The Dragon Tattoo covers Entertainment Weekly’s holiday Movie Preview. 56 titles coming? Hard to believe there are that many.
[singlepic id=95 w=320 h=240 float=right]
Bringing out the Big Guns – The Artist crew and the notion of bringing back a silent movie hits CBS Sunday morning, aka – right in the Oscar demo’s lap. Once again Kenneth Turan is out front batting for the film and its brilliant director, Michel Hazavanicius, talks about silent film in general and his latest film. Hazavanicius is, I dare say, The Artist’s secret weapon. Trust me on this one. If The Artist goes far in the awards race (which it will), much of that momentum will be not just the charm of the story but the auteur power and filmmaking expertise (references to Citizen Kane in the film, etc) of Hazavanicius:
“Silent films are not coming back, you know?” said Los Angeles Times film critic Kenneth Turan. “No one has to be fearful of that, or excited about that!”
Turan sees just one downside of “The Artist”: “The hardest thing about this film is to convince people that they’re going to like it,” he said. “I’ve been telling people about it for months, and you can tell by the look in people’s eyes, they say, ‘Yeah, you SAY it’s good, but … it’s a SILENT film. I’m not going.”
That would be a shame. Silence, says the director, has so much to offer.
“When you want to tell your wife you love her, for example, I mean you can say, ‘I love you,'” said Hazavanicius. “But if you just stop and you just LOOK at her – I mean, something happens with no words. It’s more powerful.”
Which is why we’ll stop talking now, too …
More Moneyball – Michael Lewis and Billy Beane on bringing the story to book form and then how it got made:
The movie was made chiefly because Pitt wanted it made. That begs the question of why he cared so much. When I ask Beane, he squirms: he hates talking about Pitt because it makes him sound like a wannabe celebrity. He is midway through a long garbled answer when Lewis interrupts: “I think he [Pitt] saw himself in Billy.”
Why? “At the core of the book,” explains Lewis, “is misperception of value of people. It resonated with him because of his own acting career. Because he’s constantly on the receiving end of other people’s evaluations. At the beginning of his career, he’s thought to be a pretty actor. His skill is not judged, it’s his looks. And you could tell, he’s weary of being judged by his looks. ‘Is this the way people get screwed up ideas of other people and their value?’”
When Lewis first saw a rough cut of the movie, he said his gut reaction was, “Thank God it doesn’t suck.” But after he left the cinema, satisfaction crept up on him. He felt the director Bennett Miller had “got” the same core theme that had attracted Pitt: the misperception of people’s value. Lewis says, “What he did that was so clever: at every level of that film he echoed that theme. So Jonah Hill’s misperceived as just this bawdy, comic actor. Jonah Hill’s value is discovered as a serious dramatic actor. The Coliseum, perceived as a shithole, is gorgeous in that movie. I thought, he’s figured out that that’s the thing he needs to reprise in different ways.”
We both turn to Beane: what was his gut reaction? He reflects: “For the first two minutes I feel like I’m watching a Brad Pitt movie. Until you hear your name and you squirm.” But it wasn’t the film that worried Beane. “The most stressful part of this whole thing was the idea that I was going to have to walk the red carpet. I said, ‘How quickly can we run across this thing?’”