Boxoffice.com‘s Phil Contrino has begun a petition to try and influence Warner Bros. to arrange special-event bookings of Gravity and 2001: A Space Odyssey as a double-bill. On IMAX screens, for instance. “2001 is a film that was meant to be viewed on a big screen,” he writes. “If Gravity really deserves to be compared to 2001, then Warner Bros.– the studio behind both films–and exhibitors around the globe should treat movie fans to a double feature.”
Around 2:30 pm today Gravity director Alfonso Cuaron and I did a sit-down in the rear of the Sheridan chophouse. We talked for 45 minutes; could have gone two or three hours. We spoke about Gravity, of course, but steered clear of too much technical talk. Cuaron supposed what Stanley Kubrick would have to say about Gravity in regards to 2001: A Space Odyssey. He also spoke about decreasing movie-sophistication levels among today’s general audiences. And declared himself a general advocate of HFR cinematography. He said that he added grain to the final look of Gravity because, being “an old fart,” he loves a little texture (although his ten-year-old daughter doesn’t). Cuaron also said he’s more of a High Noon than a Rio Bravo fan, which earns him a gold star in my book. Not a bad discussion if I do say so myself.
Something happened a couple of days ago that may seem minor in the greater scheme, but every time I think about it I can’t help feeling elated. I dropped my iPhone into a kitchen sink filled with warm water and it survived. No twitches or glitches or after-damage whatsoever. It was saved from instant death by (a) the fact that it was encased in a Mophie juice pack and (b) the fact that I scooped it out in less than a second — the bat of an eyelash. I was so fast I surprised myself. I was faster than Muhammad Ali delivering a jab. And then I used paper towels and all was well. The possibility that I might have to buy another one after losing my previous iPhone in Berlin last May was horrifying. Saved by the Mophie!
Hollywood Reporter critic Stephen Farber is calling Peter Landesman‘s Parkland (Open Road, 2.20), a docudrama about the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, “engrossing, quietly revelatory and often profoundly moving as it retells a story we only thought we knew..filled with sharp details that will be eye-opening to most viewers, [and] exceptionally well made.” And the Guardian‘s Xan Brooks is saying that Parkland “gives us a neat Texas spin on Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, [using an] approach that makes a worn-out old tragedy feel supple and urgent.” But Variety‘s Peter Debruge and Indiewire‘s Matt Mueller have totally dumped on it.
Alfonso Cuaron‘s Gravity (Warner Bros., 10.4), which screened twice last night at the Telluride Film Festival, is the most visually sophisticated, super-immersive weightless thrill-ride flick I’ve ever seen. If Stanley Kubrick had been there last night he would freely admit that 2001: A Space Odyssey is no longer the ultimate, adult-angled, real-tech depiction of what it looks and feels like to orbit the earth. Nifty and super-cool from a pure-eyeball perspective, Gravity is certainly the most essential theatrical experience since Avatar. You can’t watch a top-dollar 3D super-flick of this type on anything other than a monster-sized IMAX screen.
The once-legendary David Frost died yesterday at age 74, possibly of a heart attack. He was on a Mediterranean-bound cruise ship to do a speaking gig. Not the worst way to go — suddenly, sea air in your lungs, no prolonged deterioration. When I heard the news I didn’t think first of Frost’s 1977 Richard Nixon interviews or his hosting of That Was The Week That Was in the ’60s. For me Frost’s finest moments were those 1974 interviews with Muhammad Ali in Zaire before his Heavyweight Championship bout with George Foreman. Those were the high times. Frost was a celebrity conversationalist, a go-getter, a personality, a lightweight who grew into a middleweight (at least that) in the ’70s. he appeared to live in a state of constant engagement, drive, curiosity. A good fellow. Condolences to friends and family.