Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Steve Buscemi Scampers Through "Igor"

Steve Buscemi: a name I recognise as being that of an actor, but not one I know well. I suspect, not sure why, that he must be one of those "cool" actors - cultish, not exactly middle-of-the-road.

He sparked my interest when we saw the animated movie "Igor" this week. One of the main characters, a comical, cynical bunny called Scamper (right), is "voiced" by Steve Buscemi - he has all the best one-liners of the movie, and they're expertly delivered.

"Igor", by the way, is an animated movie likely to appeal more to adults than very small children. Subtle and not so subtle satirical nods to big box office animations, as well as horror movies are liberally scattered throughout. I also saw it as a comedic allegory: a country called Malaria, climate change, a ruler who aimed to keep his subjects under control through fear, a down-trodden working class, known as Igors....(remind you of anywhere?) No more detail for fear of spoiling it for future viewers. It's zany and funny, in a darkish kind of way, not in the same league as other recent animations but still enjoyable. Other characters' voices by John Cusack, John Cleese, Eddie Izzard and Jay Leno. (Trailer here).

Scanning Steve Buscemi's filmography, I noticed a few movies I recall having seen, but with no recollection of him. He must be one of those actors who disappears completely into the part he's playing. He also directs, by the way. I do, remember him as Luke in the 1989 TV mini-series "Lonesome Dove", which I've seen more times than I dare to count. He played a very unsavoury character, a genre that now seems to be his speciality - creepy, cynical individuals, unwelcome company in a back alley (or anywhere else) on a dark night. In view of this he seemed an odd choice to play Scamper, the funny bunny in "Igor". Not so odd though after I discovered that he started his on-stage career as a stand-up comedian, after four years working as a fireman.

Steve Buscemi was born 13 December 1957 in Brooklyn, New York. No time of birth known, chart below is for 12 noon, so ascendant and Moon position aren't accurate, though Moon would certainly have been in Virgo, whatever the time of birth.

Sun conjunct Saturn in Sagittarius, with Mars in Scorpio (its own sign) semi-sextiling Sun. This link between Sun, Saturn and Mars (in its purest form) reflects Steve's ability to play dark, creepy parts, adding heavy doses of cynicism with such ease. Saturn and Mars are traditionally thought of as "malefic" planets, and in this case probably at times dim somewhat the open and brightly jovial nature of his Sagittarius Sun. His Virgo Moon and Mercury in Capricorn indicate discernment, a serious mind and meticulous attention to detail, valuable assets for an actor who is also a director. Venus in Aquarius, opposed by Uranus in Leo reflects a lighter, more unconventional facet of his personality, and his comedic talent.
(Right: As Mr. Pink, in "Reservoir Dogs".


R J Adams said...

I think I'll stick with Tom and Jerry, and the Roadrunner. The old ones - before computer animation destroyed the artistry.

Twilight said...

I still think fondly of "Bambi" and "Dumbo",..oh, and "Fantasia" RJ (not so much T and J and RR, I was never a big fan).
The skills and artistry involved in today's animated movies may be different from those applied in the golden age of cartoon films, but no less admirable and amazing, in my opinion. And the jokes are better. :-)

Treasures By Brenda said...

Steve Buscemi is not a name that I recognize and maybe I found his face every so slightly familiar but then again I am not great at remembering names...including actors' names! I enjoyed reading your review and would welcome your opinion on the page that I have written about Igor at The Igor Movie Comes To Life Just In Time For Your Family's Halloween Fun.


Wisewebwoman said...

I always enjoy creepy old Steve in his well played parts.
I must say I do enjoy the CGI in modern cartoon and particularly cartoons for adults. I must make a point of catching Igor.
I need a good movie fix T. I am in detox and it's awful. I will make up for it when I have my annual sojourn in Toronto and banquet my eyes out!

anthonynorth said...

I remember this guy from Con Air and Armageddon, both excellent roles. He manages to perfectly mix the creepy with humour.
As a serial child killer in Con Air, there is a most disturbing scene where he's sat having a pretend tea with a little girl, the girl taking charge of the proceedings. But somehow, it's mesmerising.
Afterwards it makes you feel kind of guilty for watching it. A piece of brilliant film making and acting.

Twilight said...

Treasures-by-Brenda ~~~

Hi Brenda, thank you for your visit and comment.

You have a very good collection of information at your website - everything anyone could ever need to know about "Igor"!. I left a comment, on the movie and your website in general hope it got through to you. :-)

Twilight said...

WWW ~~~ Animations are coming thick and fast nowadays - if movie stars aren't careful they could become superfluous (apart from their voices.) ;-)

I wouldn't have been attracted to these movies at one time, but the husband is a big fan of animation, and CGI, so in accompanying him I've become a fan myself. :-)

I'll be taking more note of Steve Buscemi from now on !

Twilight said...

AN ~~~ Oh, good! Someone else who "knows" Steve. He's obviously something of an acquired taste, but once seen (or heard)- and appreciated, never to be forgotten. We'll be looking out for DVDs of some of his old movies now, with the 2 you mention as starters. :-)