09 20 Oct '24

The Wrestler closes 35th Ghent International Film Festival

22 Sep 2008
With The Wrestler by Darren Aronofsky as its closing film, the Ghent Film Festival has netted the Golden Lion winner of its bigger brother Venice. Aronofsky is one of the most original, exciting, emotionally engaging filmmakers to hit the independent arena in recent years.
Aronofsky has become something of a wunderkind since his emergence with the breakout indie feature Pi, exploring unchartered territories in surreal love story The Fountain and attaining cult director status with the hyperkinetic Requiem for a Dream. For The Wrestler, Nicholas Cage was initially slated to take the lead role, but when negotiations fell through, Mickey Rourke (Sin City, Year of the Dragon, Rumble Fish) stepped in to star as Randy 'The Ram' Robinson. Randy is a champion professional wrestler from the 1980s whose glory days are way behind him. Once used to the spotlight, he is now reduced to working dead-end jobs and wrestling in local venues in New Jersey. Estranged from his daughter and unable to form meaningful relationships, his only comfort is the ring, the thrill of fighting other men for money and the roar of the crowd. When he is forced into retirement after a heart attack threatens to kill him, it's time for Randy to assess his options and rebuild his life. With The Wrestler, Aronofsky has created a Hollywood hero story in new and unflattering clothing. A story of dreamers and losers, of love, loneliness and the irresistible pull of the arena. This sad, beautiful, violent film just took home the prized Golden Lion at the 65th edition of the Venice Film Festival. The Ghent Film Festival will be showing the premiere at the closing on Friday 17 October at 8.30 p.m. at the Kinepolis in Ghent.

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