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A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III

May 17, 2013

A Glimpse inside the mind of charles swan III movie poster

How do you follow up a successful writing gig on Darjeeling Limited and  Moonrise Kingdom? You gather Charlie Sheen, Bill Murray, Jason Schwartzman, Aubrey Plaza, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Patricia Arquette and Dermont Mulroney and throw them into an odd film involving Charlie Sheen’s broken psyche after a break up.  Throw in some odd visuals, various dream sequences and wonderful hair and you have yourself an odd film that accumulated a plethora of critical vitriol and 16% on Rotten Tomatoes.

Roman Coppola infuses the film with a 60/70s vibe that exudes pop art but forgets narrative function. I’m assuming the flashbacks, dream sequences and scantily clad women were all intentional but that excess cost the film a cohesive feel. When a film meanders it seems to float listlessly going nowhere. You appreciate certain aspects of the film (Bill Murray in a funny hat) and forget the rest.

Charles Swan Bill Murray

It is neat that Roman and Charlies relationship has come full circle. During the late 1970s they played together in the Philippines while their fathers Francis-Ford and Martin made Apocalypse Now. Now Roman is directing Charlie in what seems to be an excuse for the two to have fun again.  An interesting thing about this film is that Roman couldn’t get it insured due to Sheen’s involvement. So, in his words “Thank god, because I saved two percent of my budget for not giving it to that worthless function.”

The best story coming out of this film was of the casting of Bill Murray. Murray is an elusive man of mystery who has no agent or manager. Roman had worked with him  on Lost in Translation and with a little persuasion got him to cameo in the film. Murray agreed and Coppola didn’t hear anything from him until the day before when Murray showed up randomly on set. You gotta love the Murray.

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