The raw sound of the gears grinding inside the cable car tracks on San Francisco’s Powell StreetRead More »
I went to a first-time-anywhere screening last night of Gary Leva‘s Fog City Mavericks — a tribute to big-name Bay Area filmmakers (George Lucas, Carroll Ballard, Francis Coppola, Chris Columbus, Clint Eastwood, John Lasseter, Phil Kaufman, Walter Murch, Sofia Coppola, Saul Zaentz, Brad Bird) and how they all broke away from Hollywood roughly 30 or 40 years ago (or became regionally self-created) and became anti-establishment, quasi-bohemian regional filmmakers, and therefore an inspiration to all independent-minded filmmakers everywhere. Guys who followed their vision, made money, did it their own way, developed their own kwan.
Blurry George Lucas, John Lasseter (r.) joshing with each other at pre-party for Fog City Mavericks
The story that Reva tells is true — these guys really did establish...Read More »
USA Today‘s Scott Bowles has written a nice gentle softball profile of Spider-Man 3 director Sam Raimi – the midwestern upbringing, how he was first bitten by the film bug, how he climbed up the ladder, how he suffered a career setback with The Quick and the Dead and Darkman, how he got his mojo back with A Simple Plan, how he always wears suits, etc. And not a word about his financial support for certain Dark Men, including George W. Bush. Like it doesn’t matter. As if such things are peripheral.
MCN’s David Poland has ripped into Sam Raimi‘s Spider-Man 3 with a fervor that I haven’t picked up from one of his reviews since he thrashed Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle in ’03.
“There is so much incredibly expensive CG action in this film that many will get through it, not really dislike it, but have a vaguely displeased gut feeling,” Poland concludes. “I can’t really say it is a horrible movie. But it is quite a mess — a mess of good intentions gone terribly wrong.
“And it does, indeed, feel like the end of this franchise as we know it. Given the rote nature of this one, almost hidden by the flailing of attempted drama — flailing like a marlin on a 300 lb test line — it’s probably time to cash those checks and move along.”Read More »
I have to catch a jet back to Burbank…no more filing until the late afternoon.Read More »
“In the Electric Mist With the Confederate Dead,” a cult novel written by James Lee Burke, has been adapted into a screenplay and is now being directed by the great Bertrand Tavernier — his first English-language film since ‘Round Midnight — in Louisiana. The problem is that the movie is going to be called In The Electric Mist, which obviously doesn’t get it.
We all know that eight words don’t fit on a marquee but they should stick with the book title anyway because it sounds right. Chopping the title in half is a crude dumb-down procedure.
I’ve read the script, an atmospheric detective story about the hunt for a serial killer of women, and it’s very high quality. Tommy Lee Jones (who co-wrote the screenplay with Jerzy Kromolowski and Mary Olson-Kromolowski) is playing the lead...Read More »
The jungle drumbeat starts today for Paramount Vantage and Michael Winterbottom‘s A Mighty Heart, which will show at Cannes and open in the U.S. on 6.22.07.
The San Francisco Film Festival gave a forum yesterday to theatre director, opera-creator and impresario Peter Sellars to deliver a “State of Cinema” address inside a large theatre at the Kabuki 8 plex. Sellars is a man who lives in his own mystical-energy field and within his own ecclesiastical realm, but who sees and shares everything from within it. It was a stirring, touching, soul-lifting thing to sit in the fourth row and just absorb every brilliant thought, whether you agreed with every last word or not.
Peter Sellars during yesterday afternoon’s speech at the Kabuki 8 — Sunday, 4.29.07, 4:35 pm
I recorded most of what he said, in two sessions. Here’s theRead More »
In yesterday’s item about an Academy Oscar-buzz survey that will soon be received by Academy members, I said that the questionaire will ask where Academy members get their Oscar-race information and to what degree…”from the trades or online sites like this one (or Hollywood Wiretap, The Envelope, Nikki Finke, Movie City News) or Patrick Goldstein‘s column or David Carr or what-have-you?”
It was just a dash-off thing, but I failed to mention Sasha Stone‘s Oscar Watch.com, which is perhaps the comprehensive and longest-running site about Oscar-race analysis. And boy, did I hear about this! I...Read More »
“I think we have a really hard time culturally with what happens to love after the first year,” says Away From Her director Sarah Polley in N.Y. Times piece by Katrina Onstad. “It is difficult, and it is painful, and it is a letdown. [But] that first year is so much less profound than what happens when you’re actually left with each other and yourself in an honest way. It was interesting to me to make a film about what love looked like after life had gotten in the way, and what remained.”Read More »
Go the the N.Y. Post site and Reed Tucker‘s laundry-list piece about summer threequels — neutral attitude, no opinion of any kind, and focusing almost entirely on the horse-race aspect (which will make the most money?) and ignoring the certainty that the only tolerable ones will be The Bourne Ultimatum and Ocean’s Thirteen.Read More »
A letter has been sent out to Academy members telling them to expect a survey about their media-reading habits by way of the Oscar race. The survey won’t be sent from the Academy but from a publication that the letter doesn’t identify. A publicist friend who told me about this last night knows nothing concrete, but speculated that it’s probably from one of the trades, or possibly from the Los Angeles Times.
She said that the survey will ask where Academy members get their information and to what degree. How often do they read the trades or online sites like this one (or Hollywood Wiretap, The Envelope, Nikki Finke, Movie City News) or Patrick Goldstein‘s column or David Carr or what-have-you? As soon as I get hold of a copy of the survey I’ll scan it and post it here and HE readers can respond on their own.Read More »
Rosario Dawson, Sam Rockwell at San Francisco’s W hotel last night — Saturday, 4.28.07, 11:35 pm — to accept a tribute award presented by the San Francisco Film Festival. The event was filled with under-35 types who had shelled out $50 per ticket. Nothing stupendous, but a nice gathering, Free Skye vodka, but otherwise cash at the bar.
“‘There has been much, much more demand from producers, distributors, directors — from people in every branch of filmmaking,’ a festvial staffer told Variety‘s Alison James a few days ago. ‘Everyone wants to come to Cannes this year.’ Journos, however, report a bigger struggle to get that all-important press badge this year. “They are being much more finicky about what publication you write for, how big its circulation is and how many articles you are intending to write,” a freelancer told James.
I’m still way behind on the video-editing tutorials, but I feel confident enough to announce that I’m going to start posting short little video reports on Hollywood Elsewhere in a week or so, and certainly by the start of the Cannes Film Festival.
I’ll probably run two versions of each report — one in an MPEG4 format and the other in Flash. No pop-fizz editing, no narration, no music cues…nothing slick. Austere, spartan. Almost no hand-held stuff, 90% tripod-mounted. Visual infuences: Stanley Kubrick (I’ve got a little wide-angle lens that makes everything look Clockwork Orange-y), Sergei Eisenstein, Bruno Dumont‘s Flandres, Jim Jarmusch‘s Stranger Than Paradise.
I’ll probably start...Read More »
In 1997, a guy named Michael Regalia bought a 1963 Ferrari Luosso that Steve McQueen used as an “everyday run-around car,” and spent 4,000 hours restoring it to its original condition. Christie’s is auctioning the car, which is expected be bought for at least $750,000. And Newsweek and other outlets (mine included) are helping Regalia and Christie’s in this effort.
Everybody’s pitching in, you see, because McQueen is a mythical figure of ’60s machismo and because driving this car around will bestow an aura of instant legendary cool upon the purchaser. We’re talking major babe magnet here. The buyer, who will almost certainly be some guy in his 50s or 60s, will of course be making a solid investment, but will also be shelling out close to a million bucks in order to get laid.Read More »
Eddie Murphy is continuing on his glorious career-recovery path by covering himself in the terra firma of kiddie movies. Last year at this time he was thought to have made a turn in the road and was on his way back to true career vitalty with his said-to-be-triumphant performance in Dreamgirls leading the charge. Then he bolted out of the Kodak auditorium when he didn’t win the Best Supporting Actor Oscar…nothing but class.Read More »
I forgot to run this audio clip of Marlon Brando‘s “cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war” speech speech from Julius Caesar, which is naturally brought up in the two-part, four-hour Turner Classic Movies documentary on Brando that will air on May 1st and 2nd. I’m still calling it a relatively candid, nicely sculpted, entirely respectable portrait of the single most influential actor of the 20th Century, and probably also the greatest.
David and Edie Ichioka‘s Murch, a wonderfully engaging doc about one of the most renowned and respected film and sound editors of our time, played at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art last night, and I’m really glad I took the time.
Walter Murch after last night’s q & a at SFMOMA — 4.27.07, 10:57 pm
The smooth and avuncular Walter Murch, 64, is commonly regarded as the Yoda of film and sound editors. That in itself makes this essential viewing for film buffs, but also for anyone willing to just sit and listen to a hugely articulate man expound on a fascinating art form. Murch’s needle-sharp vocabulary and exquisite phrasings are a contact high in themselves.
You need to be fairly...Read More »
For the third weekend straight, Disturbia was #1 — $9,248,000, off 29% and a $52,323,000 cume. Invisible was #2 with $7,975,000 and $3900 a print. Next, the Nic Cage film, was #3 with $6,908,000 and $2783 a print. Fourth-place Fracture did $6,804,000, off 36%…hang in there, Ryan and Tony! Blades of Glory did $5,210,000 for a fifth-place showing, and Meet the Robinsons was close on its heels with $4,892,000. Hot Fuzz, #7, expanded slightly and took in $4579, off 22%. Eighth-place Vacancy did $4,193,000, off 45%. Condemned, #9, did $3,788,000, 1844 a print…nothing. Are We Dead Yet?…slip of the tongue but a better title than Are We Done Yet?…did $3,372,000. off 35%.Read More »
I’m told that Children of Men dp Emmanuel Lubezki (a.k.a. “Chivo”) will be shooting the Coen brothers’ Burn After Reading, which is one of the two films Joel and Ethan are making for Focus Features. The Coens and Lubezki “won’t be using many storyboards as it will be done in a handheld verite-style,” my source confides.
George Clooney, Brad Pitt and Frances McDormand are costarring in this “contemporary caper flick” about a CIA agent who’s writing a tell-all book “but then loses the disc”…I don’t know what this means at all. Pitt will apparently play the agent; Clooney will play a hired gun of some kind. No time to call and check so confirmations and/or denials will have to wait until Monday, but I’m fairly certain this is accurate.Read More »
True story: I was sitting earlier today in the fairly famous Caffe Trieste, an espresso-cappucino joint on the border between North Beach and Telegraph Hill, when who walks in but Owen Wilson and Kate Hudson. I’ve written once or twice about how Owen and I used to talk with some degree of relaxation and trust in the mid to late ’90s and how he stopped picking up the phone when he got big, but that was six or seven years ago. Move on, shake it off, be here now.
So I went over and poked him in the arm. Owen turned and lit up — he has a smile that really beams — and said, “Heyyyy!….howya been?…whaddaya doin’?” I smiled and muttered the same “yeah, yeah”-type stuff and gave him the rundown — San Francisco Film...Read More »
New Line has signed Queen Latifah to either play Steve Martin‘s or Lily Tomlin‘s role in a remake of All of Me. I’m presuming that my first reaction upon reading this in yesterday’s Variety — a mixture of revulsion and horror — is being echoed all across America and on all the ships at sea.
Let’s presume that Queen Latifah, being a woman of considerable fame and a sizable ego, is looking to play the Martin role. (It’s unusual to announce a big star being in a new project if he/she is set to play the second lead.) Martin’s performance was probably the best thing he’s ever done, due in large measure to his gifts as a spazzy physical comedian. Does Queen Latifah possess even a fraction of the comic talent that Martin has — or used to have, at least — in his little pinkie finger?
People of taste should, of course, avoid this film at all costs if she takes the Martin role, but if she’s playing Tomlin’s…well, let’ see.Read More »
The Reeler (a.k.a. Stu Van Airsdale) reported early this morning that Angelina Jolie was likely to screen her documentary A Moment in the World at the Tribeca Performing Arts Center “around 4 or 5 p.m.” Who gives a shit, right? As I write this it’s 3 pm in New York City, and you know wild-dog papparazzi are almost certainly congretating at TPAC as we speak. News at 11…Read More »
Nicole Kidman is intending to produce and most likely star in a remake of How to Marry a Millionaire, with Sacha Gervasi (The Terminal) delivering the screenplay. The 1953 original costarred Lauren Bacall, Marilyn Monroe and Betty Grable as three plucky gold-diggers. Great, except Kidman has gotten too old to play a woman looking for a rich guy to support her, and there’s no way she can play, say, Bacall’s role without seeming distasteful.
Kidman will be hitting 40 in November, and there are few things more pathetic than a woman past her hot-bod prime who hasn’t sold her skills sufficiently in the job market (i.e., isn’t making enough money to “live well”) and has decided to try and snag a multimillionaire husband...Read More »
Today’s LX.TV Tribeca Film Festival webcast includes footage of the red-carpet premiere of Brando plus interviews with Patricia Clarkson and John Turturro as well as clips from the TCM movie featuring Al Pacino and Ed Norton. A festival doc called Hellfighters is also profiled by former sportscaster Jon Frankel.Read More »
Frank Langella, who’s been getting great reviews for his performance as Richard Nixon in Frost/Nixon, the Peter Morgan play that just opened in Manhattan, scored a major coup by snagging the Nixon role in Ron Howard‘s movie version, which will start shooting in August and come out in the fall of ’08. Howard wanted Warren Beatty as Nixon but apparently Beatty managed to somehow persuade Howard and partner-producer Brian Grazer to reconsider. (I could speculate but I won’t.)
London’s Daily Mail went with this story also, and Variety went with it a little after 9 ayem based on the Daily Mail report.
Howard was right to cast the best man as opposed to...Read More »
San Francisco’s City Hall as the opening-night bash for the San Francisco Film Festival was just beginning — Thursday, 4.26.07, 9:35 pm
Erotic floor-writhing was suddenly part of the evening’s entertainment as things wound down at the City Hall soiree — Thursday, 4.26.07, 11:45 pm
Original Joes; San Francisco Film Festival executive director Graham Leggat (l.) and a very gracious woman whose name I didn’t write down because I forgot to bring my reporter’s note pad — no disrespect intended; protection from the elements; band girl redux; ditto