Monday, September 08, 2008

Keira talks, Spike talks, Josh Brolin walks...

... down Bloor Street and nobody pays attention (Josh Brolin, No Country For Old Men, soon to be seen as the Prez in Oliver Stone's W -- come on people, pay attention!)

Anyway, Sunday, Day 4 of TIFF '08, a marathon interview day, running from the Park Hyatt to the Four Seasons to the Intercontinental (not much of a run -- they're all within a block of each other). First off: John Malkovich, cradling a coffee cup early in the a.m., a far cry from the wild, desperate, drunk and just-fired CIA guy he plays in the Coens' Burn After Reading. He talks about that, of course, and about life in Boston (where he and fam have been living since they moved back from France four years ago), about the two other films he as at this year's fest (Disgrace and Afterwards) and how being the producer of a little thing called Juno hasn't made it any easier for his production company -- Mr. Mudd -- to get projects off the ground.

Keira Knightley, the trapped soul of The Duchess, is in a room at the Four Seasons, her door guarded by personal security guy, personal attendant, publicists, a fellow with an umbrella. Once inside, though, it's just her and her snazzy outfit (Chanel? Target Couture?), bright and beaming, talking about The Duchess, of course, and about how her mum has these deep existential discussions with her in French and how Charlotte Rampling, who plays her mum in the film, has been a hero since Keira was a wee thing. Even before Bend It Like Beckham, Ms. Knightley had a photo of Rampling on her bedroom wall -- the one from The Night Porter, no less! Also chat with Saul Dibb, The Duchess director, who sent his prospective leading lady the script wrapped in three big ostrich feathers -- after he explained to his wife, also named Keira, that doing so was strictly a professional gesture.

Spike Lee's wearing an Obama T-shirt and proud that he sneaked a bunch of references to The Bicycle Thief and other Italian neo-realist classics into his big World War II movie, Miracle At St. Anna. The story of four African-American soldiers trapped behind enemy lines in a Tuscan village, Lee's movie balances weighty issues -- racial, historical, cultural -- and works hard to find the right balance between realistic depiction of atrocities of war and the kind of romanticized old school Hollywood rendering of combat. Next up for the New York filmmaker, he hopes: a pic about the L.A. riots. He and Denzel and Clive Owen are also talking about Inside Man 2.

Bill Maher is holding court at Signatures, one of the eateries in the Intercontinental (a hotel that's almost impossible to gain entry to, thanks -- and no thanks -- to the cellphone camera-clicking fans and papparazzi ringing the entrance). He talks about Religulous, of course, his doc debunking religion, and about Sarah Palin and how Americans got stupider as they moved west from the 13 colonies. (Manifest Destiny begat a nation of morons, essentially.) There were Christian protestors at the premiere the night before, but they were "Canadian protestors," he reports. "They were very polite."

(Celeb watch: Waiting in the lobby for my time with Mr. Maher, I keenly observed the comings and goings of Julianne Moore, Mark Ruffalo, Atom Egoyan and Anton Yelchin .)

Finally get to see a movie: The Wrestler, fresh from its grand prize win at the Venice festival, screening at the glorious old Elgin Theater on Yonge Street. Mickey Rourke plays a professional wrestling legend whose glory days are long gone, living in a New Jersey trailer park, hanging out at a strip club (where Marisa Tomei does lap dances) and hawking autographs and photos of himself at fan meets. It's a scarily good performance from the legendary Rourke, and Darren Aronofsky introduces his movie to the attendant throng by saying that one of the big deals of his teendom was the Rourke classic Angel Heart. Rourke lumbers out before the lights go down to wave at the crowd. He might be waving at an Oscar nomination in a couple of months.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

who is anton yelchin? excuse me, did you say marisa tomei lap dances?

10:28 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home