Insignificance

Insignificance

4.6 3
Director: Nicolas Roeg

Cast: Gary Busey, Tony Curtis, Michael Emil

     
 

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Using four famous but unnamed individuals to symbolize a notorious era in American politics, as well as to explore the nature of despair, director Nicolas Roeg has created an intriguing drama. Based on a play by Terry Johnson, the story begins with the blond Theresa Russell as a sex-goddess actress working on a scene over a subway grate, with her skirts billowing out… See more details below

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Overview

Using four famous but unnamed individuals to symbolize a notorious era in American politics, as well as to explore the nature of despair, director Nicolas Roeg has created an intriguing drama. Based on a play by Terry Johnson, the story begins with the blond Theresa Russell as a sex-goddess actress working on a scene over a subway grate, with her skirts billowing out in the updraft. A famous Professor from Princeton with white hair opens his door to the actress, who takes out a few props and goes through her rendition of the theory of relativity. Between her theatrical mode of speech and his world of mathematics, there is a certain entente. Enter the ballplayer who is her husband (Gary Busey), in love but without a clue as to the actress' inner sadness. Throw in the senator from Wisconsin (Tony Curtis) before whose sub-committee on Unamerican Activities the Professor has to appear, and the undercurrent of a societal witch-hunt that ruined many careers in Hollywood, in academics, in sports, and in politics is churned into the story.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
Insignificance is confusing, fascinating, and sometimes irritating. A fantasy about the meeting of four famous characters and a meditation on the meaning of celebrity, relationships, loneliness, and the inability to communicate, it's a challenging film that ultimately doesn't make much sense but which burrows into the viewer's mind and stays with him long after the film is over. Blessed with director Nicolas Roeg's unique visuals, the story stops at many points for flashbacks/digressions that sometimes add to our enjoyment and sometimes detract from it, including a final lengthy "bomb" segment that is quite disturbing, as well as a marvelous Marilyn Monroe calendar sequence. If Roeg is not interested in illuminating Terry Johnson's screenplay, he clearly is interested in pulling some first-rate performances from his actors. Theresa Russell's Monroe is no imitation but a carefully wrought distillation, and Michael Emil's Einstein is vulnerable and boyish. Gary Busey struggles a bit with DiMaggio, but overall is fine. Best is Tony Curtis, unafraid to chew any scenery in sight as McCarthy, and delivering one of his bravest performances as a result. Insignificance is not everyone's cup of tea, but it's a memorable experience.

Product Details

Release Date:
06/14/2011
UPC:
0715515081511
Original Release:
1985
Rating:
R
Source:
Criterion
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Time:
1:48:00
Sales rank:
47,486

Special Features

New Video Interviews with Roeg and Thomas and with Editor Tony Lawson; ; Making "Insignificance," a Short Documentary shot on the set of the film; ; Original Theatrical Trailer; Plus: A Booklet featuring an Essay by Film Critic Chuck Stephens and a reprinted exchange between Roeg and Screenwriter Terry Johnson

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Gary Busey Ballplayer
Tony Curtis Senator
Michael Emil Professor
Theresa Russell Actress
Will Sampson Elevator Attendant
George Holmes Actor
Shinobu Kanai Japanese Woman
Patrick Kilpatrick Driver
Ian O'Connell Assistant Director
Richard Davidson Director of Photography
Mitchell Greenberg Technician
Raynor Scheine Autograph Hunter
Jude Ciccolella Gaffer
Lou Hirsch Charlie
Ray Charleson Bud
Joel Cutrara Bar Drunk
Raymond J. Barry Ballplayer's Father
John Stamford Young Ballplayer
Desiree Erasmus Prostitute
David Lambert Young Professor
Cassie Stuart Young Actress
Meachell Dunsmoor Actress as a Child
Daniel Benzali Theatrical Agent
R.J. Bell Theatrical Agent
David Montague Young Senator

Technical Credits
Nicolas Roeg Director
Christine Beveridge Makeup
David Brockhurst Production Designer
Peter Hannan Cinematographer
Shuna Harwood Costumes/Costume Designer
Joyce Herlihy Associate Producer
Terry Johnson Screenwriter
Diana Johstone Set Decoration/Design
Tony Lawson Editor
Paul LeMare Sound/Sound Designer
Stanley Myers Score Composer
Arthur Max Shafransky Art Director
Alexander Stuart Executive Producer
Jeremy Thomas Producer
Alan Whibley Special Effects
Hans Zimmer Score Composer

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Insignificance
1. On Set [7:17]
2. The Professor And The Senator [12:03]
3. Daydreams [6:07]
4. The Actress [7:24]
5. The Theory Of Relativity [10:28]
6. Bedtime [8:53]
7. The Ball Player [10:32]
8. Not Okay [8:56]
9. Cherokees [1:29]
10. Needs And Wants [3:38]
11. The Elevator Man [1:52]
12. The Senator [7:41]
13. The Professor [5:16]
14. New Plans [4:32]
15. Fears [12:27]

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