Thursday, June 11, 2009

A Well-Rounded Knockout

Tyson (James Toback, 2008)
*** (A Must-See)

What makes James Toback’s documentary Tyson such a curious study is in its ability to commodify the retired boxer by getting him to communicating his painstaking experiences, motivations and contradictions. The film is beautifully weaved through single and split screen interview sessions in Mr. Tyson’s apartment, solitude sunset scenes on Ocean Beach, achieve footage, and photographs. Michael Gerard Tyson rummages his aberrant experiences, from childhood criminality growing up in Brownsville, Brooklyn, through unsuccessful wedlock to Robin Givens, the immortalizing biting of Evander Holyfield’s ear, and finally the won, and then lost, of the world heavyweight championship. His exploits emanate from his insuppressible violent, and untrusting, nature.

In a close-up of his large mug, with his head shaved clean, a tribal tattoo wrapped around his left eye (and what sorrowful eyes!), his intimate reflections, at the age of 43, on his unstable and abysmal existence, solidify the Mike Tyson mythology. For the price of admission you can take in the psychology of one of the most sordidly terrifying 21st century popular culture icons.-David Davidson

(Bytowne Cinema, 324 Rideau Street, 10/06-14/06)

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