Tag Archives: Mark Boone Jr.

Let Me Make You A Martyr

Drew (Niko Nicotera) narrates his story from inside a police interrogation room: he has recently returned home after being away for quite some time. He inevitably crosses paths with his adopted father, local crime magnate Larry Glass (Mark Boone Jr) and his adopted sister June (Sam Quartin). Larry is a scary dude but June is quite fetching despite some of her more unnamedtroubling habits, so incest be damned, these two are hooking up. To escape their complicated past (and perhaps outrun some judgmental laws against incest), they decide to run away, but have to kill Daddy first, which just makes sense. I mean, why not christen the new romance with your sister by plotting to revenge-kill your abusive father? The ONE advantage of having sex with your sister is that you only have to kill one dad! They vastly underestimate Larry though – he gets wind of their half-baked plan and hires his own hit man (Marilyn Manson)  to “solve the conflict.”

I really enjoy Mark Boone Junior and I feel magnetically drawn to him every time he’s on the screen. Nicotera isn’t bad either. Drew isn’t exactly a sympathetic character, but you can understand where he’s coming from. Larry is just plain sinister. June is harder to crack: both strong and fragile at the same time. Quartin and Nicotera volley off each other quite nicely.

makemeamartyr3And then there’s Marilyn Manson playing an enigmatic hermit hit man. You have to hand it to him, nobody creeps and lurks and skulks quite like him. His performance is restrained, his stillness and silence somehow more menacing than outright aggression could ever be. He’s an unknown quantity, used sparingly by the script, so you always feel off-kilter when he’s around.

The story turns out to be a little more complex than you first think, the script hiding some family secrets to be unearthed along the way. The patient shall be rewarded. Let Me Make You A Martyr unspools itself slowly, but there’s a spartan method to it that you come to appreciate.


Like most people our age, we have a copy of Memento in our DVD collection, and the cover of that copy declares itself a “masterpiece.” While I’m not entirely sure I agree, it IS an achievement and for many of us, a turning point in movies. It may have been the first Christopher Nolan you saw, but I doubt it was your last.

guypearceIt’s the story of a man looking for his family, like Finding Dory only more murdery. Okay, it’s nothing like Finding Dory, but Leonard (Guy Pearce) genuinely can’t form new memories, and he’s not so much looking for his wife as looking for her murderer. The story is ingeniously (and frustratingly) told frontwards AND backwards, colour sequences alternating with black and white, creating a disorienting narrative that mimics the character’s confusion. The two story lines eventually meet, but this technique manages to build both momentum and tension in ways we hadn’t experienced in a good long while.

Leonard uses tattoos and polaroids in place of memories but it’s not a perfect system as pictures can lie, and both are corruptible. The movie winds up being as much a trip for us as it is for him, and Memento spawned a lot of copycat movies and a new “mindfuck” genre.

It absolutely demands to be rewatched and nearly every time you do you find some new detail that requires much discussion over pie. You’re no film snobuntitled.png and certainly no Asshole if you don’t obsess over this movie at least semi-regularly.

Lucky for you, Toronto, there’s an exclusive screening in 35mmfor TIFF and ROM members at the TIFF Bell Lightbox this Sunday July 10 2016 at 1pm as part of the Royal Ontario Museum’s current exhibition, Tattoos: Ritual. Identity. Obsession. Art. All proceeds from this event will support TIFF’s film preservation and projection efforts, including the ongoing presentation of 35mm films.