ‘02’s Mr. Deeds and although her part isn’t as meaty as the boys’ she gives a compelling performance. And Cochrane whose breakout role was the dopey burnout in Scanner director Richard Linklater’s Dazed and Confused is an often funny casualty of the paranoia associated with Substance D. Linklater’s last release was Bad News Bears and his next is October’s Fast Food Nation. Clearly and to his credit no director offers us as much variety with so many of his films clicking on all cylinders; to his discredit however parts of his latest film don’t click. The biggest flaw is the animation which while truly amazing to behold detaches us. What began as a winning experiment--on his 2001 philosoph-ilm Waking Life--can no longer be dismissed as such but rather a gimmick behind which Scanner hides. Sure it’s apt for Dick’s futuristic dystopia but this film didn’t need any added complexity to bog our brains down. In addition Linklater’s Scanner outcasts fail where his others have been immortalized: They don’t endear us--yes that truth is faithful to the source material but films can’t get away with such disconnect. Ultimately all we feel towards the characters is fascination over their animated likenesses. But Linklater is praiseworthy for even tackling such a novel and the adaptation will find a fervent cult following.