“Suede is a funny thing. It’s rough, but soft. It’s strong, but quiet… and it doesn’t wrinkle, and it doesn’t crack. And it doesn’t stand out so much in a crowd of leather and vinyl. You don’t notice it at first, but once you do you can’t take your eyes off of it, and you wonder how in the HELL you ever overlooked it in the first place.” ~JOHNNY SUEDE (Brad Pitt), explaining to the audience of young women in his fantasy dream the power of suede.
Today’s New Release: JOHNNY SUEDE
This “Cult Classic King of Coifdom” stars 3-time *Oscar nominee Brad Pitt, 2-time *Oscar nominee Catherine Keener, *Oscar and 4-time *Golden Globe nominee Samuel L. Jackson, and *Golden Globe winner Tina Louise in a film that, without a single doubt, inspired Cartoon Network’s JOHNNY BRAVO (this is INDEED a known fact)!! *karate chop* Winner of the *Gold Leopard* Award at the 1991 Locarno International Film Festival, as well as getting a *Best Female Lead* nomination for actress Catherine Keener at the 1993 Independent Spirit Awards, and two different award nominations for Director Tom DiCillo- one from the 1991 Deauville Film Fest, the other from the 1992 Sundance Film Festival- this is the infamous production whose original director of photography sabotaged the picture’s first 3 weeks of footage out of his sheer jealousy of DiCillo! This film easily belongs in what I like to dub the early 90′s “Pompadour Resurgence Collection,” which includes such hip and quirky classics as CRY-BABY, THE ADVENTURES OF FORD FAIRLANE, WILD AT HEART and another Brad Pitt early career gem, COOL WORLD. Clearly, the nostalgic styles of the 50′s and 60′s is where it’s at; not present-day. As Pitt’s Johnny says about today’s cultural relevance: “NOW is a fly’s fart in the wind.” A guitar hero wannabe, who worships Ricky Nelson, Johnny’s a loveable dimwit who is gullible in every nuance of the word. Johnny wants simply to be a successful rockabilly artist, and he has been down on his luck so many times, his best pal and bandmate Deke (Calvin Levels) has come up with a harebrained scheme to rob the local barber shop in an effort to get quick cash. Johnny also has women issues (he mostly creates them himself); he gets involved with the crazy siren known as Darlette (Alison Moir), the Earth-mother teacher Yvonne (Catherine Keener), and the leggy Ellen (Ashley Gardner). But interestingly enough, Johnny is like a dual-ended Samson. You can’t tell if the source of his delusional grandeur is either his hair or his suede shoes. What’s even weirder are the dreams he has.
BIGSTAR wishes every single one of its subscribers a Happy Holiday, and what better way to do that than with this fantastic retro-cool flick! There are definitely some David Lynch/John Watersesque moments with this film. This was actually the feature film debut of director Tom DiCillo, who actually wanted Timothy Hutton in the role as Johnny (and who later stated he regretted casting Pitt due to his performance). A performance that isn’t regrettable is that of Nick Cave as the creepily swank Freak Storm, who serves as an alternate foreshadowing of what Johnny very well could become if he doesn’t check himself soon! This is a cult piece, and one of the films I think Pitt does a marvelously raw but impactful job on. It’s true that all of Pitt’s wardrobe was in fact that of DiCillo’s himself. Well, if JOHNNY SUEDE is any indication, then it just goes to show that a director may not end up liking his star… but man, he sure can make him look good! TRULY good! Merry Christmas!
Directed by Tom DiCillo
Starring: Brad Pitt, Catherine Keener, Samuel L. Jackson, Nick Cave, Peter McRobbie, Alison Moir, Tina Louise
Tagline: Keeping Up An Image Can Be A Full Time Job.
(Alternate) Tagline: A SMOOTH Comedy…