Tomorrow I’ll see Keith Maitland‘s Tower, Matthew Brown‘s The Man Who Knew Infinity (online link, preparation for Jeremy Irons phoner), Scott Feinberg‘s Docs to Watch roundtable and a second look at Damien Chazelle‘s La La Land. Or something like that.
Late this afternoon I pedaled two or three miles to a Lenscrafters for an eyeglass repair job. Then I hit my favorite Savannah cafe, The Sentient Bean. There I met a couple of local girls, Emily Jordan and Melissa Burkholder, who initially thought I was Chris Walken. The conversation eventually turned to day-to-day life in Savannah, which led to their telling me about what they called “Savannah’s dirty little secret” (as least as far as visitors like myself are concerned) — the recently rising murder rate.
I’ve discussed the exquisite restoration of Marlon Brando‘s One-Eyed Jacks, which I saw last May in Cannes and which Criterion will “street” on 11.22, many times. One final issue remains. Before the Bluray hits it would be great to see it shown in a sizable, first-rate Los Angeles venue on a one-night-only basis. Alas, Universal has arranged to screen it theatrically at Cinefamily on Friday, November 11th.
Really? All those months of hard work that went into the One-Eyed Jacks restoration and it ends up showing at an amiable but down-at-the-heels rep house? From a high-impact perspective Cinefamily brings zip to the table. Like the New Beverly, the screen in that Fairfax Avenue house is smallish. It’s a couple of steps up from 4K projection on an 80-inch screen in some guy’s living room.
The Academy theatre wasn’t a possibility? Or at the Linwood Dunn on Vine? The Hollywood Arclight shows classic films now and then — why not a one-off at that venue? Or the one in Sherman Oaks?
Donald Trump has inspired Manhattan’s Film Forum to run a “Demagogues” series from 11.4 through 11.10. This includes films in which demagogues are lead characters as well as supporting. HE’s favorites, in this order: Elia Kazan‘s A Face in the Crowd, John Frankenheimer‘s Seven Days In May, Robert Rossen‘s All The King’s Men, Frankenheimer’s The Manchurian Candidate (James Gregory‘s Johnny Iselin is supporting) and George Clooney‘s Good Night, and Good Luck. Honest admission: I’ve never seen Frank Capra‘s Meet John Doe.
Donald Trump‘s “grievanceburg address” (the term was coined by CNN’s Jim Acosta less than an hour ago) was delivered in a small setting in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Same old “up with protectionism, let’s stick it to China, up with fossil fuel industry, down with NAFTA and Obamacare” crap. The only thing I liked was the proposed prohibition of government heavies becoming lobbyists for foreign governments. Trump pledged to sue all of the women who’ve accused him of sexual assault “after the election is over”…bullshit.
The 2016 Savannah Film Festival kicks off today. Hollywood Elsewhere arrived in Savannah last night (Friday) around 7 pm. I’m staying in room #353 at the Brice Hotel. It’s 1:15 pm as we speak. The plan is to rent a bicycle, pick up my press pass, buy some stuff at CVS, visit the local Lenscrafters and then…the festival! Tonight’s picks are Pablo Larrain‘s Jackie (7:30 pm) and Antonio Campo‘s Christine (9:30 pm). Yes, I caught the latter in Park City last January and the former in Toronto last month, but what do you want me to do? Not see them? Both can easily stand a second viewing.
I’ve never seen J. Clay Tweel‘s Gleason (4:30 pm), and I never will. I won’t submit to this kind of shameless disease-and-parenting documentary. Consequence of Sound‘s Paul Goble called it “an exemplary, sometimes artificial act of emotional manipulation.” Many people have found it affecting, but I won’t go there.
Parker’s Urban Gourmet Market (which is also a gas station) is a great place to saunter into in the wee hours. Great deli food, all the basics. I’ve been coming here for years.
The climate control system in my Brice hotel room refuses to put out heat. It got a little cool last night but the mode control kept refusing to generate even a slight amount of warmth. I’ve complained to no end. Maybe I can find a space heater somewhere.
I’ve never forgotten an alleged Francois Truffaut quote about his concept of success. In 1957 at age 25, Truffaut launched a production company, Les Films du Carrosse, and went on to produce 35 films. (Truffaut died in 1984 at age 52.) What he said was that “when one of our films goes into profit, we open a bottle of champagne.”
From a 2016 American perspective, that’s an attitude of a loser, a small-timer, a producer who doesn’t have what it takes. But I think it’s great. Because it tells you that all Truffaut and associates wanted was enough profit to stay in the game. Because they loved making films, and the process of making them was its own reward.
I think we all understand that Dwayne Johnson, Vin Diesel and Zack Snyder, who are emblematic of a kind of cancer in today’s film industry, couldn’t understand Truffaut’s attitude.
Yesterday Gael Garcia Bernal (Neruda) articulated a similar fraternal philosophy during a opening-night event at the Morelia Film Festival:
“There’s a culture of friendship in Latin American cinema, between people like Alfonso Cuaron, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu and Guillermo del Toro, which they in turn inherited from others. They’re a sensation of brotherhood, that people care about you, look after you, which we’ve sought to maintain consciously. That ‘brotherhood’ is the best way to survive, to make better films, but it also a way of coming close to the biggest reason to make films.