In this odd sliver clip from Alexander Payne‘s The Descendants (Fox Searchlight, 12.16), George Clooney‘s Matt King character doesn’t run like a guy who runs in the morning for exercise, but like an ostrich. Plus Clooney is back to his Good German weight. Plus the ukelele on the soundtrack. All in the details.
The LA-NY film journo gang got together last night at La Pizza and traded the usual high-spirited patter & chatter & razmatazz. Spirits were raised about Woody Allen ‘s Midnight in Paris and lowered somewhat about Paolo Sorrentino‘s This Must Be The Place due to its being slated to screen on Friday, 5.20 — a dead-last slot that sometimes indicates that the Cannes programmers had somewhat mixed feelings about it when they planned the schedule. But maybe not.
Indiewire‘s Anne Thompson, Brian Brooks, Dana Harris during last night’s dinner.
The revellers included Indiewire‘s Anne Thompson, Eric Kohn, Dana Harris, Brian Brooks plus Deadline‘s Pete Hammond, Awards Daily‘s Sasha Stone, MSN’s James Rocchi, In Contention‘s Guy Lodge, critic/programmer/distributor Aaron Hillis, Film Society of Lincoln Center’s Eugene Hernandez, Relativity’s Sr. VP Adam Keen, IFC Film’s Ryan Werner and Arianna Bocco and myself.
(l. to r.) Pete Hammond, Sasha Stone, Emma Stone.
Eugene Hernandez, Aaron Hillis.
Tuesday, 5.10, 10:50 pm.
No Ceasar salad looks like this in the States — fine with me.
For nearly my entire life I’ve been on extremely familiar terms with John Robie’s (i.e., Cary Grant‘s) mountaintop home in To Catch A Thief. Yesterday Sasha Stone and her daughter Emma and I actually visited the place. It’s located on the main road leading up to the medieval village of Saint Jeannet, and it’s absolutely dead real — relatively unchanged from when Alfred Hitchcock shot his classic 1955 film — with only the addition of a driveway gate and a tall thick hedge in front.
Villa Robie – Tuesday, 5.10, 3:35 pm.
Villa Robie as glimpsed in To Catch a Thief.
The last time I came upon a real-life location with this kind of hot-damn impact was when I visited Oahu for the Pearl Harbor junket and stopped by Halona Blowhole beach — the site of the famous love scene between Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr in From Here to Eternity.
We wandered around the winding, small-scale, centuries-old streets of Saint Jeannet for about 90 minutes and took several photos of the breathtaking rocky peak (i.e., the “Baou”) that towers above. Then we motored down to Tourrettes Sur Loup , another pleasant medieval village only much more touristy. It has nothing to do with Tourette syndrome, although we joked about that (as tens of thousands of previous visitors have also joked, no doubt).
Tourettes Sur Loup — Tuesday, 5.10, 5:40 pm.
Michael Cieply visiting the Louisiana shoot of Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter has produced the funniest N.Y. Times headline for a movie-location story in years. And the funniest quite in the story is from Russian-based director Timur Bekmambetov (Wanted), whose animalistic sensibilities are an industry legend: “What Lincoln did was like what Jesus did 2,000 years ago — he freed people.”
It’s 6:15 am and I’ve been up for nearly four hours, unable to feel even a little bit sleepy. I crashed around midnight after a very long day and after four or five glasses of wine at the La Pizza gathering, and I awoke less than three hours later. I know how this works. The blueish early-morning light is starting to give way to straight sunlight and the seagulls are swooping around and cawing — that and the distant buzz-saw roar of scooters makes for a curiously soothing dawn symphony.
The festival’s first screening — Woody Allen‘s Midnight in Paris , which one source is calling his best since Deconstructing Harry and therefore better than Match Point — happens at 11 am. Another person who saw it gave it a pleasant passing grade but wasn’t over the moon about it.
I had to delete over 1000 spam posts a while ago — a record for a 24-hour period. All of them from the same Eastern European fiends who’ve been torturing this site for years.
By my usual cheapo standards, Washington Post critic Ann Hornaday and I are paying a lot of dough — 1600 euros, or roughly 160 euros or $224 US per day — to stay in our pad at 7 rue Jean Mero. Okay, I guess $112 US per day each isn’t so bad. On the other hand it’s indisputably the most attractive place I’ve ever rented during the Cannes Film Festival.
The building was apparently constructed sometime in the mid 1800s. White plaster walls, overhead beams, cute shuttered windows, homey. Nice sunny patio, cute little bathroom with a tub. Clean and cozy, sort of French farmhouse-y.
During last January’s Sundance Film Festival, I wrote that Alex Gibney and Alison Ellwood‘s’s Magic Trip (Magnolia, VOD 7.1, theatrical 8.5) “offers fascinating color footage of the original 1964 coast-to-coast bus trip of Ken Kesey‘s Merry Pranksters, and tells the legendary story more or less completely with two glaring exceptions.
“One, there’s no mention whatsoever of Tom Wolfe or his book that almost single-handedly sculpted the Kesey/magic bus legend, “The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test.” And two, there’s only one mention of the word ‘enlightenment’ in the whole film and no down-deep discussion at all of what LSD did to and for people during the early to late ’60s. The latter strikes me as borderline surreal given that LSD was the prime catalyst for the spiritual revolution of the late ’60s and ’70s.”
How do you make a doc about the bus without at least mentioning Wolfe’s book, by any standard the definitive account in the same way that John Reed‘s “Ten Days That Shook The World” told the story of the 1917 Russian revolution? And how could Gibney not explore to at least some degree the currents churned up by LSD, which was indisputably the biggest influence upon artist-youth-spiritual seeker culture of the ’60s in a thousand different ways and wound up influencing damn near everything?
Magic Trip is basically about new footage of the bus trip — that and very little else. Imagine some magical circumstance by which images of Jesus of Nazareth and his disciples had been visually captured or rendered in some immediate, first-hand way and then preserved and assembled for a documentary, and then the filmmaker decided to more or less ignore the fact that what these thirteen men did and said just over 2000 years ago in Judea resulted in a minor little thing called Christianity.