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Clooney crack at critic

Berlin, Feb. 9 (Reuters): George Clooney reacted with a stream of invective when a journalist called the American actor’s latest film — the box office flop Solaris — “boring” after it was screened at the Berlin Film Festival.

Clooney, who had even exposed his bare bottom for the camera in one scene in a bid to boost the film’s commercial appeal, was happily answering questions at a news conference late yesterday when a reporter rose to say the film was boring.

“I find you fascinating,” Clooney said, responding to the Turkish journalist’s remarks on the film — which got decidedly mixed reviews in the US. “You crack me up, man. You just wanted to get up and be a rat, you know that' You just wanted to get up and say something rotten. What a jerk! I mean honestly, you know, what a shitty thing to say!”

Solaris, directed by Oscar-winning Steven Soderbergh, is one of 22 films in the running for the “Golden Bear” prize at the Berlin Film Festival that opened on Thursday. It flopped at the US box office with revenues of just $15 million — same as the amount Clooney is said to command for his appearances.

Based on a 1961 novel, Solaris is about a psychologist sent to a space station orbiting a planet covered in an energy-rich galactic ocean.

Chris Kelvin, the character played by Clooney, investigates a series of strange deaths on the space station, but is visited by a reincarnation of his long-dead wife that forces him to confront his past. The novel raises the question whether the ocean is a giant brain that conducts psychoanalytical experiments on the space travellers sent to observe it.

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