My good friends with Warner Bros. publicity have declined my request to catch a Great Gatsby press screening in NYC next Thursday morning (5.2). I can only see it at a 5.7 NYC all-media showing, they’re telling me, but I’ll be in Germany as of 5.4 (and they know that). So I won’t see Baz Luhrman‘s film until it plays the Cannes Film Festival on 5.15, or five days after it’s opened commercially in the States. Thanks, guys. I’m sure the film will be worth the wait.
I don’t know why I’m linking this Gatsby tidbit to the fact that I downloaded the 2013 Cannes Film Festival app this morning. Only four full days remain in Los Angeles before flying to NYC and then Berlin and then down to Nice on 5.14. I’m starting to feel the urge to pack.
I was just thinking how guys like LexG should have been around during the heyday of sleazy grindhouse films of this sort, which was sometime between…what, the early ’70s to mid ’80s? The culture has moved on and we’ll never see sexual titillation crap like this (including Nazi dominatrix movies like Ilsa, She-Wolf of the SS) ever again. Burt Reynolds ruined his career by starring in one too many jokey-ass shitkicker drive-in movies that flirted with Gator-level expertise. If he’d starred in something as good as Mud in 1982 or ’83 (playing a facsimile of the Matthew McConaughey role, of course) he would have done himself a huge favor.
Hey, Ginsberg Libby and IFC Films — I have to fly to NYC on Frances Ha‘s LA press day (Tuesday, 4.30) so maybe I could informally hook up on Monday afternoon or evening (4.29) with Noah Baumbach and Greta Gerwig for a quick chat at the Chateau Marmont or wherever they’ll be staying? Obviously they’ll be here the day before the junket. Big supporter of the film since Telluride. It opens on 5.17, or right smack dab in the middle of the Cannes Film Festival.
Frances Ha is “a much faster, sharper and more high-end Girls without the male-hate factor,” I wrote last September. “There’s a difference between a highly sophisticated ‘film’ and a rich, well-written, highly respectable HBO series, and Frances Ha is evidence of that. It has a buoyant Brooklynesque spirit, principally embodied in Greta Gerwig‘s open, vulnerable lead performance. It captures the under-30 thing with exactitude and panache and heart.
“And it’s probably the most beautifully photographed black-and-white film of the 21st Century (cheers to dp Sam Levy). I’m not exaggerating. Frances Ha was captured with a modest digital camera, and it looks an awful lot like Gordon Willis‘s legendary b & w lensing in Manhattan. Really. I honestly found it more transporting than the cinematography in Michael Haneke‘s The White Ribbon.”
Incidentally: I don’t remember ever thinking that 27 was “old,” but I do remember one time when I was 19 or 20 and meeting a guy at a party who was 31 or 32 and thinking to myself that he was around the bend age-wise and close to being over the hill, certainly as far as hanging out with 20somethings and trying to pick up girls was concerned.
The same baah-ing sheep in every territory across the globe are starting to lap up Iron Man 3, according to Nikki Finke‘s 4.26 Deadline report. $36.5 million so far after opening Wednesday in 12 countries (France, Italy, Switzerland, Belgium, Finland, Taiwan, the Phillipines, etc.). The motives are purely financial and therefore banal, but the cultural effect is faintly malevolent all the same. CG geek comic-book blockbusters are a form of heroin in a sense, but also a kind of worldwide mind and spirit control. Here you go, not-so-sharp tools…here’s your latest fix.
And there are no cultural differences or objections of any kind. Geeks the world over are down on their knees for what is more or less (in my mind at least) another smoothly efficient serving of Robert Downey, Jr. bullshit. And critics who know exactly what I’m talking about chuckle lightheartedly and write “well, this is diverting as far as it goes, and certainly better than Iron Man 2 and blah blah blah blah.” Or do I mean “baah, baah, baah, baah”? Bring George Orwell back from the dead and he would look around and frown slightly and shake his head sadly and say, “My word, the ruling elite are much more clever than I predicted they would be…MUCH more.”
It’s not really fair or accurate, of course, given the fact that Ulrich’s career peaked 16 years ago when he costarred as a hustler-thief in James L. Brooks‘ As Good As It Gets (’98). Riseborough has risen much farther and will travel to some amazing places over the next ten or fifteen years. So both Ulrich and Riseborough have reason to feel insulted. I’m having trouble dealing with the fact that As Good As It Gets opened 15 years ago.
L.A. Times film critic and reporter Mark Olsen has declined comment about having possibly secretly performed in a costarring role in Ari Folman‘s The Congress, which will open the Directors’ Fortnight section at the forthcoming Cannes Film Festival. Olsen strongly resembles the guy in this still from Folman’s half-animated, half live-action feature. It can probably be inferred that Olsen didn’t perform in Folman’s film, but the resemblance is remarkable so an inquiry was at least warranted.
The Congress will be screened in Cannes on Thursday, 5.16. Folman’s Waltz with Bashir played in competition at the ’08 Cannes festival
Adapted from the sci-fi novel “The Futurological Congress” by Polish author Stanislaw Lem, Folman’s latest costars Robin Wright, Paul Giamatti, Jon Hamm, Harvey Keitel, Danny Huston and Frances Fisher. The other films in the Directors’ Fortnight will be announced on Tuesday.
Jim Jarmusch‘s Only Lovers Left Alive, a vampire drama with a presumably dry and perverse tone, had been tipped as a competition entry in the upcoming Cannes Film Festival. Today it was confirmed (along with four other films that no one knows very much about). Tilda Swinton, Tom Hiddleston, Mia Wasikowska (whose stock in trade is playing weird, depressed, pale-skinned chicks with vacant expressions), Anton Yelchin (who’s also crossed the Euphrates into Weirdoland), John Hurt and Slimane Dazi (who?).
Synopsis: “Adam (Hiddleston), an underground musician and deeply depressed by the direction of human activities, reunites with his resilient and enigmatic lover, Eve (Swinton). Their love story has already endured several centuries at least, but their idyll is soon interrupted by Eve’s wild and uncontrollable younger sister, Ava (Wasikowska).”
The thing for Jarmusch, obviously, wasn’t the fangs but the shades.
Claude Lanzman‘s Le Dernier Des Injustes (out of competition) might be something but I’m a little hazy on Hiner Saleem‘s My Sweet Pepperland (Un Certain Regard), Katrin Gebbe‘s Tore Tanzi and Lucia Puenzo‘s Wakolda.
Every time I watch a deleted scene or an alternate ending I say to myself, “Yeah, I can see why they didn’t use this.” How could director David O. Russell not have mixed Danny Elfman‘s music under this alternate finale (which includes a little speaking part for his son, Matthew Antonio Grillo Russell, who played the irksome kid from across the street who wants to shoot a documentary)? What makes the ending of Silver Linings Playbook work is the narration + Elfman’s music + the kiss and the abrupt cut-to-black.
The Hollywood Roosevelt is jammed with a mixture of movie lovers of this or that denomination, second- and third-tier industry hobknobbers and poorly dressed out-of-towners (many of them wearing sandals with socks, kakhi shorts and madras short-sleeve shirts) in their 50s, 60s and 70s. Really…nothing says “visiting from Flagstaff, Arizona for the weekend” like a madras shirt. Don’t these people realize that, or don’t they care? I’m walking around in my dark jacket and black shades like Napoleon Solo, casually noting their behavior and acting all neutral-like.
I’m told that Barbra Streisand won’t be showing up for red-carpet interviews prior to tonight’s TCM Classic Film Festival premiere of a digitally restored Funny Girl. (Which I don’t want to see, by the way — too stodgy and schmaltzy.) Streisand lives here and as far as I know could show if she wanted to. (It’s possible that she’s unavoidably tied up with something important in some other city but I doubt it.) She’s known for blowing off this or that tribute event. She doesn’t like being photographed or interviewed or besieged by autograph hounds. But a lot of work went into this restoration and the TCM Classic Film Festival could use the flashbulbs. She could have been gracious about it.