Walk: Sundance Kabuki (A Most Wanted Man)
Distance: 2 miles
Here is a man who is existing - for very rational reasons - beyond trust, mostly beyond idealism, beyond hope really. Poorly shaven, covered in ill-fitting rumpled clothes, his body too is shot - over weight, and weighted down with an array of deeply ingrained, non-stop fatal habits. He is existing killing himself slowly and probably knowing the full range of death is upon him.
The movie is A Most Wanted Man, the role is John Le Carre's Gunther Bachmann, a German intelligence officier. But the viewer watches with the very real sense that Gunther is also the real life actor, Philip Seymour Hoffman (PSH) . And - this is difficult to write - seeing Gunther/him on the screen for two hours so beaten down by life's circumstances, not truly fighting any more made it easier for Ciwt to comprehend his actual death. PSH played a lot of roles, but Ciwt doesn't remember any where his life force wasn't palpable - screwed up, lonely and left out, evil, manipulative, a host of other things, but always there was that inner shine, that vibrancy, that deep down PSH energy.
Not here; not in A Most Wanted Man. There is the cynical isolation of persisting in a singular world view. But that's doggedness, not will to live. And, as she said, seeing PSH/Gunther in this different, existing-without-really-living way, it became more possible for Ciwt to comprehend that this force of nature could actually be gone.
It also made slightly more comprehensible the concept of whether his genius for inhabiting roles actually contributed to his death. Ciwt hasn't entirely understood that thinking before this movie. But maybe inhabiting completely a man who, in the end, has been utterly defeated, whose will has sat at the table with fate and capitulated truly was too much for this supreme and vulnerable actor's being to endure.
We all know A Man Most Wanted is PSH's last movie. For that at least you go; but it is also a good movie. And you aren't distracted by plot complications so PSH can receive your full attention for the last time you get to see him first run.
His last words in the movie are "Fuck!" "Fuck!!!"
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