I had a nice time, snapped a few shots and enjoyed the company of, I felt, some of the coolest and/or most interesting people on the planet at today’s Social Network luncheon at the Four Seasons. The filmmakers, as you might expect, were in an amiable and settled mood. Not the least bit assuming or presumptuous but…well, you could certainly say comfortable.
I sat to the left of Social Network screenwriter Aaron Sorkin at today’s Four Seasons luncheon on behalf of Sorkin, David Fincher and Scott Rudin‘s film. Screenwriter Stephen Schiff was three seats away, director-screenwriter James Toback sat to his right, and Sony production executive Elizabeth Cantillon sat opposite. I don’t know why I’m discussing table seatings.
And then it was time for Sony production chief Amy Pascal, who hosted the luncheon, to deliver remarks, and then for Sorkin to say a few words.
Before this happened we talked about (a) what Sorkin described as an unfunny, overly prolonged run of snippy, somewhat defensive comments from critic Armond White at last night’s New York Film Critics Circle ceremony following Darren Aronofsky’s opening salvo; (b) the deep awfulness of The Green Hornet (entirely me talking, him listening), (c) the Green Hornet metaphor I created in my head about Jay Chou‘s Kato representing the more dynamic and forward-moving Asian economies and Seth Rogen’s Britt Reid representing the smug, flatulent and coasting-on-past-glories U.S. economy, and Sorkin being intrigued by this and asking if this metaphor is in the film, and my saying “no, I just thought it up during my agonizing experience of watching,” (d) Arizona and that fruitcake snap of the Jackie Coogan-ish shooter.
At today’s Social Network luncheon longtime 007
inheritor caretaker producer Barbara Broccoli (daughter of the late Albert “Cubby” Broccoli) was talking to Forbes contributor Bill McCuddy about the imminent announcement of her new James Bond film, which is actually a relaunch of that Sam Mendes version that stalled when MGM’s finances went south. “Cool,” McCuddy said, “I’d like to report that.” No, no…too soon, she replied. Tomorrow. Ten minutes after hearing this story I get out the iPhone and Variety and The Wrap have it bannered.
Paramount Home Video will release a two-disc Bluray of Cecil B. DeMille‘s The Ten Commandments on 3.29. This is hardly an important event from any kind of classic-film standpoint. Almost everything about Commandments is labored or hammy or campy. Much of it groans. But Commandments, shot almost entirely on sound stages, has the potential to look extra cool on Bluray. It’s a large-format VistaVision ’50s film, of course, shot on Kodak 5248. So I’m expecting something richly colored and highly detailed and….shiny?
I mentioned the “s” word because apparently there’s a monk concern that Paramount’s Bluray might appear be “overly DNR’ed” – i.e., given the Spartacus/Patton digital noise reduction treatment to some degree. Maybe. But that’s almost good news for people who get it but don’t it — peons with 42-inch plasmas like myself. My brain understands and agrees that a Bluray should look like “film”, but my heart wants what it wants when I see something crisp and luminous and sharper than before. Put me in jail.
N.Y. Post critic Kyle Smith is reporting that Black Swan director Darren Aronofsky zapped New York Press critic Armond White at last night’s New York Film Critics Circle awards ceremony. Which was no biggie. Aronofsky simply said in public what scores of filmmakers have been muttering for years. No love lost, what the eff?, etc.
In remarks before hading the award for Best Cinematography to Black Swan’s
Matthew Libatique, Aronofsky said that when he heard he was being asked to present, “I thought I was giving Armond White the compassion award because if you don’t have something you should get it. Seriously, keep it up because you give all of us another reason not to read New York Press.”
Aronofsky later apologized for his lecturn remarks (“I was a dick…I’m sorry…it’s just really hard when you spend years working on something and it just gets torn apart.”) White, chairman of the NYFCC, said he was cool with Aronofsky when he took back the lecturn and addressed the crowd. “Hey, that’s all right,” White quipped. “Darren reads me. That’s all I want. And because he reads me [he] knows the truth.”