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David Poland

By David Poland

BYOB – Day 2

I had a great time chatting with Tilda Swinton at AFI last night, where she was honored for her breadth of work and invited an entire audience to come to Scotland for her film fest. Tonight, The Wrestler hits the AFI at the Mann’s Chinese. This afternoon, spending some Slumdog time. Tomorrow, more Mickey time. Busy, busy, movie, movie.
What’s floating your boat?

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33 Responses to “BYOB – Day 2”

  1. SJRubinstein says:

    Is it possible that A.R. Rahman could win in Original Score for “Slumdog” based partially on his immense and award-winning body of work – even though most Academy voters haven’t likely seen a single other of his movies (though “Taal,” “Water” and “Lagaan” – among a couple others – did open here)?

  2. aframe says:

    More than a couple–all of his Hindi films get released in North America on at least 80 screens though of course targeted to the NRI market. He also did a great score for Jodhaa Akbar earlier this year, and coming in a few weeks is Yuvraaj with his Taal director Subhash Ghai. Anyway, it would be a richly deserved nod, both in terms of his great Slumdog score and his body of work–after all, his “Chaiyya Chaiyya” from Dil Se.. is probably the one filmi song a lot of U.S. audiences would recognize, thanks to Spike Lee.

  3. Ugh…sooo peeved I had to leave AFI before THE WRESTLER. Stupid day job….grrrr….
    I’m not familiar with Rahman, but his SLUMDOG soundtrack is an amazing piece of work. The film covers a slew of emotions and his score heightens each one. Plus, there’s the closing song and number!!

  4. SJRubinstein says:

    Yeah, I loved the movie and then the dance number kicked in and I was like, “Yay!!!”
    And I had no idea so many of the films Rahman has scored have come out theatrically here! Perhaps I should amend my earlier comment and end it at the idea that Academy voters have likely only seen movies similar to “Taal,” “Water” and “Lagaan” that have made serious awards runs in hopes of finding a wider audience.

  5. LexG says:

    Can’t Boyle just go back to junkies, zombies and sci-fi shit?
    Maybe if this was set in like Sherman Oaks or something and starred Jonah Hill and Emma Stone, it might be cool. But Bollywood = Boringwood.

  6. aframe says:

    Rahman also did the score for Taare Zameen Par, directed by and starring Aamir Khan of Lagaan fame, which was released theatrically this past December and is India’s FLF Oscar entry for this coming year. Jodhaa Akbar, directed by Ashutosh Gowariker (Lagaan) starring Hrithik Roshan and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan is recently out on DVD, and it is definitely worth a look though the epic battle scenes and production design lose a lot on the small screen. Great Rahman score there as well. My fave Rahman scores are Dil Se.., Taal, Kandukondain Kandukondain (Tamil version of Sense and Sensibility, starring Aishwarya Rai and Tabu), and Alaipayuthey, which was remade in Hindi as Saathiya with the same score.
    And I’m glad Anil Kapoor is getting a lot of attention as he’s always been a reliable player for years. Was disappointed that Boyle’s early negotiations with Shahrukh Khan didn’t pan out, but I loved the little nods to both Khan and his predecesssor in the Kaun Banega Crorepati host chair, Amitabh Bachchan.

  7. aframe says:

    Bollywood films that may pass the “ownage” test:
    Dil Se.. – very dark
    Dhoom:2 – basically what would probably happen if Bruckheimer went Bollywood–slick, braindead, and a blast
    Don, the 2006 version – action film with Hollywood-level polish, action scenes, and cynicism
    OK, I’m done here.

  8. aframe says:

    Bollywood films that may pass the “ownage” test:

    Dil Se.. – very dark

    Dhoom:2 – basically what would probably happen if Bruckheimer went Bollywood–slick, braindead, and a blast

    Don, the 2006 version – action film with Hollywood-level polish, action scenes, and cynicism

  9. Cadavra says:

    THE WRESTLER’S 15 minutes are almost up. Come Sunday, the entire Southland will be helpless in the unrelenting grip of THE LOST SKELETON RETURNS AGAIN!

  10. Cadavra says:

    P.S.: Lex can’t come. It has an animated bird in two shots. Plus it would scare him.

  11. jeffmcm says:

    “Maybe if this was set in like Sherman Oaks or something and starred Jonah Hill and Emma Stone, it might be cool.”
    Why hasn’t everybody here risen up with torches to ride Lex out of LA County on a rail? His presence here is his revenge on the rest of the world for making him fat and sad.

  12. jeffmcm says:

    Oh, Cadavra, I will be there on Sunday. I might even talk to you this time.

  13. Lex-
    SLUMDOG owns dude, trust me. It’s like CITY OF GOD in alot of ways. There’s just a taste of the Bollywood and chicks dig Bollywood.

  14. mysteryperfecta says:

    How’s this for a Day One for the President-elect:
    *In a provocative speech from the Kremlin, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev threatened to base warheads along the Polish border if Mr Obama goes forward with a Bush administration plan to create a missile shield in Eastern Europe.
    *Israel warned last night that Obama’s campaign claim that he was ready to open talks with Iran could be seen in the Middle East as a sign of weakness.
    *In Afghanistan, President Hamid Karzai demanded that Mr Obama ‘put an end to civilian casualties’ by changing U.S. military tactics to avoid airstrikes in the war on the Taliban.
    That’s some strong coffee.

  15. jeffmcm says:

    Well, two of those would have happened regardless of who won, and the third one, well, Livni is wrong.
    Also, you forgot the two-day 800-point stock market drop.

  16. mysteryperfecta says:

    I’m only saying that Day One offered a pretty substantial buzzkill. We live in trying times.
    I would have loved to be a fly on the wall today when he got the geopolitical lowdown.

  17. The Big Snake says:

    Can I say a few words about Michael Crichton’s passing?
    My Dad took me to see WESTWORLD on my 13th birthday. It was the coolest movie in the world for a teenage boy – Yul Brynner as a gun-slinging robot! At that time, I would sometimes buy novelizations of movies to re-live them – and I ran right out to buy the paperback for WESTWORLD.
    But, lo and behold, it wasn’t a novelization – it was the actual movie script.
    First time I ever saw one.
    And then I went and read the earlier Michael Crichton novels, THE ANDROMEDA STRAIN and THE TERMINAL MAN.
    Actually, I devoured them. And each subsequent Crichton book that came out after that.
    I think THE GREAT TRAIN ROBBERY was one of the first hardcover books I ever owned (a Christmas gift from my Mom).
    I read it at least three times, and I saw the film three times in the theaters when it came out in 1979.
    (That DVD has a Crichton commentary on it, as does the DVD for LOOKER

  18. EOTW says:

    Thought about this and decided: Done with Jeff Wells’ site froever. Haven’t been there since election night when he caleld McCain a “bitch.” You can disagree with McCain, say his campaign was awful, whatever. But to call the man, a guy who was tortured and has served his country his whole life is just disgusting to me (Disclosure: my father was shot and killed in Vietnam). The man’s lack of civility is disgraceful.
    On a better note. I am officially quitting my job this morning after enduring that hell for too long. Have saved up enough money to last me for years. Bad timing or not, I’m on a plane to Cali tonight and after that, who can say!

  19. Although I’ve never ever understood the fanaticism over OLDBOY, the idea of Will Smith starring in a remake of it with Speilberg directing is irksome. There’s simply no frigging way they stick to that original CHINATOWN twist ending and without that, what’s the damned point?! Idiots.

  20. Cadavra says:

    “Oh, Cadavra, I will be there on Sunday. I might even talk to you this time.”
    Please do. Always nice to put a face to the name.

  21. Rob says:

    Does anybody else think it was uncalled for of Manohla Dargis to spoil the ending of The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, no matter how much she hates it?

  22. SJRubinstein says:

    You might have moved on from this discussion, aframe, but was curious if you’d read Vikram Chandra’s epic “Sacred Games.” It’s purported to be a thinly veiled accounting of Indian organized crime, but the Bollywood stuff really fascinated me as well – particularly with the overlap.
    As you seem pretty well-versed in the subject, do you have an opinion on the accuracy of that text – gangsters running movie studios and how that extrapolates out to the talent?

  23. A Will Smith/Spielberg version of Oldboy might just get me to go see it, which will be a tough ask since I loathe the original with every fibre of my being. ugh. Retched.
    Jeff, it boggles my mind. Honestly.

  24. aframe says:

    SJRubenstein, haven’t read that book, but I am familiar with mob/Bollywood connections. In fact in recent years there was a big case involving Bharat Shah, who produced Devdas; a number of name stars were deposed in that case. I know there have been major efforts in recent years to clean up the industry, and the B’wood/mob connection stuff is so commonly thought/known that I’ve seen a number of films that actually use that as a story element (generally about a mobster trying to get his girl into the biz).

  25. aframe says:

    Oh, and this mob talk has reminded me of another Bollywood “ownage” title–Ram Gopal Varma’s Company.

  26. jeffmcm says:

    Hey Kami – why?

  27. Why do I hate Oldboy? If I wanted to feel miserable and dirty and uncomfortable I’d spend two hours on the Melbourne public transport system.

  28. jeffmcm says:

    Oh. Is that all?
    I think that regardless of its content and design, at least you have to give it credit for being well-made.

  29. No. It’s ugly and repulsive to look at and the action scenes are unexciting.

  30. jeffmcm says:

    Let’s try that again:
    Since it’s _meant_ to be ugly (although some would use the term ‘gritty)’ you have to give it credit for successfully realizing the goal of the filmmakers. And regardless of what you think of the action sequences (is there more than one?) the technical skill demonstrated in terms of staging, cinematography, sound design, etc. are not deniable.
    This is all independent of your subjective emotional experience.

  31. LexG says:

    You know what sucks?
    When it’s 3AM, you’ve done four shots of Beam, and then NINE BEERS, and you still don’t feel like your buzz has QUITE kicked in, but you’re all out of beer, and the only choice you have is switch back to hard booze, OR go to sleep, unfulfilled.
    Fucking lame. Especially if you have to get up at 8am for work.
    Lesson for tomorrow: Never start with fewer than 12-15 beers, OR never switch to beer, just stick with booze.

  32. Cadavra says:

    Better yet: soda, juice or water.

  33. Kami thanks for voicing your dislike of Oldboy. I was starting to think the whole world was nuts. I’m with you. That shit was not classy. To me Oldboy seems like an action fantasy written by a psychopath with low self-esteem. I can agree that it was reasonably well executed visually/cinema-wise, but I think it suffered from not knowing what kind of movie it was, and ran kind of long in the end.
    Unfortunately the Spielberg/Will Smith version is dead in the water thanks probably to internet hate on the project. It would have been a less offensive/disturbing pic based on the manga, which was not too similar to the film. Not a remake of the Park film.

Quote Unquotesee all »

It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

So I decided on three writers that I might be able to option their material and get some producer, or myself as producer, and then get some writer to do a screenplay on it, and maybe make a movie.

And so the three projects were “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” “Naked Lunch” and a collection of Bukowski. Which, in 1975, forget it — I mean, that was nuts. Hollywood would not touch any of that, but I was looking for something commercial, and I thought that all of these things were coming.

There would be no Blade Runner if there was no Ray Bradbury. I couldn’t find Philip K. Dick. His agent didn’t even know where he was. And so I gave up.

I was walking down the street and I ran into Bradbury — he directed a play that I was going to do as an actor, so we know each other, but he yelled “hi” — and I’d forgot who he was.

So at my girlfriend Barbara Hershey’s urging — I was with her at that moment — she said, “Talk to him! That guy really wants to talk to you,” and I said “No, fuck him,” and keep walking.

But then I did, and then I realized who it was, and I thought, “Wait, he’s in that realm, maybe he knows Philip K. Dick.” I said, “You know a guy named—” “Yeah, sure — you want his phone number?”

My friend paid my rent for a year while I wrote, because it turned out we couldn’t get a writer. My friends kept on me about, well, if you can’t get a writer, then you write.”
~ Hampton Fancher

“That was the most disappointing thing to me in how this thing was played. Is that I’m on the phone with you now, after all that’s been said, and the fundamental distinction between what James is dealing with in these other cases is not actually brought to the fore. The fundamental difference is that James Franco didn’t seek to use his position to have sex with anyone. There’s not a case of that. He wasn’t using his position or status to try to solicit a sexual favor from anyone. If he had — if that were what the accusation involved — the show would not have gone on. We would have folded up shop and we would have not completed the show. Because then it would have been the same as Harvey Weinstein, or Les Moonves, or any of these cases that are fundamental to this new paradigm. Did you not notice that? Why did you not notice that? Is that not something notable to say, journalistically? Because nobody could find the voice to say it. I’m not just being rhetorical. Why is it that you and the other critics, none of you could find the voice to say, “You know, it’s not this, it’s that”? Because — let me go on and speak further to this. If you go back to the L.A. Times piece, that’s what it lacked. That’s what they were not able to deliver. The one example in the five that involved an issue of a sexual act was between James and a woman he was dating, who he was not working with. There was no professional dynamic in any capacity.

~ David Simon