Hollywood Buddha

"Good"

Hollywood Buddha Review


It's hard to embrace the "I came to L.A. to make a movie about L.A." movie, but Philippe Caland's Hollywood Buddha is such a curious oddity that it's hard not to recommend taking a peek at it.

Philippe (Caland -- virtually all the actors play chracters with the same first name as themselves) isn't just broke, he's virtually homeless, having arrived in Los Angeles five years ago with a movie to sell -- and which has yet to be purchased. Called Dead Girl, it's a necrophilia-oriented production starring a now-hot actress, so Philippe can't understand why there are no buyers.

Philippe lives on a slab of land with a foundation and some roughed-out walls (and a bathroom), but that's it. He can't pay the workers to finish his house -- and the bank is threatening to repossess the land, too. At his wit's end, he turns to a random encounter with a Buddhist guru, who offers to lease him an enormous Buddha head for $2,000 a month, which he's certain will turn his fortune around.

Lo and behold, it does, and that's when the film gets hopping.

Whatever you think about this plot, the story behind Caland is much more interesting. The writer of the ill-fated Boxing Helena, Caland has been struggling in Hollywood since 1993 -- and in fact he did produce Dead Girl in 1996, with Anne Parillaud and Val Kilmer! (I am deeply curious to see this movie, but it's not out on video or DVD. A new release is allegedly in the works.) Caland's family is used considerably here -- he's married in real life to his cinematic "girlfriend" -- and the original poster for the film (with Caland sitting on that Buddha statue's head) actually drew a formal complaint against him from the country of Thailand. When you've got a whole country on your ass, you know you're doing something right.

Shot on video with Directing 101 standard shots and setups, Hollywood Buddha is hardly a work of art. But Caland's story is reasonably intelligent and humorous, his cast of unknowns is generally talented, and his diatribe against Hollywood and its ludicrousness is largely on target. You might give it a whirl.

"I forgot my mantra."



Facts and Figures

Run time: 99 mins

In Theaters: Saturday 5th April 2003

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 20%
Fresh: 2 Rotten: 8

IMDB: 5.0 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer:

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