And now, the second half of Film Threat’s exclusive on the people that managed to come to this year’s New York Film Festival, yet resist the overwhelming magnetic pull of the photographers and press on my red carpet. What were they thinking? Were they even thinking? Seriously, red carpet! I mean, c’mon…that’s just good celebrity times, right?! People shouting your name, flashbulbs going off and blinding you, people with microphones and little mini recorders all lined up to ask you questions about your movie and how exciting it all is… What’s not to like about that?
But some people just aren’t that into it. And others, are just victims of poor timing. And here are some photos of those people:
THE SQUARE: Jehane Noujaim (DIR) and Karim Amir (PROD)
There are two reasons it’s very cool to have red carpets at a film festival. One, is for the mega stars to stop by and light up the entire place with their big-time star wattage. Let’s face, it that’s just damn good fun. I always feel like I’m having a little old school Army Archerd moment at those times, introducing the George Clooneys and Robert Redfords and Nicole Kidmans, etc. The second reason, is for filmmakers like Jehane and Karim. I LOVED their film, THE SQUARE. It was like being in the midst of living history as I sat in the theater watching the events unfold in Tahir Square and then the highs and lows that followed (and continue to do so as we learned during the Q&As after the press screening and the public screening). I get a huge thrill out of giving directors like Jehane their “rock star moment” on the carpet, “present” them with as much excitement as we can generate, so they understand just how excited we are to have them at our film festival.
And then, their film is scheduled on a day when we don’t have a red carpet or they just don’t make it there on time.. Crap.
TIM’S VERMEER: Penn Jillette (PROD) & Teller (DIR), Tim Jenison and Farley Ziegler (PROD)
I haven’t seen this film yet and it’s killing me. Couldn’t catch it during the fest and I didn’t hear a single cross word about it. THere are films that people like and there are films that are beloved and this one fell into the latter category (as far as my informal poll was concerned). But Penn & Teller flew in from Vegas and had to fly right back out again, so we had to grab them quickly in front of the lobby step and repeat before they disappeared again (see what I did there?).
THE IMMIGRANT: James Gray and Joaquin Phoenix
This one is a cheat because both guys actually did do the red carpet. But Joaquin made his appearance on Closing Night with Spike Jonze and the cast of HER. And James came by on another night as well. But I wanted to include this because it was great seeing these guys together. They’ve teamed up for four films now and seeing how touched James Gray was when Joaquin came into the green room prior to the press conference Q&A (Because Joaquin isn’t exactly a fan of doing this stuff and it meant he had to come to the fest for THE IMMIGRANT and then come back later for HER) and then watching them tease each other throughout the press conference was fun. You see that stuff and it cuts through a lot of reputation building or tearing down that we sift through as we read about actors like Joaquin.
BASTARDS: Claire Denis (DIR)
A legendary French director + NYFF = No apparent need to come to the red carpet. More troublesome is getting over what her film BASTARDS did to me regarding eating corn on the cob again. When you see it, you’ll understand..
Claire Denis makes a point during a NYFF LIVE talk on October 5 while the ghost of John Ford scrutinizes her. (Photo by Olga Bas)
ABUSE OF WEAKNESS: Catherine Breillat (DIR) and Isabelle Huppert
Again, with the French filmmakers that couldn’t make it to the red carpet.. Between the New York Film Festival and our Rendez-Vous with French Cinema series, Catherine Breillat is a frequent guest at the Film Society of Lincoln Center. Which is one of those cool things you don’t ever get used to. And then you add a rare appearance by Isabelle Huppert..
ALAN PARTRIDGE: Declan Lowney (DIR)
Travel issues meant that Steve Coogan had to come to the first screening of ALAN PARTRIDGE and the film’s director, Declan Lowney came to the second. And neither could make it to the red carpet.
MY NAME IS HMMM…: agnes b (DIR)
Again, with the French. Designer agnes b (whatever you do – DO NOT CAPITALIZE the “a” or the “b”!) was here with her first feature film. I saw the film but never saw her. Correct that. I did see her at the press conference for the film – on Skype.
12 YEARS A SLAVE: Madonna
Yes, she was here. Yes, she texted during the film. And yes, she called someone a slaver when she got called on it. Blah, blah, blah.. You what the greater crime was? No Madonna on my red carpet, damn it.
THE AGE OF INNOCENCE: Martin Scorsese (DIR)
Last year, Martin Scorsese came to NYFF to introduce a restored version of RICHARD III and New York’s infamous topless photographer lady tried to rush the stage at the Walter Reade to make some political statement about the cruel restraints placed upon boobies in our society. Unfortunately for her, I spied her in the waiting line to get into the theater (I recognized her by her tale-tale drawn on pencil mustache as she didn’t really have the “how to sneak into places” thing down very good.) So, we were ready for her. When she made her move, two cops with a special “crazy naked lady blanket” swooped in, scooped her up and took her out a side door. Scorsese quipped that he felt like he was back in the 60s again.
On this one, he was running really late, so we immediately walked him into the theater and onstage and he started his intro for a special restored version of THE AGE OF INNOCENCE before a packed Walter Reade Theater before he could even catch his breath. Because we got a schedule to keep, ladies and gentlemen…
BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOR: Abdellatif Kechiche (DIR) and Adele Exarchopoulos
It’s appropriate that I’m finishing this round up of “red carpet AWOL” filmmakers with the French twosome of Abdellatif Kechiche and Adele Exarchopoulos from BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOR, which may have been my favorite film of the fest this year. Watching that thing I was immediately sent back to some of my more gut-wrenching high school relationships and break ups. Anyway, they are French – of course. And Adele would’ve made for an amazing red carpet moment. And frankly, had Lea Seydoux made the trip we likely would have had a red carpet just for them. But we didn’t. So, it was a quick grab some shots in front of the step-and-repeat thing that was still really worth it because… Well, just look at the pictures of Adele (and yes, One – I’m including two shots of Adele. And Two – you are welcome.)
So that concludes the ones that got away this year. And what did they all miss out on? This:
Here I am during the Closing Night Gala red carpet for HER explaining to Rooney Mara, Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams, Olivia Wilde and Spike Jonze that this whole thing will be over before they know it. We just need them to take a moment and smile for those nice people with the cameras. (Photo by Godlis)