on March 3, 2009
Slipstream is a rare kind of movie. Read the other reviews (not the 1 stars) if you want to get a fairly inclusive overview. What makes Slipstream so special is that it is experienced by the left brain as utter nonsense, but the right brain can catch on. It is possible to "get" this film without being able to say what you got. Isn't that delightful! The scenes are an indecipherable kaleidoscope that gave me a headache on my left side (true); there is a rhythm, rather than logic and a relatedness, rather than linear unfolding. Perhaps this film is even brilliant. If you can bear to be in a state of not-knowing, this movie can work for you. If you enjoy not knowing, if you enjoy not having complete control over your experience, you may thrill at this film. Early on, you'll realize that the "plot" is too complex for it to all come together at the end. So don't wait for it. Instead, let yourself enjoy your bafflement.
By leaving understanding entirely in our hands, the movie presents us with pure possibility. How often can we say that? Even though it was too violent for my taste, I felt exhilarated and inspired. What it left me with: Each of us is in a wildly individual, and often even significantly divergent, experience. What allows us to be related to another's experience is our ability to step out of our unique perspective and recognize the commonly held narrative in which we each have our own experience. I have no idea if the film delivered that or if my firing-furiously-at-novelty neurons invented it, but such is the wonder of this marvel, that I could be left with this delicious insight. What might you find?
The least of Slipstream's virtues are lighting, cinematography, editing that becomes a "character" and Hopkins' ability to get an excellent performance out of his actors. Bravo.
on April 23, 2016
"SlipStream" was fabulous!!! Highly entertaining (fun, full of surprises and never dragged), artistic (writing, acting & direction outstanding), intelligent, and profound! Anthony Hopkins deserves multiple Oscars and Golden Globes. He's done a lot of fantastic work over the years but this may be his crowning achievement. I'm 56 and gifted with a superior memory. I've watched a lot of movies but only occasionally do I watch a film more than ounce and never in close proximity to the first viewing. "SlipStream" is a movie that I easily could watch a week after the first viewing without running the risk of getting bored. In fact, scenes from the film have been popping into my mind for a week after watching the movie. "Row, row, row your boat gently down the stream. Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily life is but a dream." I'll definitely recommend "SlipStream" to friends and no doubt watch it multiple times. WARNING: At the risk of coming across as egoic, "SlipStream" is for everyONE but it may test the coping skills of shallow idiots. To fully appreciate "SlipStream" I believe it helps to have an eye for true art, the wisdom that comes with age, and a higher level of consciousness. In "SlipStream" Anthony Hopkins plays a Hollywood screenwriter who is forced to drive his vintage big red convertible into the Mohave Desert to pen emergency scenes for a film shoot in progress with a menagerie of brilliantly-eccentric thespians at an aging diner run by a Dolly Parton impersonator. I'm not going to say anything else because I don't want to spoil Hopkins' stream of thought, especially how it syncs with the "Yoga Sutras of Patanjali." Suffice it to say, however, that Hopkins obviously possesses an eye for true art, the wisdom that comes with age, and a higher level of consciousness since he wrote, acted, and directed "SlipStream." A true treat and Cinematic Trinity!!!
on May 12, 2014
In fact, it made no sense to me and was pretty much a struggle to watch. Then, I watched the special features. I should have done that first. It made all the difference and, actually, the movie made some sense and made me think that Anthony Hopkins (he is such a great actor) wasn't totally nuts. The special features added enormous relevance but still not any where near enough to recommend this strange concoction. To anyone who may decide to view this, I will recommend watching the special features first. That way you''ll kind of know what is going on and won't be totally lost and the special features will lend perspective.
on November 22, 2010
The directorial and screenwriting debut of one of the world's greatest living actors is by no means an accessible film. While Anthony Hopkins stars in "Slipstream" as well, the thespian has stepped behind the camera to bring us a strangely imaginative cinematic experience.
The film itself makes no sense and is challenging, at times down right frustrating to watch. Though, "Slipstream" is one of those rare storytelling masterpieces about everything without meaning anything. Or perhaps a story about nothing that means everything.
Anthony Hopkins has drummed up what feels like decades of suppressed angst about filmmaking. His writing is full of the energy and guts of a young screenwriter, but with the wisdom of the most seasoned scribes. He has created a slice of cinema for the cinephile; overly rich in its flavors and densely packed with ingredients. If you're a connoisseur of the strange and admirer of Hopkins's demanding presence, like me you will eat it up till the last crumb falls indulgently from your gaping gaze.
You can read my full review here: [...]
on June 3, 2012
Last night's bargain-rack movie was "Slipstream," a film by Anthony Hopkins. I didn't care for it. It's hard to explain, but it was a movie about making a movie. Well, and it was one of these artsy movies that were shot all out of chronological order. Plus the filming was in the style of what I would call "playing with yourself." Little gaps and blips were present. Stops occurred here and there. Things changed color here and there. Parts of the film were in black and white. In my interpretation, most of this was just diddling around and had no bearing on the story. It was a film that only moviemakers could enjoy, and they might well get a kick out of it.
Parts were rather good. One part had two thugs take over a cafe and hold the employees as captives in a somewhat riveting scene, and then we find out that this was just part of the film they were shooting and everyone takes a break. Then one of the actors dies and there's a big scramble to decide what to do with saving the shots which have already been taken. Then there's the dreams about the film which are hard to tell from the film itself. One amusing episode has the writer asleep by his laptop and several people on the laptop screen watching him and commenting. Okay, it was somewhat clever and amusing here and there, but I just didn't get much out of the whole thing. Finally my mind just gave up on trying to piece it all together. I could try to watch it several more times to get it all sorted out, but it just isn't that interesting. Save your money, unless you're a film buff.
The febrile and fevered mind of a sly screenwriter - Felix Bonhoeffer - is constantly baffled and besieged by personages of the fiction of a play he's writing for the big screen and his tormented past, when these characters intermingle themselves, and appear blended with his memories of the past, acquiring such dimensions of trueness that become a horrid nightmare of undecipherable horror in his alienated mind.
This film made remind to Jorge Luis Borges, who wrote a forceful but descriptive brief tale about "The memory of Shakespeare" (a superb and relatively unknown tale) in which describes the sharp physical tensions into a creative mind in process, as final outcome of a well coveted ambition of any writer. In this sense the sleeping process may work out either liberator device or alienation mechanism. And that's why Hopkins, smartly makes reference to this cult movie "The invasion of the body snatchers", which is (at least to my mind) the most pyramidal science fiction picture ever made in the Fifties. That interesting portrait about alien organisms, that masked into pods are capable to reproduce with absolute fidelity a human being after he has slept.
So these brief interludes of the suspended conscious or the pores of the infiniteness acquire life, being absolutely to distinguish in this ambivalence state what is reality and what `s unreal, will take over the mind of Felix leading to the last frontier of unexplored and even wasteland territories of our memory's labyrinths, carving once more in relief, the demons of the reason produce monsters."
Along the history of cinema, there have been other films that have remarked this process of sudden breakthrough of the reality and the fiction. Paul Wengerer started in 1913 with his anthological film "The student of Prague", in the middle twenties was Murnau with "The last man"; during the thirties "The blue angel", during the forties "Dead of night" ; in the fifties "The seven seal"; in the sixties "Shock corridor" and "Seconds" ; in the seventies "Catch 22" and "Someone flew into the cuckoo's nest" in the in the eighties "The stunt man", "Brazil" and "Altered states", while in the Nineties "Zentropa," "Twelve monkeys" and "Window to Paris."
So, this film is not an easy film to watch. You must keep in mind all these previous references, because otherwise you would be able to stand without understanding this disintegration hell.
A true masterwork!
on November 9, 2013
This film is not for casual viewers, or anyone who has no experience with what might be called "waking unreality." This is as close as we'll ever get to watching someone else freefalling through the last moments of his life. It is shattered and shattering, disconnected yet completely and intricately connected, a dream within a dream (to quote Poe) and the nightmare that stays with us when we're awake, hiding just behind our eyes and making us see things that aren't there, or maybe that are. If you find these ideas difficult to fathom, be proud of your sanity and hold on to it with both fists. Those of us who are mad will understand every frame.
As a writer myself, I relate particularly to the sensation of pentimento that Hopkins' character experiences as his creations -- his characters -- take on a certain aspect of reality that is all their own. We create them; we are indeed their creator. However, as their creator, we are responsible for them. It's a lifetime commitment, and if you forget them... I promise you, they will come back and complain about their treatment at your supernatural hand.
Start with "All That Jazz," the brilliant Bob Fosse film -- it will ease you into the world of the creative genius whose mind recreates his reality through dream sequences and an intimate conversation with Death. If you're careful, you can jump to "Waking Life," which will make sense only as you assemble the puzzle pieces and look for the key pieces that tell you where you are and what's happening on screen. Then come back to "Slipstream" -- it will be much easier to understand then. Failing understanding, just let it flow through your mind and see what sticks. If you don't "get it," don't worry... many people don't. Nobody's fault. You'll know more when you discover just how much of your everyday reality is all in your head. Like a story, or a movie, or someone's idea of what a life should look like.
Is God in show business too?
on August 4, 2010
Although baffling at first, once you understand the spirit of the movie it becomes a thoroughly delightful romp, and a celebration of movies as an art form. It starts out feeling like a 'Hollywood behind-the-scenes' movie, but then appears to change into a gangland murder mystery. Shortly thereafter, you see the 'horse-of-a-different-color' from the WIZARD OF OZ, except that the 'horse' has been updated to a late model Corvette, and this modern horse-of-a-different-color scene ends with a silent-film-era closing iris shot. The movie then turns into a 20-minute updated version of the 1936 Bette Davis/Humphrey Bogart movie THE PETRIFIED FOREST (except that Christian Slater is an even more menacing screen presence than Bogart was). The film then transforms into a Hollywood behind-the-scenes farce, before morphing in other ways.
Near the end there is a 3-minute laugh-out-loud cartoonish sequence in the screen writer's study, and during the five minutes of closing credits the entire movie runs backwards in fast motion (as if an old reel-to-reel projector were projecting the film as it was being rewound). There are repeated references to the original 1956 INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS, and the nearly 90-year-old star of that movie (Kevin McCarthy) plays himself in a charming bit part. In the DVD Special Features commentary, Anthony Hopkins explains the significance of the references to the INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS, but he leaves many other things for the viewers to enjoy discovering for themselves (such as the fleeting three or four frames of a redddish-orange Frisbee flying through the desert like a UFO on its way to Area 51).
on August 13, 2011
Anthony Hopkins is trying to outdo David Lynch, but this film is garbage.
After suffering through the entire movie, I watched the special feature which is a rerun of the movie with Hopkins doing a voice-over, giving his "thoughts" behind the movie. He admits most of the scenes are random, much of the dialogue is improvised, and he named characters whatever popped into his head. He says the script wrote itself, so he can't explain it and doesn't believe that it needs to be explained or even understood. If anyone set out to deliberately make a terrible movie, I believe this would be the way to do it.
He says that if people like it ... fine, and if they don't ... all the better. I guess you could think of the movie as a kind of Rorschach Test and some people will see what they want to see.
Hopkins should stick to acting.
on October 13, 2015
Now, this movie is definitely strange and doesn't have the normal flow, I guess as a regular movie, which is why I'm sure some people didn't get it. But that's one of the reasons why I love it. At the title it says Slipstream, then the word dream flashes. The movie jumps around just like a dream would. If your like me and you get off work late at night and you want to watch a flick that after 15 minutes has you saying, "what the hell is this movie" and have it totally draw you in and if you enjoy movies that are completely original and completely different from the usual, people trying to hard to make a lot of money type movies, this is a really cool flick for you. Check it out!!!