Nothing to Kill or Die For

The Killing of John Lennon examines a murderer.

As a child, I once got as far as mouthing the syllables "Mark David Cha—" before my aunt Mary told me that no one was ever to mention that name. The egomaniacal lunatic who robbed the world of John Lennon on December 8, 1980, was never to be referred to by name, lest he actually be remembered by anyone. Painstakingly researched, shot over the course of three years at the actual locations stalked by the man who must not be named, and told in the man's own words, The Killing of John Lennon charts the physical path and inner turmoil that brought this narcissist to do just that. But the question has to be asked: Why even make this film? As a study of the deranged? An examination of what the isolation of modern society can do to a person? Whatever the answer, the dredging of the man's trouble with his mother, alcohol, Scientology and reality make for little more than 114 minutes of mildly annoying close-ups of Jonas Ball, whose competent but forgettable performance fails to carry the feature-length narrative. Elements of exposition early on in the film have the subtlety of soap operas, and the actual shooting scene is simply infuriating in its blood-packeted, ham-fisted execution. Why?! The only affecting parts of the film are those that briefly insert archival news reels from the aftermath of the assassination. The film screens at Starz FilmCenter in the Tivoli Student Union tonight through January 24, and with the price of admission, movie-goers receive free entry to a screening of A Hard Day's Night, which shows through January 20. You could save yourself the boredom and psychic trauma by skipping the former to enjoy the latter; visit www.denverfilm.org or call 303-595-3456.
Jan. 18-24, 2008

 
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