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Premieres & Events

Dahl Goes For the Kill

By Chris Willard

The Reeler stopped by IFC Center Tuesday for the New York premiere of You Kill Me, a romantic comedy/crime thriller about Frank (Sir Ben Kingsley), a hit man for a Polish mob family in Buffalo, N.Y. Frank can throw back a bottle of vodka like it’s a bottle of water, making certain to first chill it in the mounds of snow in his front yard. However, when he heads out to perform a critical hit, the alcohol becomes a problem, and Frank’s uncle (Philip Baker Hall) sends the hit man packing to San Francisco, where he joins an AA support group and gets a job at mortuary. Frank’s AA sponsor (Luke Wilson) and co-worker Laurel (Tea Leoni) help him through the hard times, and when trouble is stirred at home, Frank and Laurel head back to Buffalo to save the family business.

The Bald and the Beautiful: (L-R) John Dahl, Tea Leoni and Sir Ben Kingsley at Tuesday's premiere of You Kill Me (Photo: WireImage)

You Kill Me’s director, John Dahl, has worked extensively in the crime and noir genres with films like his 1989 debut Kill Me Again, 1992’s Red Rock West and 1994’s The Last Seduction, for which he scored a Director’s Guild nomination. The Reeler quizzed Dahl before the show on the reason behind his attraction to the genre. “I think there’s a little larceny in all of us, you know," he said. "And I think that these kinds of characters sort of break the rules and they break the conventions and they kind of take us places where you don’t really expect. I kind of live vicariously through these characters.”

“So basically you want to be a mobster, but because you can’t...” I said.

“Yeah," Dahl replied, "if you could drive around and break people’s knuckles, that’s fun, but there’s a price to pay for that.”

You Kill Me premiered in April at the Tribeca Film Festival before moving on last week to CineVegas, where Kingsley was honored last week with the festival's Vanguard Actor Award. The film opens Friday in New York; the first eight minutes are available online here.

Posted at June 20, 2007 10:27 AM

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