4 July 2002 | DB-08-DB
Moving and involving
Dan Ireland's film The Velocity of Gary* (*Not his real name)is both moving and involving, painting a honest depiction of unconventional love in an almost abstract, fantastical way. I tracked this film down (not an easy task here in the UK) as a loyal follower of the great Thomas Jane and was not disappointed when I finally got to watch it. Jane plays Gary, a hustler in New York who falls under the loving wing of Valentino, an adult film actor played by Vincent D' Onofrio. Both have an immediate attraction to one another (sexual? paternal, in Valentino's case?) but things are complicated by the presence of Valentino's shrieking girlfriend Mary Carmen (Salma Hayek). A brutal yet genuinely loving emotional triangle is formed, then tragedy strikes as Valentino is diagnosed with AIDS. Adapted by James Still from his own one man play, this is raw, passionate stuff, and not to everyone's taste. But to those who want to taste something a little different, I highly recommend the picture. Two factors keep the interest throughout: 1) Jane. His performance is honest, brave and utterly believable. He has to be the best working young actor in American film at this point in time. 2) The films original score by Peitor Angell is as moving as its source material. The films theme (though it only appears during the opening credits and during a festival some time later) is a beautiful piece of film composition. This is an intimate little flick which, whilst never exactly 'feel-good', highlights the gift of life and making the most of it.