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An actor and would-be screenwriter, who at the very moment of his meeting with Fate, comes to discover that life is random and fortune is sightless. He is thrown into a vortex where time, dreams, and reality collide in an increasingly whirling slipstream. It's a surreal and dreamlike tale of one man's journey. Written by
Anthony Hopkins chose a moldy, mildewy storage room at the Redondo Beach Elks Lodge, CA to film his bedroom dream sequence because he didn't have to dress the walls to look moldy and mildewy. He also used the Lodge Room as a sound-stage for a TV news insert for a later bar scene and filmed the front of the Lodge as an emergency room entrance for his ambulance rush sequence. He signed autographs, posed for pictures, and used one of the Lodge members and his wife in the exterior scene. See more »
As Sir Hopkins was the first to admit: this is a strange film. Because of Slipstream's structure it is both extremely easy and quite difficult to "spoil" the movie, but suffice to say that it's the story of a very mixed up screen writer. It takes a fair amount from films like 8 1/2, Muholland Drive, and Adaptation, but it's quite different any of them. For better or worse, the editing style is by far the most distinctive feature of the film. Every editing technique known to man is utilized in a short time. Perplexing and subliminal imagery abound, and it would take many viewings to try and decode it all. I found the editing style interesting and generally well done, but it does get tiring after a while.
The cast is superb. There are no huge names here, but Hopkins combines seasoned and well versed character actors with complete unknowns. His part in the film is central but actually takes up surprisingly little screen time, and his performance is subdued. Hopkins emphasized that he saw this film as lighthearted and poking fun at Hollywood. There are certainly some funny scenes, especially on the film set, but this is far from a comedy.
The film is a deeply personal one. Hopkins was on hand to introduce and answer questions about his film at the Seattle Film festival, and he made it clear this is precisely the film HE wanted to make. With few willing to finance such an unusual picture, he put up his own money. When the backers he had tried to put strings on the production, he got rid of them and bankrolled it himself. This is a film meant to be interpreted and understood on an individual level. Hopkins has his own meaning for the film, but we're expected to form our own.
This will doubtlessly be a divisive movie. I guarantee it will gain a cult following with time, and I also guarantee a large portion of the audience will HATE it. Don't go into Slipstream expecting a typical Anthony Hopkins film (if there is such a thing), don't go into it expecting any kind conventional narrative, and don't go into it expecting another Muholland Drive. Whether you view Slipstream as self indulgent trash, or creative brilliance; it's nothing if not unique.
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