Cast: Alec Baldwin, Charles Durning, Clark Gregg, Phillip
Seymour Hoffman, Patti LuPone, William H. Macy, Sarah Jessica
Parker, David Paymer, Rebecca Pidgeon, Julia Stiles
David Mamet's new film. (If you're not sure who Mamet is,
he also did "Glengarry Glen Ross" and "The
Spanish Prisoner".) What a complete hoot! A movie crew
is in Vermont, trying to finish work on a movie. Well --
that's what movie crews do. The story is mostly about the
writer played by Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Rebecca Pidgeon
who plays the town's bookseller.
The thing I like about Mamet's films is the way that, even
though it might seem busy and a bit gangly, everything has a
purpose, all the gears mesh. It's like watching an old steam
powered engine, though if you've never spent an afternoon
doing that, I'll never be able to convince you of it.
From the film:
"What's an executive producer credit?"
"It's what you give your secretary instead of a
Rebecca Pidgeon is adorable. And you'd hope so, given that
the part was probably written for her. [I would later learn
that she had first considered the bimbo film actress part
which is played by Sarah Jessica Parker, and that the role of
Ann was her second choice.]
"The only second chance you get is the chance to make
the same mistake again."
Hans Petter Moland
Cast: Stellan Skarsgård, Lena Headey, Ian Hart, Charlotte
This is the Stellan Skarsgård Film Festival.
Director Hans Petter Moland, Stellan, and the lovely
Charlotte Rampling where there. Should I be struck by a bus
in the next half hour, I'll go happily.
Introduced as a "road trip from hell," it's the
story of a daughter (Headey) who goes to Norway to fetch her
estranged father (Skarsgård) for one last visit with her
dying mother (Rampling). The movie is full of Norway and
Scotland, and fabulous actors. Charlotte Rampling!Ever since
"Stardust Memories," I've wanted to see more of her
work. And here she is, live and in person. Did I mention that
Q: I noticed that both Stellan and Charlotte are
playing in another movie together. Can you explain how this
came to be?
A: (Skarsgård) The other film is "Signs And
Wonders." We actually shot it before this one, and liked
working with each other, so we kept on doing it.
A: (Rampling) We're husband and wife twice over. Why stop?
A: (Moland) I was very happy she agreed to do the picture
when she heard (that Stellan was in it.)
Q: (To Skarsgård) Was the full frontal nudity scene
agreed to up-front? A: (Moland) It's hard for Stellan to keep his clothes
Q: Why Aberdeen? A: (Moland) You're Scottish, right? I wanted to do a
road movie, but you can't really do a road movie in Europe.
It's too small. So I had to have them go somewhere remote
enough for them to do what they do. Scots don't find it
exotic visiting Aberdeen, but other people do.
Q: What was the most challenging thing about making
A: (Rampling) I'm not starting... [She passes the
A: (Skarsgård) For me it was being a drunk, but keeping his
humanity in the forefront so that the audience isn't simply
disgusted with him.
A: (Rampling) You did it well. [She passes the microphone
A: (Moland) I'll answer for Charlotte -- she's too modest to
say -- but she had a very difficult job. She's only in the
start of the film and about 8 minutes at the end, but it's
her that sets off the story. Without her, these two people
will probably never see each other again.
Q: And you? [What was the most challenging thing]
A: Probably raising the money!
An overwrought story about a swordmaster who masquerades
as a demon who wants to slay 1000 members of some rival clan,
and of the warrior-turned-monk-turned-warrior who vows to
stop him despite the advice of his spiritual master. While
the movie has great production values, very good period
costumes, lovely photography, and a low rumbling soundtrack
with a Taiko drum you could feel in your chest every 12
seconds, this movie committed the one mortal filmic sin: It
Not really bad per-se, but boring. Let's forget it and