With less than 4 hours of sleep, I managed to crawl out of bed this morning and get to my ticket line by 7:00. I got the tickets I desired for Tuesday (which made me happy…and I’ll make you wait until Tuesday for you to see why). I also managed to get the last available ticket (they made a few available this morning) to a Maverick session with Tilda Swinton – which I just attended. I’ll write more about that later – it was divine.
Yesterday’s films were a mixed bag.
First off, I saw Andrea Arnold’s WUTHERING HEIGHTS. Though still a period piece, this is unlike any version you’ve seen before. With a contemporary shooting style and almost entirely without scoring, this film took a little while for me to become invested. The dialog is quite altered (I don’t recall Bronte’s text having such vulgar language), but the story remains quite similar (though no ghosts per se)…and like FISH TANK, Arnold shot the film in 4×3 – which confines the characters more than a more panoramic aspect ratio. The film is not something I’d want to seek out to own, but it’s worth a viewing for the sake of it’s “honest” rendering of the story…though I feel it plays a little long. Below is a clip.
Next I saw the new film from Todd Solondz – DARK HORSE. The story is about the ultimate man-child (played by Jordan Gelber) who still lives with his parents in a room filled with action figures and Absolut Vodka magazine ads lining the walls (in an early scene, we see him avoiding work by considering to pay $350 for a Thundercats action figure on e-bay). Solondz revels in making movies about the socially awkward. This is his most accessible film – and was quite funny for the first 45 minutes. (Mia Farrow, who plays his mother, is quietly hysterical.) Eventually, I thought the film got a bit stale – and the last 15 minutes was a bit of a puzzle (but perhaps my sleep deprivation was finally getting to me). Below is a teaser – from a scene in which the lead character goes to visit the girl (played by Selma Blair) he recently met (and fell for) at a wedding.
My next screening was THE DESCENDANTS. This film is fantastic, and I already posted the trailer in yesterday’s post. This film will be a hit – both at the box office and critically. The film is about a man who is dealing with raising his daughters while his wife lays in a coma (which was a result of a speed-boat accident). The film is as funny as it is touching, and the performances are fantastic across the board. (Clooney, during the Q&A, was absolutely charming.)
And then there was the party – hosted by Fox Searchlight, Vanity Fair and Belvedere Vodka. Lots of folks were there. Clooney, Elizabeth Olsen (as well as numerous people from MARTHA MARCY MAY MARLENE), Juliette Lewis, Kirsten Dunst, Alexander Skarsgard, and several talk show corespondents. I got to talk with several very interesting people in the film business – from producers, to a production designer, to people in marketing. It was a great party! The cocktails and food were delicious, and upon leaving, I once again ran into James Franco. Always a great way to end the evening.
P.S. New Pedro Almodovar film tonight!!!