It seems like rather than wait for the home video release (which I am sure will have longer versions and other goodies), some studios are releasing so-called “featurettes” (I maintain that this is not a word, but I digress) as part of their ad campaigns. Fox Searchlight has released 2 (or three, depending on which list you look at) of my top 10 films of the year, including #1, The Descendants, a likely multiple Oscar nominee.
Alexander Payne’s film grabbed me from the open and never let go. I consider it a modern American masterpiece of cinema and am happy to debate you on it, too!
At any rate, here are two of their behind-the-scenes clips, with the first featuring a look at the life on set and the second a dialog between George Clooney and Alexander Payne about the balance between comedy and drama.
Ok, so they aren’t the deepest insights into life on a set or the directing process and ok, in the second one Clooney’s wrong about how many Oscars The More the Merrier won (it won 1 for Charles Coburn, best supporting actor and was nominated for 5 others) but they go further than a 30 second commercial does and they’re more interesting that the trailers. That said, please don’t watch them until you’ve seen the film, as spoiler’s abound!
Ever since it won the Golden Lion at this year’s Venice Film Festival, Darren Aronofsky’s The Wrestler has beet hotly anticipated and those not lucky enough to catch it in Toronto or at the NY Film Festival should now understand why. While The Wrestler is continually being referred to as the filmmaker’s return to form or other such hogwash from people who didn’t see the beauty in his last film, The Fountain. Thankfully, his latest has no such barriers to its success and this exceptional film is one of the best-reviewed films of the year. The Wrestler is being compared to Rocky and while it is similar in a few superficial ways, its core message and lead character are distinctly different. Rocky was a bum. He wasn’t a had been, he was a “never was.” He’d never been close to a contender and was more like On the Waterfront‘s Terry Molloy (except that Rocky eventually became “somebody,” of course). On the other hand, The Wrestler‘s Randy “The Ram” Robinson (achingly played by a resurgent Mickey Rourke) was a superstar.
As the Tom Paxton song goes, wasn’t that a party? Hell yes, that was indeed a party. So much so that there’s not a lot of it I remember, what with the flowing Möet and chilled vodka shots. It was for a Russian film screening at Berlin, Day Watch (Fox Searchlight, June), written and directed by Timur Bekmambetov but beyond that, I can’t tell you much. Although there did seem to be a few Russian mafia-looking types around. Then again, I’ve never really seen one, so what do I know? Oh, and then there were the dancers. I figured since I am about to post some stills from the party @ Flickr.com, I might as well put up a little video, too!