Directed by: Michel Gondry (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind)
Starring: Jack Black, Mos Def, Danny Glover, Mia Farrow, Melonie Diaz, Irv Gooch
When Michel Gondry’s Be Kind Rewind first showed up in these parts, it did so at the Epic in Hendersonville. I parked somewhere near the Canadian border and stood in one of those awful Friday night lines to get a ticket — only to end up as one of five people in the theater actually showing the movie in question. OK, I wasn’t that surprised, since offbeat, quirky movies rarely fare well in Hendersonville (something distributors just don’t seem to get) and there was no reason to believe this would be an exception. As luck would have it, however, the film’s appearance came during a dry spell for “art” titles, so it wasn’t all that hard to convince the Fine Arts to book it and see how it fared in Asheville — and it fared pretty nicely. A second viewing confirmed my belief in the film’s quality. In fact, come awards season, Mr. Souther and I gave it another look, and damned if it didn’t nearly end up in the Number One slot on my Ten Best list. If you’ve never seen this sweet, gentle little movie, give it a shot. Even if you generally dislike Jack Black, give it a shot.
The full original review is here.
The Asheville Film Society will screen Be Kind Rewind Tuesday, Sept. 3, at 8 p.m. at The Carolina Asheville and will be hosted by Xpress movie critics Ken Hanke and Justin Souther.
In Brief: Calling Michel Gondry’s 2008 film a comedy does it a great disservice. This incredibly warm and gentle film is much more than that. Its premise — VHS video store workers replace the accidentally erased movies with decidedly low-rent versions of their own — is really just a springboard to examine much broader concerns of memory, fantasy, community, family and the very nature of movies themselves. There’s nothing quite like it, and there are few modern films so completely free of cynicism, snark and irony. It’s a lovely little film that manages to be utterly sweet without ever being cloying.