[VIDEO REVIEWS]A Guide to Affleck's Indie-Film Oeuvre

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[VIDEO REVIEWS]A Guide to Affleck's Indie-Film Oeuvre

Ben Affleck is the movie star of the moment. "Pearl Harbor" and "Reindeer Games" are showing simultaneously in Korea. Affleck also had a hand and a starring role in "Good Will Hunting," the movie that jump-started his fame, along with his buddy, Matt Damon.

But dig past his other big screen hits like "Armageddon," "Forces of Nature" and "Shakespeare in Love," and you'll find a career peppered with indie films. Here we pay tribute to Affleck's independent film days with the videos "Chasing Amy" and "Dogma." In both movies he worked with Kevin Smith, an independent filmmaker.



CHASING AMY (1997)

Directed by Smith. Starring Affleck, Joey Lauren Adams, Jason Lee, Dwight Ewell and Jason Mewes.

With Smith directing, expect irreverent comedy. Comic book artist Holden McNeil (Affleck) and his pal Banky Edwards (Lee) are hanging out at a comic book convention when they run into Hooper X (Ewell). Hooper is a friendly, gay black cartoonist who creates "White Hating Coon," a comic about a militant black supremacist.

Hooper introduces Holden to another cartoonist, Alyssa Jones (Adams). Holden falls hard for Alyssa, but chances are slim to nothing that the two will move beyond a friendship: Alyssa is a lesbian.

Holden represents the twentysomething male in the 20th century who walks a landmine of sexual identity, friendship and career choices.

Smith depends on dialogue for both laughter and profound moments. His dry wit usually comes through. This movie is not for all audiences; some viewers may find the sexual content offensive.



DOGMA (1999)

Directed by Smith. Starring Damon, Affleck, Linda Fiorentino, Salma Hayek, Chris Rock, Jason Lee, Alanis Morissette, Mewes and Smith.

Smith continues his trademark offbeat and dialogue-heavy approach.

Two fallen angels, Loki (Damon) and Bartleby (Affleck), discover a loophole in Catholic doctrine that allows them to enter heaven, prove the fallibility of God and destroy the universe. The two head for a church in New Jersey to receive a plenary indulgence that will let them into heaven.

Bethany (Fiorentino) is the only one who can stop them. A young Catholic woman working in an abortion clinic - oh, the irony - she must stop the two from crossing the threshold of the church. She finds help in the sexy Serendipity the Muse (Hayek), two prophets (Mewes and Smith himself) and the forgotten 13th apostle Rufus (Rock) who was written out of the Bible because he is black. The demon Azrael (Lee) leads the forces against her.

Before long, all hell breaks loose and God (Morrissette) puts in an appearance. Just in case you haven't gotten it yet, this movie is a satire about organized religion.



by Joe Yong-hee

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