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Confessions of a Dangerous Mind

Confessions of a Dangerous Mind

George Clooney's directing debut, far from Antwone Fisher, travels into hallucination of television producer and pop songwriter, Chuck Barris acting as a Cold War independent contractor for the CIA.  Confessions of a Dangerous Mind boldly claims that he performed thirty hits for the government in such faraway locales as Mexico and West Berlin.  Audiences may not take to Charlie Kaufman's adaptation of Barris' cult-classic unauthorized biography like the depiction of Bob Crane in Paul Schrader's Auto Focus as it may appear to be one of those cynical show-biz insider jokes.

Nevertheless, Confessions is not as much a downer as Auto Focus with Clooney faithful to making a spirited collage of Barris' double life.  His film makers help round out his life with color infrared documentary coverage and black-and-white infrared childhood flashbacks in an ambitious film which spans form 1930 to 1981.

Barris creates such memorable TV game shows like "The Dating Game," of which he served as a chaperone to cities like Helsinki, as well as "The Newlywed Game," and most notably, "The Gong Show."  Much research obviously was done by the director and his staff into television lore to paint a portrait of a man, still alive, who needed to escape his self-deprecating banality, or so it would seem.

Clooney has a small, but key part as sinister, omniscient CIA agent, Jim Byrd, who recruits Barris to work for the government in many distant locales, with much of Confessions shot in Montreal to help achieve the desired dramatic imagery.

Confessions of a Dangerous Mind reminds one of a similar degradation that Schrader posited in Auto Focus with Clooney, Kaufman, and especially Rockwell clicking into this innovative radical's existence.  Whether it's too preposterous as this dark comic book of a picture underlines varying internal states of Barris' dangerous mind, there's more than enough stylish entertainment that is felt in some cosmic, cathartic way when Clooney's late aunt Rosemary croons "There's No Business Like Show Business".

Confessions of a Dangerous Mind

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