April 02, 2003

IF YOU WANNA BE MY

IF YOU WANNA BE MY GLOVER: Thanks to his new movie "Willard," actor Crispin Glover has gotten perhaps more mainstream exposure lately than at any time in his career. Best known for his role as George McFly in the first "Back to the Future," Glover has in recent years acquired quite a reputation as one of Hollywood's supreme weirdos, one that serves him well as the alienated young man who befriends a group of rats in the new film.
In recent weeks Glover has been interviewed by Jay Leno, Conan O'Brien, Entertainment Weekly, The Onion AV Club, and numerous other outlets, and in these interviews he's been asked about all of the various weirdnesses in his CV: his infamous kick to the head of David Letterman in 1987, his long-in-the-works direction of a film ("What Is It?") with an all-retarded cast, his forays into music and literature, and his belief in the need for a new "counter-cultural film movement." But one subject I've never seen touched on in any recent interview with Glover is perhaps the most fascinating of all: an essay the actor wrote in the 2000 anthology "Apocalypse Culture II" in which Glover, apparently in all seriousness, called for Steven Spielberg to be killed. Glover's beef with the all-powerful director dates back to his being cut out of "Back to the Future" Parts II and III, and he apparently objects not only to Spielberg personally, but also his "propagandist" films, to the point where he feels that humanity could be better served by the director's death:

Because I think it is possible a beautiful piece of non-lingual music could well be written by an angry victim once Steven Spielberg becomes a corpse. It could be that this angry victim of banal and ruinous propaganda will have written an anthem signaling a new era, a new thought process, a new music, and a new culture that is desperately needed in the coming days, and forevermore.

The "Apocalypse" book appeared almost three years ago, yet since then Glover's career in mainstream films has yet to suffer at all: he appeared in supporting roles in both "Charlie's Angels" and "Nurse Betty," and of course now has his first starring role, in "Willard." Perhaps Spielberg doesn't have as much influence over Hollywood as a whole as we all think he does. Perhaps "Apocalypse" was so far under the radar that mainstream Hollywood never even found out about it, and those who have recently interviewed Glover either didn't know about it themselves, or did know and wished to protect Glover from the wrath of the Dreamworks juggernaut. Or perhaps the Spielberg-bashing was just done in jest, and actually helped Glover's career (as his nuttiness is, after all, much of his appeal).
Besides, I'm glad Steven Spielberg wasn't killed in 2000- I think "A.I." is a great movie, and I don't think it could've survived the death of yet another director in mid-production.

Posted by Stephen Silver at April 2, 2003 05:23 AM
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