John Malkovich goes eccentric in ‘Casanova Variations,’ photo exhibit

Malkovich? Malkovich Malkovich.

The strange, unconventional career of John Malkovich has two projects this fall to extend his brand of languorous eccentricity: his new movie, “The Casanova Variations,” and an art exhibition featuring the actor assuming the guises of famous photographic subjects.

In recent years, Malkovich has taken detours through the world of opera -- or more precisely, oddball hybrids of theater and opera featuring the actor sharing the stage with classical singers.

In one production called “The Infernal Comedy,” Malkovich played a contemporary serial killer whose exploits are told through a series of operatic arias by famous composers. (The piece had a tryout in Santa Monica in 2008 and has toured internationally.)


More recently, Malkovich appeared in “The Giacomo Variations,” a stage production about the infamous libertine. The piece has been adapted for the big screen in a new movie called “The Casanova Variations,” premiering this week at the San Sebastian Film Festival in Spain.

The movie was directed by Michael Sturminger, who wrote the original theatrical productions. As early reviews and the trailer above have indicated, the movie includes meta-flourishes depicting Malkovich himself musing on the nature of his craft.

“The Casanova Variations” doesn’t have a U.S. release date yet, but the original stage productions of “Infernal” and “Giacomo” are available on DVD.

Later this fall, Malkovich will lend his likenesses to a new photographic exhibition called “Malkovich, Malkovich, Malkovich.” (The title is a reference to a scene in the movie “Being John Malkovich.”)


The exhibition, opening in November at the Catherine Edelman Gallery in Chicago, features the actor posing as figures from a number of famous pictures. Photographer Sandro Miller has placed Malkovich (who is an Illinois native) in the guises of Andy Warhol, Alfred Hitchcock, Che Guevara, Albert Einstein and many more.

The gallery said in a statement on its website that the photographer first met Malkovich in the late 1990s, while they were working on a job for the Steppenwolf Theatre, of which Malkovich is an alumnus.

“I can suggest a mood or an idea and within moments, [Malkovich] literally morphs into the character right in front of my eyes,” Miller said in a statement.

“Malkovich, Malkovich, Malkovich” is scheduled to run Nov. 7 to Jan. 31. A number of the humorous photographs can be seen on the gallery’s website.


Twitter: @DavidNgLAT