Premiere (Fr), August 11, 2011

Keanu Reeves, the Man of the Future

(Translated from French to English by ARYA. Translation edited by Anakin McFly)

by Jérôme Dittmar

Amongst the actors of his generation, those of the 90s and the postmodernist age, Keanu Reeves remains the most exciting. A permanent enigma. A perpetual happening. A Zen body. A stony face. A timeless presence. Keanu Reeves embodies the art of simultaneous visibility and absence, of the expression and diminishing of a single gesture. An movie star of pure movement, often minimalist. A thespian with an inspired soul. The Wachowski brothers didn’t just make a lucky choice. They saw in his body a fusion of Western promise and Oriental technique, a new man who would no longer be the product of a single culture but of a larger one, sublimating and synthesizing the worlds of East and West. In other words, the Wachowskis had seen in him the man of the future, both from here and anywhere, transcending our narrow borders. We're not talking about his everyday persona. In this regard, little is known about him. We speak of the man as he appears onscreen. As he looks, moves, emerges. As he is defined in his films and roles.

You may find our vision of Keanu Reeves a bit excessive. But it doesn’t matter. In addition to being beautiful, he's also fascinating. And do not deride his acting, so refined and minimalist that it almost threatens to disappear, as in The Day the Earth Stood Still. We must understand that his method is truly that which is found in Oriental disciplines, such as, for example, the principles of letting go, keeping his distance, letting his roles slide over his surface and through that be brought to life as he modulates his energy. It is not surprising therefore to learn that Reeves is currently in talks to produce his first film as director. And even fewer know that the subject of the film is martial arts and its title is Man of Tai Chi. It’s a fact. Had he chosen Shakespeare, his career, or at least since The Matrix, would have seemed inconsistent. But this way, it’s a clean progression. Regarding the technical aspect, the film will be a co-production between Sino-American Village Roadshow and China Film Group, and would be shot in Mandarin and English. Needless to say, expectations are high.

Meanwhile, in 2012, Keanu Reeves will be playing in 47 Ronin, a Japanese cinema classic, the script for which has already been read by Kenji Mizoguchi and Kon Ichikawa.

In its original French:

Keanu Reeves, l'homme du futur

Des acteurs de sa génération, celle des années 90 et du postmodernisme, Keanu Reeves restera l'acteur le plus passionnant. Une énigme permanente. Un happening perpétuel. Un corps zen. Un visage minéral. Une présence hors du temps. Keanu Reeves où l'art du visible et de l'absence simultanément, de la manifestation et de l'évanouissement d'un même geste. Un acteur de pur mouvement, le plus souvent minimaliste. Un comédien du souffle intérieur. Les frères Wachowski ne l'avaient pas choisi par hasard. Ils avaient vu en lui cette figure occidentale promise aux techniques orientales, cet homme nouveau qui ne serait plus fait d'une culture mais d'un grand écart sublimant, synthétisant, et dépassant le principe de culture en métissant l'Est avec l'Ouest. Dit autrement, les Wachowski avaient vu en lui l'homme du futur, d'ici et d'ailleurs, en lévitation sur nos petites frontières. On ne parle pas de l'homme au quotidien. A ce propos, on sait peu de choses de lui. On parle de l'homme tel qu'il est sur l'écran. Tel qu'il apparait, bouge, se dessine. Tel qu'il s'est définit dans ses films et ses rôles.

On trouvera peut-être notre vision de Keanu Reeves un peu excessive. Mais qu'importe. En plus d'être très beau, il est fascinant. Et il ne faut pas rire de son jeu, si épuré qu'il menace presque de disparaitre, comme dans Le Jour où la Terre s'arrêta. Il faut comprendre que sa méthode est authentiquement celle que l'on retrouve dans des disciplines orientales, cette manière par exemple de lâcher prise, se tenir à distance, laisser ses rôles glisser à sa surface pour les faire exister en régulant son énergie. On ne s'étonnera donc pas d'apprendre que Reeves est actuellement en discussion pour produire son premier film comme réalisateur. Et encore moins de savoir qu'il y est question d'arts martiaux et que son titre serait Man of Tai-Chi. C'est une évidence. Il aurait choisi du Shakespeare, sa carrière, ou tout au moins depuis Matrix, paraitrait incohérente. Là, c'est limpide. Pour l'aspect technique, le film sera une co-production sino-américaine entre Village Roadshow et China Film Group et devrait être tourné en mandarin et en anglais. Inutile de dire que l'attente est grande.

En attendant, Keanu Reeves sera à l'affiche, en 2012, de 47 Ronin, un classique du cinéma japonais déjà lu pas Kenji Mizoguchi et Kon Ichikawa.


Day the Earth Stood Still, The , Matrix, The , Man of Tai Chi , 47 Ronin , Articles Translated from French


I do wish I spoke French... (2012-12-05 13:59:44)
 I only used google translate...
GuestKeanu is not God (2012-12-18 04:22:36)
 He is a wonderful person, but God is greater than any human.

Keanu is usually humble, and I believe he means it. So, I believe he wouldn't like to be called a god. There's fandom, and then there's crossing a line...

Anakin McFly
(2012-12-18 14:53:15)

yes, but the article doesn't say anything about Keanu being a god, or God; unless something got lost in translation? :
Guestsorry (2012-12-19 05:19:29)
 I know it's probably irritating, but I'm responding here to a forum post. I'll stop. The article is good and the translation is pretty good by the way.
---Goofy non-joiner
Goofy non-joiner (2012-12-19 06:18:27)
 well, at least you got 5 seconds of attention, n'est ce pas?
Guestnot the point (2012-12-19 13:31:06)
 I just felt compelled to say that about call attention to Him.
Anakin McFly
(2012-12-19 15:26:06)

thanks for the clarification. Regarding the forum post in question, though, based on their name and use of English the OP is probably from a non-Western, non-Judeo-Christian culture, and what they mean by their use of the word 'God' probably isn't referring to the Judeo-Christian conception of such.

I agree that Keanu is humble enough that he probably won't want to be called a god - he's already uncomfortable with the idea that some people find him a role-model - and it's great that you're standing up for your beliefs. I'm a Christian too. But mistaking Keanu for a deity isn't a common thing that happens here or in fandom in general; and when it happens, most people are usually speaking metaphorically (e.g. 'godlike behavior'), are being sarcastic/humorous, have other issues (e.g. those who think Keanu is really an alien or a vampire or the reincarnation of Osiris) or are doing so in a way specific to their cultural background (which I think is the case here), rather than anything specifically blasphemous by genuinely deifying Keanu above the rest of humankind.

GuestI understand (2012-12-21 11:28:28)
 I know people don't usually mean it literally, but I do think that in all cultures we sometimes fall into patterns of thinking and speaking that don't necessarily match up with our beliefs, but are just habitual. I think it's good to call attention to that sometimes so that we don't just follow culture blindly and also just in case someone is confused. :)
Thanks, I enjoyed your thoughts as always.

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