Friday, June 24, 2011

Peter Falk/Small World/Danny Boyle!/More Beatty

RIP Peter Falk (1927-2011)..."As you wish..."

Sorry for the late post today...busy, busy!


You know, I've always heard the cliche that Hollywood is a small town and everybody knows everybody in the "Biz" but I've always kind of thought that that statement was probably more apocryphal than real.  However, in the last month I've started to thunk there's more truth to the claim than I thought possible.  Allow me to explicate...(and all of this revolves around my good fortune to get to play at the Telluride Film Festival for the past five years).

1) Made a friend  (Casey Twenter..."Hi Casey, if you're reading this") who is an aspiring screenwriter after he reached out to me following TFF #36.  You've read about his project in this space the last couple of weeks.  "Rudderless" is the screenplay currently set to be the directorial debut for Oscar nominated actor William H. Macy (remember this for later).  Casey has been kind enough to keep me in the loop and correspond over the past 2 years as this project has been moving forward.  It's been fun.  This week, we were catching up and as a part of that conversation, he asked me if I had seen or heard anything about a film called "Girlfriend".

2) Last year at TFF #37 I sat next to and struck up a friendly conversation with a fellow named Seth Chatfield (Hi Seth, if you're reading this).  I asked Seth the normal..."What do you do?  Why you here?" type questions.  Seth said he's there as part of a group that's the producing team for a film that's going to debut  a week or so later at Toronto.  The film..."Girlfriend".  So, as you might imagine, when Casey asked me about it yesterday, I was stunned..."What are the chances?"  I thought.  Seth and I have also kept up something of a correspondence the last ten months.  "Girlfriend" was well received at Toronto and has its premiere in NYC on July 15.  But wait, there's more...

3) Another friendship I forged a couple of years back came as a result of being on line for some film with  my mom and dad and as we were waiting we struck up a pleasant conversation with a nice couple from California.  Again, asked them the routine questions.  She says he's an editor and director.  She's an arts advocate.  We smile and nod.  My wife and I teach arts in the public schools.  We have a very nice conversation about that and what films might be "sneaked" later in the weekend.  They seem to know some things.  So, I get back to the room that evening and curiosity forces me to search the IMDB.  He turns out to be the real deal and I feel like an idiot that I had no idea (at the time, I do now).  His name: Mark Helfrich (her name: Alexandra.  "Hi Mark and Alexandra, if you're reading this").  Mark has edited a ton of stuff...BIG TIME STUFF.  Currently he is editing "Tower Heist" the next big thing from director Brett Ratner.  Yes, he edits Ratner's stuff.  All the time.  His other editing credits include: All three "Rush Hour" films, "Red Dragon," "X-Men: The Last Stand," and the original "Scary Movie" among others.  He has directed for television and the feature film "Good Luck Chuck." (remember this for later as well).  Mark and Alexandra and I have also kept in touch over the past two years...

4) Most readers know that I am a speech/debate/drama teacher and have been for a good long time.  I have former student who has just graduated from college and is working to set aside money and head for the west coast in January.  She's interning this summer  in Oklahoma City with a local casting director and as a result has gotten extra work on the Nick Cassavetes film that is lensing in that vicinity.  It's title: "Yellow."  As a part of all that she met the casting director, a fellow named Matthew Barry.  He has along list of credits including casting for...wait for it..."Good Luck Chuck".  Yeah...I know.  Mark confirmed it was the same guy late last week.  Also, "Yellow" features, among others, Sienna Miller.  Sienna just dropped out of the film adaptation of Elmore Leonard's "Freaky Deaky".  Also dropping out...wait for it...William H. Macy.  Again...I know.

5) And finally, I got asked to review a new independent film this week by writer/director Kenton Bartlett. The film is called "Missing Pieces" and features, among others, Melora Walters perhaps best known for roles in two Paul Thomas Anderson films "Boogie Nights" which I like and "Magnolia" which I love.  Both films co-star...William H. Macy.  And as a topper, I sat behind Paul Thomas Anderson at Telluride in 2007 in a screening of Noah Baumbach's "Margot at the Wedding."

Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon?  I feel like I'm this close (I'm holding my thumb and index finger on my right hand a half an inch apart) to knowing almost everyone in the film industry.

"Rudderless" IMDB page:
"Rudderless" Facebook page:!/pages/Rudderless-The-Movie/194390831736
"Girlfriend" IMDB page:
"Girlfriend" Facebook page:!/pages/GIRLFRIEND/247774270511
"Good Luck Chuck" IMDB page:
Mark Helfrich's IMDB page:
"Yellow" IMDB page:
"Missing Pieces" IMDB page:
"Missing Pieces" Facebook page:
"Missing Pieces" website:
Matthew Barry's IMDB page:
William H. Macy's IMDB page:
Sienna Miller's IMDB page:
Melora Walters IMDB page:


The word last night was that Danny Boyle's next project will feature actor James McAvoy in a film called "Trance."  It appears to be under the Fox Searchlight banner.  All of these factors make it a film that should be considered likely as a Telluride prospect.  To wit: Boyle has attended the festival with his last two films, "Slumdog Millionaire" and "127 Hours," to great success critically.  McAvoy hasn't physically been present to my knowledge but he has had films with high profiles at Telluride recently.  McAvoy's "The Last King of Scotland" (for which Forest Whitaker won the Best Actor Oscar) and "The Last Station" (nominations for Christopher Plummer and Helen Mirren) played at Telluride.  And Fox Searchlight seems to always be represented strongly at the Festival.
Sources indicate that 2013 is the prospective release date.   Of course, Boyle has his hands full currently as he is set to direct London's opening ceremonies for next year's summer Olympics.

Here are posts about  "Trance" from both Rope of Silicon and The Playlist.


Rope of Silicon also has more details concerning the announced film from Warren Beatty that broke this week.  The picture will be directed, written produced and feature Beatty as Howard Hughes.  And maybe it's a comedy.  Check the story at:


Mark Heyman who wrote the screenplay for "Black Swan" is reported to have a new script that he's shopping around and has Darren Aronofsky attached to produce.  The Playlist reports that the film titled "XOXO" is something of a mashup between "Swan" and "The Social Network."  Heyman and Aronofsky are said to be looking for financing and distribution.  Assuming that they find that, you'd have to think that the finished product would also be on a future Telluride watch list.  No word on director (maybe Heyman himself) or cast.  Check The Playlist's story at:

Coming up tomorrow...more detail on the new Oscar voting rules...maybe clarification, maybe more confusion?  And also, more on Casey Twenter's "Rudderless".

No comments: