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American Psycho

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Is this a case where the book and film stand as separate but equal entities? How great (and frightening) is Christian Bale as Patrick Bateman? Why didn’t this film get more awards notice? And who is this mysterious Davis anyway? Tune in to this week’s show to get answers to these questions and more!

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“There is an idea of a Patrick Bateman. Some kind of abstraction. But there is no real me. Only an entity, something illusory. And though I can hide my cold gaze and you can shake my hand and feel flesh gripping yours, and maybe you can even sense our lifestyles are probably comparable, I simply am not there.”

Bret Easton Ellis’ book “American Psycho” was published in 1991 under much controversy. The initial publisher cancelled the contract because of “aesthetic differences” with the content. The new publisher wouldn’t release it in hardback until 2012. Several countries refused to release it and many only released it shrink-wrapped, only available to those over 18. Such controversy often spurs more in Hollywood to nab the property for cinematic adaptation, and even though Edward R. Pressman secured the rights right away, it still took nearly a decade to get the film made. Join us – Pete Wright and Andy Nelson – as we continue our Mary Harron series with her 2000 film American Psycho.

We talk about the dark satire of the book and how it is easy to misread satire in such a bloody violent film, but how the film’s humor really helped it come through more. We look at the way Christian Bale takes on the role of Patrick Bateman and some of his influences in the role. We talk more about getting the book to the screen and the various hands attached at points in time. We debate the unreliable narrator throughout the movie and our interpretations on what’s real vs. what’s not. We discuss the use of pop culture and how that ties to Bateman’s personality. We compare the film to Wall Street which is an interesting one especially as Oliver Stone had been on board as director at one point. And we ponder the existence of the mysterious Davis…

It’s a strong film and certainly a favorite of ours, albeit a difficult one to watch. We have a great time talking about it, so check it out then tune in. The Next Reel – when the movie ends, our conversation begins!

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When the movie ends, our conversation begins.

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