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Steve Buscemi
Film Journeys

Steve Buscemi

By on April 7, 2017

It’s time for Film Journeys once again and this time around, (our 45th broadcast Journey!), we are focussing on #SteveBuscemi – looking at a film of his coming out in cinemas this week, and then taking a journey through his career. Steve Buscemi is, perhaps, not a name that many  have heard of … but most people will recognise his distinctive face.

Buscemi is an American actor, born in Brooklyn in 1957 to parents of Italian, (on his father’s side), and English, Dutch and Irish, (on his mother’s side!) descent; which is quite the mix, but when you know his work, you can easily see those cultural influences kicking in. He became interested in acting in high school and, after graduating, he moved to Manhattan to study acting with John Strasberg.

In UK cinemas from today is BOSS BABY, and it stars, amongst other cast members such as Alec Baldwin and Jimmy Kimmel, Steve Buscemi. Buscemi voices the character or Francis Francis.

BOSS BABY (2017). © Dreamworks

BOSS BABY (2017). © Dreamworks

FILM ONE: BOSS BABY (2017)

The one line synopsis for BOSS BABY is both beautifully simply and wonderful enticing: A suit-wearing, briefcase-carrying baby pairs up with his seven-year old brother to stop the dastardly plot of the CEO of Puppy Co.

The film has been getting great reviews so far and word of mouth is strong. It’s a great family film for Easter and with cast that includes Buscemi, it’s definitely one to check out.

Our next film is quite far removed from the family friendly, animated movie territory.

Steve Buscemi in RESERVOIR DOGS (1992), © Dog Eat Dog Productions

Steve Buscemi in RESERVOIR DOGS (1992), © Dog Eat Dog Productions

FILM TWO: RESERVOIR DOGS (1992)

After a simple jewellery heist goes terribly wrong, the surviving criminals begin to suspect that one of them is a police informant. This was Quentin Tarantino’s calling card and it took the movie world by storm when it was released. Buscemi plays Mr. Pink, the fast-talking member of the heist team and, possibly, the only one to get away from the messy aftermath of the job gone wrong.

RESERVOIR DOGS is one of those films that, despite time moving on, pretty much, remains timeless. Much was made of it’s violence on it’s release, and it is, no doubt about it, a violent film. But it’s much more than just a violent caper movie, the performances from the main cast, which includes Harvey Keitel, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen, Chris Penn and Tarantino himself, are impressive to watch. Steve Buscemi’s performance in particular is a master-class of nerves and edgy shiftiness.

So what is our final film on this Steve Buscemi Film Journey? Well, there are just so many great films with Buscemi, that this selection was a really difficult one; possibly one of the most difficult we’ve had in the last 45 #FilmJourneys. Buscemi made his name in smaller, more independent movies. In his own way, he was a little of a poster-boy for late eighties / early nineties indie movies. He isn’t, however, an actor to shy away from the bigger blockbusters, and our third and final film choice is just one such example.

Steve Buscemi in ARMAGEDDON (1998), © Touchstone Pictures

Steve Buscemi in ARMAGEDDON (1998), © Touchstone Pictures

FILM 3: ARMAGEDDON (1998)

After discovering that an asteroid the size of Texas is going to impact Earth in less than a month, N.A.S.A. recruits a misfit team of deep core drillers to save the planet.

Buscemi plays the mathematical genius who works on a team of tough-talking deep sea drillers. 

We’ve included this film here ostensibly for two reasons: firstly, it’s good cheesy fun that falls almost perfectly between the family-friendly animated fun that is BOSS BABY and the violent, crime caper that is RESERVOIR DOGS; and secondly because Buscemi gives a great performance, unintentionally steeling every scene he is in.

There are SO honourable mentions to chose from

  • Fargo
  • Con Air
  • Monsters, Inc.
  • The Big Lebowski
  • Hotel Transylvania
  • Coffee & Cigarettes
  • The Wedding Singer
  • Desperado
  • Pulp Fiction, (it’s a very brief cameo – but he’s in there)
  • The Hudsucker Proxy
  • Barton Fink
  • Miller’s Crossing
  • King Of New York
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