A mother! cake arrived this afternoon. Thanks to Paramount Pictures and director Darren Aronofsky, and a tip of the hat to Charm City Cakes West (8302 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90048). I was initially queasy about tasting (it looks like something ripped out of the chest of a grizzly bear), but once I did…yummy!
As I told Sean Baker a couple of weeks ago at a party for the Santa Barbara Film Festival, “I sure would like to catch The Florida Project sometime this month, before Telluride and Toronto. It’s not like I didn’t try to catch it in Cannes, but the line was too long.” Yo, A24 — there must be others in my boat, looking to absorb what we’re all presuming is a fairly special film. Whaddaya think?
If Hollywood Elsewhere was to run the Telluride Film Festival, I would make it into an actual four-day festival instead of what it actually is — a three-day if not a two-and-a-half-day festival for a good majority of out-of-towners with tight travel schedules and a pile of deadlines.
If you’re reviewing you’ve got at least 10 hot-ticket movies to see in the space of two and a half days (29 films screened during the 2016 festival, of which maybe 10 or 11 were essentials) and if you can manage to tap out more than four or five graphs per film, you’re the Six Million Dollar Man.
This year everyone will arrive on Thursday, 8.31 — two and half weeks hence. They’ll pick up their passes, square away their lodgings, pick up some groceries and have a nice dinner somewhere. With Friday morning being mainly about the Patron’s picnic, the festival won’t actually start until mid-Friday afternoon with the first Patrons’ screening at the Chuck Jones.
On top of which Telluride often schedules the highest-interest films against each other so you’re always missing out on Peter in order to see Paul. The Telluride schedulers know exactly which films are going to be the hottest tickets, and yet they always arrange things so you’ll miss the first viewings of this or that all through the festival. Shuffling around, running around.
Two or three films on Friday, three or four on Saturday and maybe the same on Sunday. Sure, you can see five per day on Saturday and Sunday, but not if you have to file. Eight times out of ten I’ll have to blow off a couple of hotties and catch them in Toronto instead.
And then it’s Monday before you know it, when everyone has to check out of their rental by 11 am. I’ll sometimes manage to catch a final film in the late morning or early afternoon before driving back to Durango or Albuquerque, but you also have to file your sum-up assessment so that’s never easy.
HE solution to Telluride gridlock: With everyone arriving on Thursday afternoon, the festival should begin on Thursday night with hottie screenings at all the venues (Chuck Jones, Werner Herzog, Palm, Galaxy, Pierre, Backlot) starting at 7 pm and then again at 9:30 or 10 pm. Hell, stage a midnight screening or two. And then more hottie screenings on Friday morning starting at 8:30 or 9 am. Those who wish to attend the Patrons picnic could squeeze it in around 11 or 11:30 am, but a full load of screenings would continue for those who’d rather catch films than eat.
Ken Burns and Lynn Novick‘s The Vietnam War, a 10-part, 18-hour epic documentary about America’s greatest military tragedy, the conflict that permanently tarnished this country’s reputation internally and worldwide, will begin airing on 9.17.
Burns has been looking to match the cultural impact of The Civil War for over 25 years now — could this be it? That legendary 1990 series was a bear to get through (11 hours 30 minutes, 9 episodes) but it was eloquent and moving and musical, and six hours shorter than the current Vietnam series. Was 18 hours entirely necessary? Burns couldn’t cover the whole sprawl of it in 10 or 12 hours?
I’m much more interested in Michael Mann’s forthcoming Battle of Hue miniseries, which will run eight to ten episodes on FX. It’ll begin filming later this year and air…who knows? Maybe by the end of ’18.
9.17 is right after the Toronto Film Festival ends. I guess I could just watch The Vietnam War episode by episode like anyone else, or buy the PBS Bluray box (released on 9.19) for $83.45. But the more purposeful thing would be to attain streaming access now and work my way through it until my 8.30 Telluride departure.
Early this morning an unnamed stuntwomen bought it performing a motorcycle stunt for Deadpool 2. Of all the things to lose your life in the service of! Travelling around 60 kph (or 40 mph), the female rider went airborne around 8:20 am, crashing through the glass of the Shaw Tower ground-floor studio. From a Global News story: “People were running on the sidewalk, the motorcycle comes flying across the street, looks like from a ramp because it was in the air,” said one witness. “[The rider was] standing on the bike, slams into that building, clearly hit and out-of-control and clearly not planned.” Deadpool 2 is being directed by former stuntman David Leitch.
BoxOfficeMojo figures indicate that Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal‘s Detroit, which opened limited on 7.28 and wide on 8.4, is at best sputtering along. You’re not supposed to dwell on this lest you be suspected of having the wrong attitude about black-history films, but Detroit made a lousy $13,421,464 after 10 days of nationwide play. That’s not a horribly shitty figure, but it’s not very encouraging.
The opening weekend tally was $7.3 million, on 3007 screens. Boxoffice Mojo reported a $2370 average after the 8.4 opening weekend, but if (I say “if”) it was still on 3007 screens as of last night and if you presume that the ten-day wide total is around $13 million ($13,421,464 minus the limited 7.28 first-weekend haul of $350K), the per-screen average is $4323, which doesn’t sound like an absolute calamity.
At least Detroit is doing better than Rules Don’t Apply did after opening on 11.23 — $1,589,625 in 2,382 theaters for a $667 average.
What kind of award-season bump can Detroit expect when it becomes a Bluray-and-streaming title in the mid to late fall? I’m sorry to say I don’t see anything happening on that front. The only performance I felt even mildly stirred by was John Boyega‘s as Melvin Dismukes, but it’s not expansive or arc-y enough. Are you honestly suggesting that Will Poulter‘s performance as the fiendish Philip Krauss is award-worthy? Not in my book, it isn’t.
Were the Metrograph guys being upfront by tweeting that the “X-rated” version of Frank Perry‘s Last Summer (’69) would play there last Friday and Saturday (8.11 and 8.12). Okay, they didn’t specifically claim that the 97-minute X-rated version would show, but they certainly implied this by describing the film as “an X-rated cult coming-of-age classic.” Their web page, however, says that the film runs 95 minutes. This indicates they showed the tamer R-rated version as opposed to the 97-minute version that the MPAA gave an X rating to.
The Metrograph showed the only existing celluloid copy of the film, a 16mm print supplied by the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia. The Wiki page says all 35mm prints “have been lost for years”, ditto the X-rated version.
I called and wrote the Metrograph guys about this…zip.
By the way: There’s an outfit called The Video Beat that claims to be offering a Last Summer DVD containing both the 97-minute and 95-minute versions. Their copy states that “the longer version contains full frontal and rear nudity and a brutal rape scene. The shorter version is edited to remove nudity and some extreme cruelty. We have both versions. The 95-minute version is excellent quality. The 97-minute version is very good quality but a notch below the 95 minute version. When you order this title you will receive both versions, each on a separate disc.”
I’ve written these guys to double-confirm and ask how they found and mastered the X-rated version. I’ll believe that their DVD actually contains this when I see it.