I woke up at 5:30 am Park City time, and got picked up by the shuttle at 7:15 am. The first leg of my Southwest flight (Salt Lake City to Las Vegas) left at 9:35 am, and the Vegas to Burbank flight left at 10:50 am or thereabouts. Caught a cab to West Hollywood, checked in, rented a car (I don’t like to subject my car to trips) and left for Santa Barbara around 2:30 pm. Stopped in Ventura for a couple of items plus a smoothee. Checked into the Santa Barbara Holiday Inn around 5:15 pm. The purpose, of course, is to cover Roger Durling and Carol Marshall‘s Santa Barbara Int’l Film Festival and the all the Oscar promoting lah-lah that happens here each year. Tonight is a tribute to Jennifer Aniston, which I’m a bit late for as we speak. The title of this riff is a line of dialogue from a certain mid ’60s comedy. (In the film the word “there” is used instead of “here.”) Bonus points for anyone who can identify the film and the character who spoke the line.
I’d love to know what the “creative differences” were that led to director J.C. Chandor walking off Lionsgate/Summit’s Deepwater Horizon, which will now be directed by Peter Berg (Lone Survivor, Battleship) starting in March. I asked around when I arrived at Burbank airport around noon today, but nobody replied. Fraidy cats. I’m presuming (and I know absolutely nothing) the split was about some aspect of Chandor’s integrity vs. some kind of issue about (a) truthfulness, perhaps related to some kind of threat or pressure from British Petroleum or related parties (who knows?), or (b) some kind of cost-cutting expediency on the part of Lionsgate/Summit. Somebody caved over something and Chandor said, “If that’s your decision I walk.” Something like that.
Director J.C. Chandor (A Most Violent Year, All Is Lost, Margin Call).
Chandor told me a bit about Deepwater when I ran into him at a N.Y. Film Festival screening of Inherent Vice four months ago. He also talked at some length about it with a Collider guy less than two months ago, describing where things were at and conveying great enthusiasm, etc. Whatever happened, it was something relatively recent, probably post-holidays, and of no small importance.
Not so long ago I would have swooned at the idea of savoring a parade of black-and-white widescreen classics in their original celluloid splendor. Nobody is a bigger fool for this format than myself. Why, then, would I be ducking BAMcinematek‘s “Black & White ’Scope: American Cinema” (2.27 through 3.19), a 21-film series of widescreen monochrome masterpieces, if I was living in New York? Because 15 of the 21 are being shown in 35mm, and we all know what that means — dirt, scratches, pops, possibly too-dark illumination or murky images, occasionally weak sound, reel-change marks, etc. There’s just no romance left in film projection. That was then, this is now. Digital exactitude or nothing.
Two days ago I saw, as noted, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl at the Park City Library. I wasn’t entirely delighted — i.e., mixed-positive with a few quibbles — and yet I was sufficiently impressed by the witty film-nerd tone to want to capture video footage of the post-screening q & a.
I was sitting in the second row near the center aisle, and knew from experience that the footage would look compromised if not shitty with this or that person’s head in the way. So I ducked down and lowered myself onto the wooden floor, lying on my back in front of the first row of viewers so as to not to block anyone’s sightline, and started recording.
I had a pretty good angle with the iPhone and things were going nicely when I felt a tap on my left shoulder. A pudgy Sundance volunteer — a girl in her mid 20s — was telling me I couldn’t do what I was doing. I naturally ignored her as (a) I wasn’t planning on shooting for more than a couple of minutes so all I had to do was stall, and (b) there was no sensible reason for me to return to my seat anyway. A minute later another pudgy volunteer — a woman of a superior rank — tapped me on my shoulder and insisted. By then I had captured the footage so I grumbled and got up and returned to the second row.