Zero-level Encounter in Mike Leigh’s ‘Naked’

September 12, 2010 § 3 Comments

To be both a nihilist and a follower of prophecy is to embody a very rare species of contradiction which very few characters in the past—Shakespeare’s Macbeth, Dostoevsky’s Raskolnikov—have been able to properly contain. David Thewlis’s startling portrayal of Johnny in Mike Leigh’s Naked (1993) is one of these singular characters. Midway through the film, Johnny is taken aback at the claim that he does not believe in God and indignantly replies, “of course I believe in God!” This comes from the same man who, in the initial shot of film, is shown to be either raping or abusing a prostitute and, soon after, steals a car to avoid getting a beating from the prostitute’s friends. « Read the rest of this entry »

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