Friday, March 25, 2011

The Player (1992)

This is an okay movie. Film executive Griffin Mill (Tim Robbins) listens to screenplay pitches from writers hoping their story will be sold. When he starts receiving disturbing and threatening postcards from an anonymous source, he suspects that a disgruntled writer is upset at having his idea rejected. One night Mill tracks down an angry man he believes is responsible. During a fight, the writer drowns in a puddle of water. Mill now worries he will be caught, and to cope he develops a relationship with the dead writer's girlfriend.

The story is based on screenwriter Michael Tolkin's 1988 novel. He also wrote a 2006 sequel novel called Return of the Player. The film criticizes the movie industry for its poor treatment of artists and the practice of sacrificing quality to earn commercial success. The opening sequence shot lasts 7 minutes and 47 seconds without a single camera break. Sixty-two actors had cameo appearances in the film and most of them were not compensated. The movie playing at the theater is The Bicycle Thief, a 1948 Italian film directed by Vittorio De Sica.

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