Who Am I This Time? (1982)

Who Am I This Time? (1982)

March 24, 2017 · Regal Riviera · 10:00 A.M.

“One of the best movies about acting, and what it is, and why, that I have ever seen.”–Shelia O’Malley

Jonathan Demme’s interest in the roles we play in love and in work, on stage and off, is distilled into its most concentrated and charming form in Who Am I This Time? Christopher Walken plays Harry Nash, an introverted hardware store employee who is able to come out of his shell only when acting in community theater productions. In the run-up to a production of A Streetcar Named Desire, the play’s director (Demme regular Robert Ridgely) “discovers” Helene (Susan Sarandon), a newcomer to town. Sparks fly between Harry and Helene, but is it only an act?

Produced for PBS’s American Playhouse, Who Am I This Time? features a terrific cast, a great script (adapted by Neal Miller from a Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. story), Demme’s gentle direction, and a sensitive score by John Cale (!), making this little-seen work an essential film in the Demme canon.

Who Am I This Time? screened as part of our 11-film Jonathan Demme retrospective, Life is Performance / Performance is Life, at Big Ears.