‘Birdman’ brings big names to I.G. Greer screen

Liz Flamming

The critically acclaimed film “Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)” will grace the screens of I.G Greer Feb. 5-7.

The film, directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu and nominated for seven Golden Globes and nine Academy Awards, takes us down the rabbit hole of Broadway and spits us back out, disoriented and alone.

As we wind through hallways of brilliant cinematography to the beat of an emotionally manipulative drum track, we follow the story of washed-up Hollywood actor Riggan Thomson, played by actor Michael Keaton, trying to make a comeback at any cost. Keaton’s self-referential performance alongside co-star Edward Norton is nearly flawless, earning Keaton a Golden Globe for best actor in a motion picture.

The entire cast, which also includes notable actors Emma Stone and Zach Galifianakis, fall into their roles effortlessly.

Throughout the film’s extraordinarily long takes, the audience is made to question the idea of reality and to ponder which is more real – the stage or the streets of New York City. Birdman drips with the metaphysical; it is a movie about a Broadway play being performed by a Hollywood actor playing a Hollywood actor in response to the movie industry.

If that isn’t dizzying enough, the film constantly  enforces  themes such as relevance, fear of irrelevance, self-obsession and identity. Despite this, the movie is not hard to follow. Through clever camera work, we are constantly in on the action, following the actors playing actors through hallways, rooms, along balconies and down the street.

Birdman transforms the movie experience by dragging the viewer past the screen and dropping us straight into the dark world of Riggan Thomson.
As for the end of the movie – it has been the subject of much interpretation and debate. Don’t look to the writers for explanation – they aren’t saying anything.

To form your own opinion, you’re just going to have to experience the film for yourself.

“Birdman” will show at I.G. Greer Feb. 5-7 at 7 p.m. and again at 9:30 p.m. Tickets are $1 in advance and $2 at the door. This film is rated-R.

Story: Liz Flamming, Intern A&E Reporter