Try imagining yourself in a thirtysomething hipster marriage, and living in a house in Chicago. You look like Joe Swanberg and your wife looks like Melanie Lynskey, and you have an infant son. Along comes your younger sister, a dead ringer for Anna Kendrick, to stay in the guest room while she looks for a job. It’s soon evident that she’s some kind of alcoholic. When she drinks she gets completely wasted and passes out…obviously self-destructive and almost sure to get worse. But your creatively stifled wife has been enjoying some creative sex-book-writing sessions she’s been having with your sister and a friend who looks like Lena Dunham. And then your sister gets really drunk again and forgets to take something out of the oven and damn near burns the house down. Smoke everywhere. When your wife asks you about your sister, do you say “yeah, I’d say she has a serious drinking problem”? Of course not! Why would you ever say something like that? All you say is that she’s “really immature.” The words “alcohol” or “alcoholic” never cross your lips or anyone else’s. And your wife is so taken with your sister and those creative bull sessions that she figures “what the hell…your sister might succeed at burning the house down when she gets bombed again and wind up killing us and our baby but I really like the feeling of being creative again so…you know, let’s just take it one day at a time.” Is that cool?
Caged Heat, Crazy Mama, Handle with Care, Last Embrace, Melvin and Howard, Something Wild, Swimming to Cambodia, Married to the Mob, The Silence of the Lambs, Philadelphia, The Manchurian Candidate, Rachel Getting Married — Jonathan Demme has been my idea of a highly respectable, sometimes world-class auteur for 35…okay, let’s make it 40 years. But I swear to God I had a little trouble listening to what Demme was saying in this Ricky Camilleri interview because of that grotesque Indian shirt he’s wearing, not to mention those two necklaces. Okay, I “listened” to his phrases and thoughts but my mind drifted in and out. Interview subjects should obviously guard against outre appearances getting in the way…just sayin’. Demme sat down with Camilleri to plug his latest film, The Master Builder (opening Wednesday).
No, seriously….this is the real-deal Trash (’70). Paul Morrissey‘s, I mean. Intravenous drug use, sex, frontal nudity. “I need money for drugs…do you have any?” Joe Dallesandro, Holly Woodlawn, Jane Forth. (Forth, a 17 year-old model at the time, is the one playing opposite JD.) Sissy Spacek allegedly made “a quick uncredited appearance as a girl who sits at the bar but was cut from the final film.” Basically about the perverse mood of downtown late ’60s Warhol-centric hipsters, and secondarily about the vaguely comic humiliations that accompany Dallesandro’s heroin habit.
Even in Portugese you can tell that Stephen Daldry‘s Trash will be fast and mean and kind of City of God-like. The only thing that scares me is the presence of Martin Sheen. Costarring Wagner Moura and Rooney Mara, pic is obviously about three Brazilian ragamuffins (Rickson Tevez, Eduardo Luis, Gabriel Weinstein) who find on a valuable wallet at a trash dump, and are soon after being chased around by baddies. Will Trash play the early fall festivals? With no U.S. distributor on-board, that would seem to make sense.
Roughly ten months after it began filming and eight months before Warner Bros. opens it on 3.15.15, Ron Howard‘s In The Heart of The Sea is having a research screening on Thursday evening, 7.24, at the Sherman Oaks Arclight. I won’t post any reactions or even run a summary, but should anyone attend I’ve love to hear how it plays. Privately, pure curiosity. Howard’s film, a period action-drama costarring Chris Hemsworth, Cillian Murphy, Ben Whishaw and Brendan Gleeson, is basically a Moby Dick origin tale mixed with another shipwrecked-at-sea, survival-in-a-lifeboat saga a la Life of Pi, All Is Lost and Unbroken.
This morning the 2014 Toronto Film Festival (9.4 to 9.14) announced a rundown of I-forget-how-many galas and special presentations (i.e., 40- or 50-something). I read the list two or three hours ago and went “okay, interesting, good, yup, cool….wait, where’s Leviathan?” Will it be announced as…what, a Canadian premiere when the next TIFF announcement breaks? Or is it being punished (i.e., relegated to after-Monday status) because Telluride, as expected, will be the first U.S. festival to show it? I’m a little confused about the Toronto vs. Telluride rules of inclusion vs. exclusion.
Here, in any event, are my preferential Toronto must-sees so far in terms of genuine intrigue and excitement, and not necessarily in terms of “ooh, ooh, pant, pant…will this be a serious Oscar contender?” I rarely see more than 27 films during my ten days there (9 and 1/2 days X 3 films daily plus filing, sleeping, occasional parties), and more often in the vicinity of 25 or a bit less. Hottest films listed first, less-hots starting around 15 or thereabouts:
1. Wild, d: Jean-Marc Vallee; 2. The Theory of Everything, d: James Marsh; 3. While We’re Young, d: Noah Baumbach; 4. Rosewater, d: Jon Stewart; 5. Men, Women & Children, d: Jason Reitman; 6. Black and White, d: Mike Binder (hit me hard during first viewing, wanna see it again); 7. Wild Tales, d: Damian Szifron (loved it in Cannes, can’t wait to see it again); 8. Antoine Fuqua and Denzel Washington‘s The Equalizer; 9. Phoenix, d: Christian Petzold; 10. Pasolini, d: Abel Ferrara; 11. Nightcrawler, d: Dan Gilroy; 12. 99 Homes, d: Ramin Bahrani; 13. Time Out of Mind, d: Oren Moverman; 14. The Judge, d: David Dobkin; 15. This Is Where I Leave You, d: Shawn Levy; 16. The Riot Club, d: Lone Scherfig; 17. Miss Julie, d: Liv Ullman; 18. The Good Lie, d: Philippe Falardeau; 19. Love & Mercy, d: Bill Pohlad; 20. Manglehorn, d: David Gordon Green; 21. The Humbling, d: Barry Levinson; 22. The Last Five Years, d: Richard LaGravenese; 23. The New Girlfriend, d: François Ozon; 24. Top Five, d: Chris Rock; 25. A Second Chance, d: Susanne Bier.