“The general vibe that Get Him to the Greek has in common with The Hangover could make it a surprise moneymaker,” says HE’s Moises Chiullan. “This is the ‘let’s get fucked up and have fun’ flick that MGM was hoping Hot Tub could be. All they need to do is sneak it in college towns and the big cities during the week of release and they’re good.”
It ain’t over ’till it’s over but the downshifting has begun. One final screening — Doug Liman‘s Fair Game — followed by the press conference for same, and then a couple of hours to write a review and that’s all she wrote. Back to the pad to pack by 3 pm or so, and on the Nice Airport bus no later than 6 pm.
(l.) Carlos costar Nora von Waldstatten, (middle) star Edgar Ramirez and (right) an actress whom I can’t quite identify (but who may be costar Julia Hummer) after yesterday afternoon’s Grand Lumiere showing.
Shot of the Orange press cafe by Awards Daily‘s Sasha Stone, who returned to the US this morning.
Looking up at the Grand Hotel from the big green lawn — Tuesday, 5.18, 11:30 pm.
Five days ago an AP story reported that Carlos the real-life inmate has trashed Olivier Assayas‘ Carlos for having mocked his “revolutionary comrades.” He needs better information or he’s full of merde. The film treats each and every character with the same degree of shoulder-level fairness and honesty.
“The 60-year-old Venezuelan, whose real name is Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, was speaking by telephone to AFP from the French high security prison at Poissy, outside Paris, where he is serving a life term for a triple murder,” the story says.
“‘There have always been a lot of films and books about me, that have told a lot of bullshit about me,’ he said, explaining that this time he was protesting on behalf of ‘his comrades martyred in the revolution.’
Carlos will see Carlos “when it is broken up into a mini-series on French television station Canal Plus, but he has already seen extracts and his lawyer has threatened legal action to prevent its general release.
“‘I’ve read the screenplay, [and] there are deliberate falsifications of history, and lies,’ Carlos complained, speaking in a call to reporters visiting the office of his French lawyer Isabelle Coutant-Peyre.”
I met and spoke with the The Myth of the American Sleepover director-writer David Robert Mitchell just before the noon screening of Carlos, and also with some of the cast members. Myth goes against the grain of your typical teen-relationship flick by being much smarter, better acted, more subtle and not reliant on animal-level humor (or animal-level sensibilities in the seats). I wrote earlier that “nothing feels written or faked…each and every scene has a natural ease and honesty.”
(l. to r.) Myth of the American Sleepover director-writer David Robert Mitchell, Jade Ramsey (Ana), Brett Jacobsen (Scott), Nikita Ramsey (Ady), Claire Sloma (Maggie) and Amanda Bauer (Claudia). Taken around 11:10 am at the American Pavillion.
It goes without saying that a teen movie of this calibre is doomed to fail because it’s not coarse or stupid enough….kidding! Well, half-kidding. I’d like to at least see it do better than She’s Out My League. What is it about under-25 Eloi seeming to prefer movies packed with tedious cliches and sometimes even recoiling when something fresh and true and semi-original (like Myth) comes along?
Here’s my favorite review of the film, by Screen Daily‘s Howard Feinstein.
The recording is typically loose and unrefined. I could have chopped off the flat portions if I’d had an extra hour to kill, but I didn’t. I never do. It is what it is.
Olivier Assayas‘ Carlos, which screened earlier today, is a fascinating, never-boring, you-are-there masterwork of a certain type. Not exactly a levitational thing and more in the realm of long triple than a home run, but exquisitely done in so many small and great and side-pocket ways that there’s really no choice but to take your hat off and say “sure, yes, of course.”
Carlos star Edgar Ramirez (r.) during the OPEC hostage-taking sequence, which occupies a sizable portion of Act Two.
This is a politically crackling, intrigue-filled saga of Carlos the Jackal (a.k.a, Ilich Ramirez Sanchez) with a no-bullshit, this-is-what-it-was, rock-solid authority in every line and scene and performance — no Hollywood crap of any kind, no comic relief and nothing artificially heightened. And it boasts a riveting, never-alienating but never-sympathetic lead performance by Edgar Ramirez, whom I know from relatively recent roles in Che and The Bourne Ultimatum (in which he played a bad guy who cut Matt Damon a break at the end).
It’s essentially a portrait of a hard-charging, true-believing, very impressive type-A asshole who loved guns and blowjobs and Marlboros and being forceful and committed, and who enjoyed a kind of haunted celebrity for a few years during the 1970s when anti-capitalist revolution and terror were in fashion, at least in some overseas circles.
Carlos doesn’t exactly throb with emotional poignancy or resonance, or deliver what you might call a ground-level universal theme. All it “says,” really, is the same thing that any film about a terrorist or a gangster says, which is basically “live hard, burn brightly and enjoy the passion and thrills while you can, pal, because you’re looking at an early death or being sentenced to a very long jail term before you hit middle-age.”
But then it’s hardly fair to expect this kind of film — an exacting, fact-based account of the life and times of a fierce and somewhat chilly sociopath who doesn’t laugh or smile much or pet kittens or make friends with homeless children — to swim in streams of emotionality or meditation, even. Like Che, Carlos is simply about “being there” and believing everything you hear and see, although it delivers much more in the way of urgency and tension and thrills that Steven Soderbergh‘s film did. It occasionally settles down for brief periods, but it never drops the ball.
Carlos director Olivier Assayas (l.) and star Edgar Ramirez absorbing applause inside the Grand Lumiere following this afternoon’s screening.
I told a video crew on my way out of the screening that I’d be interested to see if Assayas can make the shorter U.S. theatrical cut — reportedly expected to come in around two and a half hours — work. I don’t see how it can. I would think that this version would have to be at least three hours, although even that sounds like a difficult feat. All I can say is that when the intermission came at the end of Act Two, which was somewhere close to the three hour mark, I was fully engaged and in no way yearning for a time-out.
The final act, being about changing times, the ebbing of leftist revolutionary fervor and Carlos-friendly governments in the ’80s, the collapse of communism and Carlos losing his headline-grabbing favor as the world’s most audacious terrorist, is the least engrossing. But again, it’s never dull — just not as charged.
There’s one recurring element that Carlos doesn’t quit on and is almost fanatical about, and that’s cigarettes. So many effin’ Marlboros and Gitanes are smoked during this thing that I felt as if my own lungs were aching with first-stage cancer by the time it was over. Everyone except the Muslim characters, it seems, is also gulping whiskey in every other scene. No Frescas, Cokes or Perriers — straight booze all the way.
Ramirez, who resembles the younger real-life Carlos, has a face that could almost be Johnny Depp‘s if Depp gained 20 or 25 pounds. He also looks a bit like Nick Lachey (i.e., Jessica Simpson‘s ex) and Neville Brand, who played Al Capone on the old Untouchables series. As with any noteworthy performance Ramirez never seems to be “acting.” That’s also how Benicio del Toro‘s Che Guevara played, of course, and yet Benicio was delivering a somewhat warmer, gentler fellow. As Soderbergh depicted him, I mean.
The real Carlos is now doing a life sentence in La Sante prison, which is located in the 14th arrondisement of Paris. I wonder if he has TV privileges (probably) and whether or not Assayas or IFC’s Ryan Werner will send him a DVD of the long version, and whether Carlos and his cellmates (including Manuel Noreiga) will be allowed to watch it together in the TV room. Throw in some soft drinks and a couple bags of tortilla chips…why not?
Having seen Olivier Assayas‘ Carlos a couple of weeks ago, Indiewire‘s Todd McCarthy today posted his review — an over-the-waterfalls rave that’ll probably seem like the most incisive and carefully measured assessment coming out today, as everyone else is writing their reviews as we speak (the big Cannes screening ended about an hour ago) and at best taking stabs at the range and sprawl of the thing as best they can, myself included.
Edgar Ramirez as the infamous terrorist whose life is given an epic treatment in Olivier Assayas’ Carlos.
“Carlos is everything Che wanted to be and much, much more — a dynamic, convincing and revelatory account of a notorious revolutionary terrorist‘s career that rivets the attention during every one of its 321 minutes,” be begins. “In what is certainly his best work, Assayas adopts a fleet, ever-propulsive style that creates an extraordinary you-are-there sense of verisimilitude, while Edgar Ramirez inhabits the title role with arrogant charisma of Brando in his prime. It’s an astonishing film.
“Like Che, Carlos carries with it an unwieldy running time that will limit wide theatrical release, although it will thrive on television and DVD; the work’s roots as a French TV production are what cost it a competition berth at Cannes, where it world premiered as a non-competing title in the official selection. On the other hand, the vast majority of people keen to see Carlos will certainly want to opt for the full five-hour-plus wide-screen experience rather than the two-and-a-half-hour theatrical version Assayas has prepared.
“And for all its rigor, Carlos, unlike Che, produces real movie-movie excitement, action, sex and suspense, which will help generate a considerable worldwide public.”
Excellent news about David Fincher‘s Se7en coming to Bluray on 9.14. I remember a couple of details about the Los Angeles all-media screening for this 1994 landmark film. I recall that it happened at the Mann Village, and that Don Murphy was there, and that after it ended a couple of guys on the street were imitating Brad Pitt yelling “what’s in the baahhx?”