Making the world safe for filmgoers since 2002.
Sometimes I do an interview for a film that will be opening almost immediately, sometimes it’s for a film that won’t be in released for several weeks or even months. In the latter case, there is an embargo on talking too much about the film or the interview, but none about sending out an alert for a film that is a must-see and plea to keep these titles in mind.
Hence the round-up of conversations I’ve had about film in the last week, and I want to start with Oren Moverman, a filmmaker whose films are visceral, emotionally volatile, and completely unforgettable. His latest is TIME OUT OF MIND is a story of homelessness staring Richard Gere in nothing less than the performance of a lifetime. And that’s not hyperbole.
A more poetic, but no less emotionally gripping film is MR. HOLMES, starring Ian McKellen simply superb as an aged Sherlock Holmes coming to terms with his growing senility, and trying to piece together the case that sent him into
retirement. I was lucky enough to talk with the screenwriter, Jeffrey Hatcher, who adapted Mitch Cullin’s novel A Slight Trick of the Mind, Sure, we spent time talking about the writer’s craft, and the slight trick of adapting a novel into a film, but my favorite part was being able to ask Hatcher about his stage adaptation of John Kennedy Toole’s A CONFEDERACY OF DUNCES, currently headed for Broadway and starring Nick Offerman as Ignatius J. Reilly.
SAINT LAURENT opened in France last year, and was that country’s Oscar(tm) nomination for Best Foreign Language film. It’s an elegant film that is also brutally honest and even occasionally playful as is brings to life a seminal decade in the fashion designer’s life. I spoke with star Gaspard Ulliel and filmmaker Bertrand Bonello about recreating a film about haute couture on a pret-a-porter budget, and if there were any long-term effects on Ulliel from having to transform his deep voice into that Laurent’s rather reedy one.
Some of us will never stop missing Gore Vidal’s acid wit and trenchant observations about American politics, hence my
extra delight in Robert Gordon’s documentary, BEST OF ENEMIES. It’s long-overdue look at the 1968 pairing of Vidal and his arch-nemesis , the ultra-conservative William F. Buckley, as commentators on ABC for both the Democratic and Republican presidential nominating conventions. The clips, full of wit and vitriol between two supremely intelligent debaters who argued issues, not talking points, reveals just how devolved most of the pundits are that populate television today. But there’s more, with contemporary interviews with those who knew those gentlemen best, providing just enough context and history to make that final, inevitable debacle all the more powerful. And delightful.