★★★★★ Kilmer Scores With ‘Cinema Twain’
By DONNA BALANCIA
Val Kilmer takes on the role of humorist Mark Twain and gives an extremely heartfelt — and funny — performance in Cinema Twain.
Kilmer, known for his portrayal of troubled characters like Jim Morrison in The Doors, and Doc Holliday in Tombstone, brings a new sensibility to the role of American humorist Mark Twain in Cinema Twain.
Cinema Twain was produced, written and directed by Kilmer and is basically the film of the award-winning, one-man play he wrote called Citizen Twain. Kilmer slays the audience and holds the viewer spellbound for 90 minutes bringing to life an American figure who has been relatively unknown to modern audiences.
Kilmer appeared in person at the first of two Westwood screenings last Thursday. The film will screen again on Nov. 17. Tickets are available, for more info go to Val Kilmer’s website.
It is not known if Cinema Twain will get a theatrical release.
Val Kilmer told an audience in Westwood that he loves Twain’s humor and that Twain was really one of the first American stand-up comedians. He said he has spent 10 years immersed in the research, writing and rehearsal of the remarkable work.
This effort is a tour de force for Kilmer, who has been battling illness. It is apparent the Mark Twain projects have been a labor of love and a guiding inspiration for him.
Kilmer said the film about his one-man play called Citizen Twain actually came together after he wrote a screenplay about Mark Twain. He said he is working on finding financing for the film.
Kilmer is a revered actor who has portrayed a variety of roles in his career including the character “Ice Man” in Top Gun opposite Tom Cruise.
But his talents as an actor merely compliment a host of other abilities that we the audience never get to see. Anyone who has seen The Doors knows that Kilmer can sing. And if you go to his website, you can see his prolific collection of modern art paintings.
We do catch a bit of the singing talent in Cinema Twain as Kilmer gives his best rendition of Mark Twain singing a tender rendition of “Old Man River.”
The raw emotion is there, Kilmer is clearly at home in front of an audience, live or otherwise.
It’s clear from the project — Kilmer spent a lot of time in the Berkeley library in particular researching — that Kilmer has grown to love Mark Twain and if Twain were alive today he would be humbled by the outstanding treatment of the subject.
Do not miss the opportunity to see this great performance. For tickets check out the Val Kilmer site.
California Rocker Rating: ★★★★★