Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Thanks in large part to you lovely participants in this blogathon, the "City Island" screenings at Tribeca SOLD OUT within about
five minutes of having gone on sale. The massive 900 seat theater will, it appears, be at full capacity for our premiere on Sunday the 26th. A few frustrated readers were unable to get tickets. I've been assured that a good number will be held by the festival for the Wednesday and Friday screenings--"rush tickets" they're called. So please don't give up--try to make it.
I'm on my way to do an interview with the great Lily Tomlin for my new documentary on the history of cabaret. So today's
installment of the sinister saga of etc. etc. will be brief. However, to make up for this shoddy entry, look tomorrow for another
clip from the finished film.
As I was saying, just before embarking upon our journey to Cannes (pictured above-duh) last year, we were rudely awakened from our hyper-active, let's-make-a-movie state with the news that Television--the medium itself--was giving us a royal screwing. Marcia Gay Harden had shot a pilot which was apparently going to get picked up, making it unlikely that she would be available if we went in the summer (and by now a summer '08 start was what we were aiming for). About five seconds later, we learned that Chloe Sevigny's supposedly loose schedule on "Big Love" was about to get a lot more complicated as her part in the show was being enlarged.
Coincidence? Bad luck? I hate both terms. The truth is, whenever a movie gathers enough steam to happen it follows that it needs to blow some of that steam off. Every movie I've been involved with has--on its way to the starting gate--suffered sudden setbacks. Often it's simply actors getting cold feet at the last second--"that script read okay and the meeting with the director was pleasant, but do I really want to be in this thing?" I call this syndrome "fear of photography". Though I don't think this was the case with these two actresses. Perhaps it was. The hell with it. One day I'll ask them...
Fortunately, our foreign sales company Westend didn't blink. After all, the primary element they were selling was Andy Garcia and he was totally committed to the film. Nonetheless, we had to start recasting and trying to stick to our production schedule which was due to begin shortly after Cannes in May. Indeed, the "pre-prep" period--the hiring of staff, finding of offices, beginning of paperwork, end of dealmaking period--was already heavily upon us.
By the way, I mentioned that Andy's band was playing in Cannes. They'd been hired to play a seriously snooty event thrown by some perfume people. That was a lovely coincidence as it was great having him in Cannes--he's a pro at pitching in and making himself available for whatever you need to promote things. Still, having lost half our cast weighed heavily on me (though I didn't show it) and I couldn't help feeling that perhaps the whole bubble was about to burst. And then one day, we were having lunch at the Hotel Du Cap and Clint Eastwood sauntered by. Andy went over to say hi to him and it suddenly occurred to me that maybe making the film was beside the point. Maybe if it didn't happen it wouldn't be the worse thing in the world. After all, the hours are tortuous and the stress enormous. Perhaps the simple perfection of the terrace at the DuCap, the sparkling Mediterranean and the nearby presence of Andy and Clint was all I needed to make the whole damn experience worthwhile...
Jesus, I just re-read this and shoddy it ain't! Nonetheless, I'll get that clip up tomorrow. Meanwhile, here's a rough cut of a deleted scene from the movie--a classroom full of actors telling their "worst secrets". All of these actors were wonderful. But the sequence got dropped due to time...
Posted by Raymond De Felitta at 11:59 AM