are extreme professions, but you will not see reality shows about them on the
History Channel. The E! Channel, maybe. Neither protagonist of will have a
typical day at the office. One celebrity impersonator will also get stuck with
his worst request ever in Todd Rohal’s Rat
Pack Rat (the more highly recommended of the two), which screened at the
2014 Sundance Film Festival.
looks worn down and frail, but the Sammy Davis, Jr. impersonator can still turn
on the Candyman for his Craigslist clients. This will be a tough one though. His
command performance will be the birthday present for an adolescent Rat Pack
fanatic wasting away from a terminal condition.
by The Catechism Cataclysm’s Rohal, Rat probably generated a lot of nervous
laughter during its screenings from those expecting similar lunacy, but it is a
distinctly sad and sober film. Eddie Rouse is fantastic as “Sammy,” conveying
all his weariness and regret, while also evoking some of the pathos of the
original Davis. It would be a fascinating film to see in dialogue with Armando
Bo’s The Last Elvis, a previous
Sundance selection that also explores how impersonators relate to their famous
protagonist of Ninja Thyberg’s Pleasure also
works in show business, in a far more professional capacity. Right, she does blue
movies (always a mainstay of festival programming). Initially, it is a typical
workday for Marie, but there is buzz one of her colleague will shoot a maneuver
that sounds like it would defy the laws of physics, but evidently happens from
time to time.
Pleasure is sexually
charged, but not sensual. It analyzes
the day-to-day details of her business with clinical detachment. Probably the
most intriguing element of the film is her relationship with Samson, a co-worker
who clearly has eyes for her, notwithstanding what they do all day, often
together. Yet, for Marie, he represents
more of a Survivor style alliance. It
is probably the only subtle aspect of the film, nicely turned by Jenny Hutton
and Christian Brandin.
While neither film is what you might call fun, both
create a distinctive vibe and Rat Pack
Rat is strangely affecting. Both
should expect considerable play on the festival circuit, given Pleasure’s subject matter and Rohal’s
cult reputation, following their screenings (as part of separate shorts
programs) at this year’s Sundance Film Festival.
Labels: Sammy Davis Jr., Scandinavian Cinema, Short Films, Sundance '14, Todd Rohal