In telling a story about a distinguished middle-aged man who has a reckless affair with his son’s fiance, you might expect a brief scene or two early on explaining why the older man might be hungry or unsettled or desperate enough to do such a thing. But in Damage (’93), director Louis Malle explained it all in a brief silent moment, which can be found between 3:36 and 4:03. Home from work, Jeremy Irons sips his drink and looks around his living room, and you can just see it in his face.
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Some kind of intense drama is happening with Toronto Film Festival screenings of Adria Petty‘s Paris, Not France, a documentary about Paris Hilton. Two out of three public screenings have been cancelled, and both press screenings have also been jettisoned.
The reason why is partly explained in this 8.29 Stephen Zeitchik/”Risky Business” story in the Hollywood Reporter. (Thanks to cjkennedy.)
The film has a festival website page that says three performances of Paris, Not France are (or were) scheduled — on Tuesday, 9.9, at the Ryerson at 6:00 pm, on Thursday, 9.11 at the same venue at 3 pm, and on Saturday, 9.13, at the AMC 2 at 5:45 pm.
But an updated slate of public screenings shows that only the Tuesday, 9.9 screening is now scheduled. And the updated press screening list has no Paris, Not France showings.
Persons who recently tried to order public tickets to the Hilton/Petty doc were sent an e-mail stating that “due to unforeseen circumstances, there will be only one screening of Paris, Not France [on] Tuesday, Sept. 9, 6pm, Ryerson.”
The e-mail went on to say that “an additional public screening of Lymelife will replace the second public screening of Paris, Not France [on] Thursday, Sept. 11, 3pm, Ryerson” and that “an additional public screening of Lovely, Still will replace the third public screening of Paris, Not France [on] Saturday, Sept. 13, 5:45pm, AMC 2.”
If Paris doesn’t want the film shown at TIFF for whatever reason, why hasn’t it been yanked altogether? Why stick with that one Ryerson showing on Tuesday, 9.9? I sense a lack of resolve.
Okay, no more Jerry Lewis jokes. Paul Schrader‘s Adam Resurrected, which just screened at the Telluride Fillm Festival, is in no way a problem film, a friend says, and Jeff Goldblum‘s lead performance is, he insists, an Oscar-level achievement. Seriously — that’s what he said.
Scale that back a bit and at the very least Goldblum is looking lucky, skillful and back in the groove with God smiling down. If the buzz is real, people may be calling his work in Adam Resurrected his best performance since….Jurassic Park? The Big Chill? Igby Goes Down?
Telluride Film Festival panel discussion with Jeff Goldblum (far right, light blue shirt), David Fincher (black T-shirt) and others participating. It looks as if Annette Insdorf may have moderated.
A little rain began to pour this afternoon, and with it the temperature dropped down to cool. But those mountain aromas!
“Before her meteoric rise to political success as governor, just two short years ago Sarah Palin was the mayor of Wasilla. I had a good chuckle at MSN.com’s claim that she had been the mayor of ‘Wasilla City’. It is not a city — just Wasilla. Wasilla is the heart of the Alaska Bible belt, and Sarah was raised amongst the tribe that believes creationism should be taught in our public schools, homosexuality is a sin, and life begins at conception. She’s a gun-toting, hang ’em high conservative. Remember — this is where her approval ratings come from.
Don’t tread on us!
“There is no doubt that McCain again is making a strategic choice to appeal to a particular demographic — fundamentalist right-wing, gun-owning Christians. And Republican bloggers are already gushing about how she has ‘more executive experience’ than Obama does!
“Above is a picture of lovely downtown Wasilla, for those of you unfamiliar with the area. Behind the Mug-Shot Saloon (the first bar I visited when I moved to Alaska long ago) is a little strip mall. There are street signs in Wasilla with bullet holes in them. Wasilla has a population of about 5500 people, and 1979 occupied housing units. This is where your potential Vice President was two short years ago. Can you imagine her negotiating a nuclear non-proliferation treaty? Discussing foreign policy? Understanding non-Alaskan issues?
“Frankly, I don’t even know if she’s ever been out of the country. She may ‘get’ Alaska, but there are only a half a million people here. Don’t get me wrong. I love Alaska with all my heart. I’m just saying.” — from “What Is McCain Thinking?,” a piece by “AKMuckraker,” the author–proprietor of Mudflats, an Alaskan-perspective blog written by a semi-native (i.e., a guy who’s lived there since ’91).
Sidenote: Former porn star April Flowers (retired since ’05) grew up in Wasillia.
“We never tell stories in a linear way — we always tell them in a decomposed way,” Guillermo Arriaga, director-writer of The Burning Plain, has told the Guardian‘s Mark Brown. “If you ask how did I become a director, I will not begin at the beginning. I will talk about my grandfather, my trip to Italy and so on. That’s the way we tell stories in real life.”
“I’ve always been driven to the desert. I think the landscape itself influences people. This movie was based on the four elements — water, earth, wind and fire — and [in] using them I wanted to explore why sometimes people are damaged.”
“Some” people? Who isn’t damaged? Who among us is unbruised or unscathed?
I remember Woody Allen‘s remark in front of a crowd at the WGA theatre during a promo tour for Match Point. I didn’t record it, but the gist was more or less as follows: “When I look at a baby girl sleeping I just feel sorry for her. I feel sad knowing what she’ll be going through. All the pain and heartbreak and hurt feelings and betrayals by boyfriends and the personal disappointments that await her. And knowing that one day she may come to feel as I do, which is that we’re living in a concentration camp and that the only way out is through the smokestacks.”
I’ve said this before and here goes again, only I really mean it this time. Vague impressions to the contrary, Hollywood Elsewhere is not — and will henceforth not be permitted to be — a good hangin’ place for crude conservative wingnuts who also enjoy movies. I realize that my blunt and sometimes combative judgments and willy-nilly writing style have attracted this element, but starting today I am renewing my efforts to rid this site of belligerent conservative growlers and rage-spitters.
I don’t care how undemocratic this may sound to some. All I know is that the voices of tedious right-wing liturgy are done on this site.
A guy I know and respect wrote yesterday with the following: “I just wanted to let you know that I read your blog and comments every day, but the number of Republicans on your comments board is so depressing I can’t stand reading it anymore, so I’m afraid I’ll have to tune you out for the next 67 days. I agree with you wholeheartedly on your politics, but these rightwing wackjobs are killing me. I know for freedom of speech you can’t delete them, but I just can’t read it anymore. Good luck to us all. I’ll be back on November 5th.”
I wrote him back and said, “I know, I know…I hate these guys also.” And then something snapped. Or a light bulb went on or whatever. I like right-wing guys personally. I enjoy reading George Will and Robert Novak (whom I feel for right now). I used to admire the writings of William F. Buckley and those of other old-school conservative thinkers. I fell in love with Barry Goldwater when I saw Julie Anderson‘s Mr. Conservative. But today’s conservative nutters are sickening. I hate them like a wheat farmer hates locusts.
It’s not what you believe or feel as much as the electric-ascendant or mind- numbing expression of same that counts. It follows that right-wing jackboot views are the essence of tediousness, as any Fox News sufferer can tell you. They’ve become especially malignant in this, an historic election year. And dammit, I haven’t built this site into a respectable Hollywood column over the last four years to provide a forum for thuggish Barack Obama bashers and Sarah Palin back-rubbers.
Interesting, thoughtful, well-phrased opinions of any kind are eternally welcome here. But the uglies, mark my words, are getting the boot. They can call this the Night of the Long Knives if they want, but the house is being tented and the bugs will be killed.
I believe in beauty, redemption, catharsis and the daily cleansing of the soul. I live for the highs of the mind — for the next nervy retort, impertinent crack, witty turn of phrase, turnaround idea or wicked joke. And I know — we all know — that blunt-gruff reactions and persistent ideological ranting works against the flow of such things.
To the extent that I am responsible for creating this climate, I profusely apologize and abase myself before God and the readership in hopes of forgiveness. I am trying to turn the tide, change the atmosphere, spray some air freshener around the room.
I will not permit the infinite array of reflections about life, movies and politics that could and should appear on Hollywood Elsewhere to be suppressed or pushed aside by the relentless hammerhead barking of a small cadre of ideological Mussolinis, tough guys, hardballers and friends of Bill O’Reilly.
I will not provide a forum for this or that Republican hooligan to spew acidic slash-and-burn, borderline-racist views such as Mgmax’s description of Barack Obama as “Spock Obama” and links to this or that National Review article by guys like Mark Steyn.
The L.A. Times headline for John Horn‘s 8.29 Telluride story asks if “another Juno” — a breakout indie hit that winds up in the Oscar derby — might emerge from this small but influential film festival now unfolding in the Colorado Rockies.
Horn mentions three possibilities — David Fincher‘s The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (which was previewed last night via a 20-minute reel that was part of a Fincher tribute), Marc Abraham‘s Flash of Genius and Danny Boyle‘s Slumdog Millionaire.
The Fincher footage encountered unexpected sniper fire last night, but it’s silly to say “no” or “don’t think so” to Benjamin Button (which is running about 2 hours and 45 minutes as we speak) based on a 20-minute taster reel so let’s just ignore what some people were saying. Goldfinger ejector seat!
And I don’t know anything about the Boyle film. Beyond the generic, of course. Scruffy Indian street kid from Mumbai wins a bundle and is then suspected of cheating, etc.
But I’ve gotten a sense of Abraham’s Flash of Genius (Universal, 10.3), and my basic impression, to go by the trailer and the stuff I’ve read online about Robert Kearns, the character played by Gregg Kinnear in the film, is that it’s an intermittent windshield wiper version of Francis Coppola‘s Tucker: The Man and His Dreams.
Brilliant nice-guy maverick with pretty wife dreams up great technological innovation, the corporate guys steal his work and try to blow or buy him off, but he tenaciously fights back and stands proud at the end, having lost this or that battle but won the ultimate war, yaddah yaddah.
The trailer tells you everything…every last thing about this film (90% of the story, how the performances play, the look and tone of it) except the question of whether or not Kearns will accept the $30 million go-away money offered by the bad guys.
Tucker came out 20 years ago, yes, but we’ve seen this story told so often that it just feels worn down. (Aaron Sorkin has written yet another variation, based on his play The Farnsworth Invention, for the screen.) I’m not saying the Flash current isn’t there; only that I’m not feeling it as I sit here in West Hollywood, absorbing the data bursts as they shoot out from cyberspace and Telluride and the planet Trafalmadore.
Of course, it’s not the story but the telling that matters, so let’s see how it plays this weekend in Telluride and then at the Toronto Film Festival.