Rhinoceros Eyes (Aaron Woodley). 92 minutes. Opens Friday (March 10). For venues and times, see Movies, page 107. Rating: NN Rating: NN
Rhinoceros Eyes debuted at the 2003 Toronto International Film Festival, then got caught up in an acrimonious professional divorce between the producers. This, combined with the interesting pedigree of director Aaron Woodley , whose mother is Denise Cronenberg, David's sister and costume designer, gave the film a rather culty reputation.The World's Fastest Indian Rhinoceros Eyes, however, has less in common with Uncle David's films than with those of stop-motion animators like Jan Svankmajer.
Michael Pitt , who played the Kurt Cobain character in Gus Van Sant's Last Days and starred in Bertolucci's The Dreamers when Jake Gyllenhaal dropped out, is a moistly creepy young actor who has the body language of a shy eight-year-old girl and seems unable to decide whether his characters are just too exquisitely sensitive for words or actually have some degree of developmental impairment.
His character here works and lives in the back rooms of a massive movie prop warehouse, where his rowdy co-workers think he's an idiot savant. A movie production designer ( Paige Turco ) begins coming to him with odd requests, and he thinks that because he can fulfill them he's in love with her. It's the loneliness of the long-distance stalker.
This is an interesting first film, and a beautifully designed one, but Woodley's not the world's greatest writer, and I'd like a permanent ban on these Holden Caulfield characters. Let's hope his next one's better.