Clearly the little kid in the hat was (a) feeling under-appreciated and wanted some attention, or (b) was indicating to the audience and the producers that he thought little of Back to the Future III and that people who felt otherwise knew what they could do. Either way this is one of the most blatant “why did they leave this in?” shots since the young kid in the cafeteria who plugged his ears before Eva Marie Saint shot Cary Grant in North by Northwest.
“It’s Chris [Nolan] delving into dream psychoanalysis and, at the same time, making a high-octane, surreal film that came from his mind. He wrote the entire thing, and it all made sense to him. [But] it didn’t make sense to many of us when we were doing it. We had to do a lot of detective work to figure out what the movie was about.”
To me DiCaprio’s statement as almost an iron-clad guarantee that Inception is going to be far-reaching, multi-layered and generally a kick-ass ride. Actors involved in ambitious films by major directors always say they found the plot perplexing. A big-name actress said the exact same thing to me last summer on the set of a big-budget espionage thriller. A TCM page on North by Northwest says that “according to biographies on Cary Grant, during production the star repeatedly expressed confusion over the film’s plot, which he found implausible and unclear.”
I was irritated earlier this afternoon at the absolute refusal of the L.A. Times/Envelope Oscar-preference software to allow me to buy a few shares of Christoph Waltz stock, but that’s forgotten now. It vanished from my head the minute I saw the great-looking design of the L.A. Times All Stars rundown of choices and…uh, stock picks. It’s the coolest-looking thing I’ve been a part of, visually, in any medium. I feel genuinely honored and gratified to have been included.
Some of the most gifted screenwriters in the business sorta kinda dropped the personality ball this morning. The goal of any participant in a panel discussion is to inject some energy and perhaps a little unruly pizazz into the proceedings. But this morning’s “It Starts With The Script” discussion, moderated by Indiewire columnist Anne Thompson, never got off the ground, much less got my pulse racing.
How’s this for a great angle and a great photograph? I would have shown up at the rear of Santa Barbara’s Lobero theatre for the the pre-discussion photo op, but nobody told me it was happening.
It was comprised of intelligent chatter from some very bright and accomplished people, of course, but there were no energy surges, no pop-goes-the-weasel moments, no jokes, no disputes…almost toothless.
The participants included The Hurt Locker‘s Mark Boal , Up In The Air‘s Jason Reitman, Precious adapter Geoffrey Fletcher, (500) Days of Summer co-writer Scott Neustadter, It’s Complicated‘s Nancy Meyers and Star Trek co-writer Alex Kurtzman.
You go to these things looking for a little Chris Matthews-type energy, some old-fashioned Crossfire action…whatever. Questions and teasers and provocations that might lead to sparks of some kind, a little contentiousness, a touch of the old no-you’r’e-wrong-and-here’s-why, etc.
In all candor, I believe this to the most intriguing photo of Nancy Meyers that I’ve ever taken.
Who cared/knew/gave a shit about Dear John, the Amanda Seyfried-Channing Tatum drama that kicked Avatar to the curb yesterday, and is expected to earn $35 million by Sunday night?
I had the tracking that pre-told the tale, but I couldn’t be bothered with all the SBIFF razmatazz and running around.
London’s National Film & Television School has created a tart comedy short — Mr. Pixel Mrs. Grain: A Never-Ending Love Story — that offers “a humorous illustration of the benefit from both worlds of film and digital.” Fine and good, but the grain monks folded their tents and went into hiding after Martin Scorsese more or less sided with the HE view. Game over.
Last night Pete Hammond briefly mentioned Gun Shy, my favorite Sandra Bullock-produced film of all time, and then dropped it. Bullock said nothing (i.e., let’s move on), and had little to add when I mentioned it at the after-party. “Some of us really loved that film,” I said. “Elvis Mitchell did handstands over it in his N.Y. Times review.” This is how good but under-appreciated movies die on Netflix — even their producers are ready to sweep them under the rug.
There’s always a vague sense of tredipation in the Arlington Theatre press seat area before celebrity interviews begin. After doing their red-carpet photography, the swaggering paparazzi stroll down the aisle and look to occupy the front-row seating that’s right in front of the stage. This sometimes includes the seat I’m sitting in. Every now and then one will look at me with my Canon S515 and my Canon Elph around my neck and say, “Are you holding this for someone?” (Translation: “Are you some kind of dilletante photographer? May I please sit there? I matter more than you.”) I always say to them, “I’m just sitting here, bro…I’m press like you.” (Translation: “Nice try, asshole.”)
On-stage celebrity interviews at the Santa Barbara Film Festival are always smooth and briskly paced (i.e., once the celebrity takes the stage) and professionally presented and all. But they always proceed in the same fashion. This is an okay thing — most of us find comfort in a certain amount of repetition and familiarity — but it would be nice if someone came along and said, “This is working okay but let’s come up with a looser approach.” I don’t know what I’m talking about but it might be cool if the audience could ask questions, or if the celebrity walked into the audience area with a mike and roamed around as ne/she speaks to different folks. Kind of a David Letterman-type deal.
My son Jett tells me that my disinclination to edit results in some of my video clips being trite. I don’t have the extra hour or two to slick these things up. I try to edit in the camera as it’s happennig.
I was reminded of three or four things during last night’s Santa Barbara Film Festival tribute to Sandra Bullock. One, she’s whip-smart but uncomplicated — she had a clean and concise answer for every question thrown her way, but she’s not into soul-baring. Two, she worked long and hard to prove her way out of the romantic-comedy prison she felt trapped in about ten years ago. Three, she didn’t want to portray her Blind Side character (the real-life Leigh Anne Tuohy) because she felt she was an unrealistic construct — but she changed her mind after meeting her.
Sandra Bullock, Pete Hammond onstage during last night’s Arlington theatre tribute —
Margo Barbakow, Bullock, SBIFF board chief Jeff Barbakow during the tribute after-party at Barbakow’s Montecito mansion.