whoever we may be, we are aliens too


Vincent Gallo is one of the most disliked of current film actors, while George Clooney is one of the most admired, but most viewers of Essential Killing—American, Belgian, Sri Lankan, or Japanese—probably have more in common with Gallo’s “Mohammed” than they have with Clooney. Anyone can be targeted, victimized, have their eardrums blasted out, be forced to hide and kill in order to survive. All these are possibilities of human existence that, at the advanced stage of civilization we enjoy, are available to everyone. But to be George Clooney? He may make it look easy. It’s in the voice, however, that the deceptive quality of the Clooney figure can best be detected. Clooney, who is from Lexington, Kentucky, speaks with an unmarked accent, an accent of zero. His vocal deadpan (so soothing in Wes Anderson’s Fantastic Mr. Fox [2009]) projects a reasonableness and an authority that do not impose themselves through any apparent violence. When he talks, it’s as if he were saying nothing. Such a talent makes him indeed The American.

more from Chris Fujiwara at n+1 here.