THE OBENSON REPORT

Covering Cinema From All Across The African Diaspora

Isaach De Bankolé And Jim Jarmusch Together Again

If you're not familiar with this actor, get yourself acquainted with him. He's one of those faces that you've likely seen around in bit parts here and there, but maybe really don't know who he is, and never bothered to find out.

He's worth every research minute!

Isaach De Bankolé is a 51-year old award-winning actor, of West African origin, specifically Benin, although he was born in Ivory Coast.

He has a degree in Acting and a Masters in Mathematics from the Universite de Paris. He was also married to singer Cassandra Wilson from 2000 to 2003.

One look at his IMDB page and you'll notice that he frequently works with director Jim Jarmusch, an early influence of mine. In fact, it was while watching his second film, Stranger Than Paradise, that I realized I really could be a filmmaker! If there's one auteur working today whose career I'd like to emulate, it would be Jarmusch's. I'll go into the reasons why some other time.

Isaach has appeared in 3 films with Jarmusch (Night on Earth, Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai, and Coffee and Cigarettes). Now he'll be starring in a 4th Jarmusch film, his latest actually, titled The Limits of Control, which went into production in February of this year. It really should be on my "must-see" list, but I forgot all about it, until now.

In short, the film centers on "a secretive mysterious loner (played by Bankole) in the process of completing an undisclosed criminal job in and around Spain." Also starring in the film is a rather impressive list of actors, including another Jarmusch regular, Bill Murray, as well as the usually reliable Tilda Swinton, and Gael Garcia Bernal. And, by the way, the cinematographer for the film is none other than Chris Doyle, the award-winning DP known mostly for his work on Wong Kar-Wai's films, notably the luscious In The Mood For Love, amongst many others.

The Limits Of Control will be distributed in the U.S. by Focus Features, likely some time early next year.

This won't be De Bankole's first starring role, by the way - he's been in quite a few French films, working with notable French directors like Claire Denis, and you'll often find him partnered with another Afro European French actor who goes by the name of Alex Descas, also one to be familiar with actually, and who will have a part in Jarmusch's Limits Of Control as well. I'm always glad to see either of them on screen. But this could be a film that possibly widens public awareness of Bankole and his talent.

I'll certainly post anything about the film as I discover new information. I'm looking forward to seeing some footage of this - maybe a teaser trailer! In the meantime, check out a film called No Fear, No Die - a Claire Denis film, starring Bankolé and Descas.

3 comments:

  1. albertine said...
     

    Yes I love him. He reminds me of Jeffrey Wright. Not physically. Just that he usually plays small character-driven parts in bigger films that are always memorable. These are the thespians who should be in starring roles. No Fear, No Die was good. I vaguely remember it. Saw it a few years ago. He'll probably be remembered more for Manderlay and Ghost Dog.

  2. Qadree said...
     

    I remember Bankole most for his performance in Chocolat, but I haven't seen No Fear, No Die.

  3. Anonymous said...
     

    Check out Isaach's great performance in the Brooklyn SciFi comedy FROM OTHER WORLDS.

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