if Hangover 2 director Todd Phillips is even 25% serious (which I doubt), the issue isn’t the film’s star monkey getting addicted to cigarettes during filming. It’s allowable, I feel, for an animal to develop a nicotine craving if it happens in the service of art. The issue is enablers (people on the crew of Cameron Crowe‘s We Bought A Zoo?) feeding the monkey’s habit by supplying him with smokes.
I wonder what time on 5.21.11? Because I’ll be in France. Presumably the American spiritualists who paid for the billboard (located on Hillhurst north of Hollywood ) expect the end to come during daylight or early evening hours in one of the four US time zones.
If I was Jon Favreau, directing a super-broad ComicCon popcorn comic-book flick with an instant worldwide appeal, I would naturally be focusing on the basics (including, yes, refining the CG and sound design and making sure the alien space ships look extra cool) but I would mainly be working on the small stuff — honing the dialogue, pruning down the running time, and generally making sure that all those little connective-tissue moments and fine narrative fibres are blending just so.
I can almost guarantee you that right now Favreau, who revealed who and what he really is with that godawful Robert Downey, Jr. vs. Mickey Rourke mano e mano battle scene in Iron Man 2, is paying proper attention to the small connective-tissue stuff, but not to any great or obsessive degree. He’s got a surefire hit with guaranteed popcorn potential on his hands, and what matters to him the most, I sense, is delivering primitive popcorn-geek highs. Because he didn’t have the character to resist staging that malignant Monte Carlo race-track duke-out, and because he’s basically a beefy, T-shirted, comic-book-reading nice guy who loves getting standing ovations from the ComicCon-ers….yaaaay! Whoo-hoo!
He’s not Stanley Kubrick, he’s not Sergei Eisenstein, he’s not Billy Wilder, he’s not Budd Boetticher, he’s not David Fincher, he’s not Ridley Scott, he’s not Darren Aronofsky, he’s not Tony Scott and he’s not Jim Jarmusch.
Maggie Jones has written a 4.17 N.Y. Times Sunday Magazine piece about newish findings that you really do need 8 hours of sleep to perform at your best, and that people who sleep for 5 or 6 or even 7 hours are putting themselves behind the eight ball.
That’s me, all right. My sleeping hours, at best, are from 1 am to 7 am. It’s fairly unusual to flop at midnight, although it happens from time time. But forget about going to bed at 11 pm — that’s Bluray time, write-the-last-article time, Bill Maher or Charlie Rose time, do-tomorrow’s-research time, PDF script-reading time.
I don’t dispute for a second that getting 8 every night (11 pm to 7 am) would be good for my health and alertness and general creativity, but I just can’t do it. Something in me rebels. It might be tethered on some level to a vague childhood conviction that only fogies and dullards go to bed at 11pm. I hated being told to hit the hay at 9 or 10 pm when I was a kid. I remember being put to bed one summer night when it was still dusk out, and with several kids that I knew playing stickball outside in the street. I seethed big-time about that and vowed that when I got older and could run my own life I would stay up as late as I damn well pleased. And now I can, nyah-nyah.
Whatever the memory or motivation Hollywood Elsewhere is my 24-7 taskmaster. I work on the column about 10 or 11 hours during the day, and then sometimes another hour or two starting around 10:30 or 11 pm. There are no weekends or “days off”…a joke! And I don’t see any way around this. The whip is always cracking. Sometimes I feel like the foam-mouthed horse pulling Scarlett O’Hara and Melanie Wilkes and Missy towards Tara.