By: John Semley, Accredited Graduate of Hollywood Insider Correspondence Equivalence Programme
HOLLYWOOD, PA-With the window for Academy Awards consideration closing fast, IFC Films is racing to distribute Che, its recently-acquired film based on the life of one of the most well-known revolutionary Marxist t-shirts. Directed by visionary American auteur Steven Soderbergh (Erin Brokovich, Ocean’s Twelve), the four-hour historical epic stars Puerto Rican thespian Benecio Del Toro (License To Kill, Things We Lost in the Fire) as an anthropomorphized version of the titular garment.
“It was probably one of his hardest roles to get his beautiful head around,” speculated local film critic Michael Leers, “Benicio is a method actor, see? That means that depending on the methods used by the character he’s inhabiting, those are the methods he uses to understand that character. Like for example, when he played Jackie Boy Rafferty in Robert Rodriguez’s Sin City, he actually went out and had all of Frank Miller’s original source comic books bought for him to read. He’s kind of like a historian, in that sense. And, and, and…he lived as a Hispanic person for almost 31 years in preparation for his role as Javier in Traffic. And he got an Oscar for Best Actor of the Year for that! So there you go.”
Leers, who claims to have seen upwards of four of Del Toro’s films, is hotly anticipating Che. “Oh, I just can’t wait,” he said “I hope it plays around here. I just love going to the movies.”
Soderbergh is similarly anxious about the film’s theatrical wide release.
“It’s just a great story,” the Michael Jordan of filmmaking reportedly told Variety.com, “I mean, here’s a shirt that has seen it all: from its relatively modest origins, to its adoption by the rap-rock skid culture to its against-all-odds crossover into the notoriously unforgiving domain of knapsack patches. It’s practically the Chinatown of t-shirts.”
Che has already polarized audiences and critics following screenings at Cannes and the New York Film Festival. James Dolan, President and CEO of Cablevision Systems Corporation, owner of Rainbow Media Holdings LLC (the subsidary entity which itself owns IFC Films), remains unshaken by the lukewarm reception Che has thus far received.
“What’s this one about, a shirt? Well I’ve seen them green-light worse shit down there,” Dolan responded over the phone while striking what sounded like a match against what sounded like a Hounduran mahogany desk and lighting what may-or-may-not be a contraband Cuban cigar. “I mean if IFC stays in the black pushing around all this superificially controversial niche garbage, like the one where the cab-driver and the shoes salesman have an affair, or that he-she one or that other one with the fat liberal fuck in the ball cap, then what the hell? I got no complaints. Sure, it’s not for everyone, but as long as they choke out another onion skin-thin profit margin this quarter, then I’m contractually bound to support their various, whaddayacallem, artistic directions and what-have-ya.”
Cuban cigars have been illegal in the United States since February 7, 1963, when yet-to-be assasinated President John F. Kennedy imposed a trade embargo against all goods exported from Cuba for unknown reasons.