Sweaty Palms MotelSweatyPalmsMotel.com: sleazy, cheap and indiscreet. Since 2004, your 1-stop
destination for the juiciest rumors, half-truths and outright lies in Cactus Country.
Festival memories... cyber-windows back into Palm Springs: various shots around town, live cams + panoramas, tram cams and a view toward PS from Joshua Tree.
Anikó and I will be jetting off to Budapest soon. See you later!
Beggin' for Dough. After listening to the money-raising horror stories that filmmakers like to tell, somebody recalled this old joke:
A low-budget producer visits the bank to obtain some financing for a new film, and the bank manager asks, "Do you have a director?"
"Yes," replies the producer, "Spielberg."
"No," says the producer. "Morty Spielberg from Indio."
"Do you have a lead actress?" asks the banker.
"Streisand," the producer responds confidently.
"Well... er, no," the producer admits. "Loretta Streisand from Yucca Valley."
"Okay, do you have a leading man?" inquires the banker.
"Chamberlain," replies the producer.
"Richard Chamberlain?" asks the banker.
Best of the Fest. It's great to see that four SPM picks made the cut: Chicken Party, News for the Church, Consent and Backseat Bingo!
'nother one to watch: Hank Azaria is the director, co-writer and star of Nobody's Perfect, a romantic-comedy gem. Hank even allows several parts of the story to be carried by subtext, which always impresses the h*ll out of a fellow writer.
Tan me hide when I'm dead, Fred: After moving out here to the desert, I looked at the legions of leathery denizens and assumed that, after a short interval, the sun would transform my skin all at once.
However, I seem to changing in small pieces... my right kneecap now has a thick carapace that wasn't there last month. And it looks like this leatherizing process will take more than one step; the knee feels almost like it's stuck in an interim Naugahyde stage.
Un Chien Andalou ain't what it used to be. I'm so sad. At the Famous Directors screening this afternoon, Luis Buñuel's sliced-eyeball shocker from 1929 seemed pretty darn tame when compared with Mel Gibson's recent Jesus gorefest.
And people are asking why Christian Sesma is the only filmmaker to score an Artist Profile in The Desert Sun. Our intrepid undercover reporter, D
DD also highly recommends Where the Girls Are, a nice movie that showcases golf... among other things.
Actors-turned-directors. Star Power, the group title of last night's festival screening, was a real treat, mainly because three directors showed up to discuss their films: Tate Taylor wrote and directed Chicken Party, a hilarious take on community-service road gangs. Emmy winner Allison Janney (The West Wing) was the biggest "name actor" in the credits, but Octavia Spencer stole nearly every scene. Belly laughs galore.
Andrew McCarthy revealed that one of his day gigs (Stephen King's Kingdom Hospital) subsidized a large part of News for the Church, which is discussed below. I met one of Andrew's producers a few days ago, and praised the film effusively. He smiled and said thanks, but looked at me with the reserved eyes of a man who cannot quite believe what he's hearing. However, when I added, "I also blogged it," he laughed out loud and shook my hand with great enthusiasm.
Perhaps the best story of the evening was from Vincent Spano, who directed Betrunner, a project brought to him by writer Gabrielle Conforti. It seems there was a disagreement on how to cut the film, and Gabrielle's approach prevailed. Wait a minute: a screenwriter who actually WON? This is not your typical Hollywood ending!
Serenaded by selections from the Cicada Songbook. You can tell when the cicadae are stridulating: as you step outside the Camelot, your ears begin to feel like they're being drilled by a dentist.
All-Too-Typical PSIFSF Tableau: Hollow-eyed filmskool geeks trying (and failing) to find nourishment in the Hospitality Room while texting each other on their cell phones.
Overheard just before a festival screening: "It's too bad you didn't visit here last week, when it was much cooler. The temperatures were only about 105."
That line, delivered with the utmost seriousness by a Palm Springs resident, got a huge laugh from nearly half the audience.
Three More To Watch. In Consent, it's obvious that Jason Reitman (son of Ghostbusters director Ivan) has inherited the old man's touch with comedy.
Small Avalanches/Små skred, a sublime film by Birgitte Stærmose, is based on a Joyce Carol Oates story.
And Liz Blazer's Backseat Bingo might be the best animated-documentary-about-elderly-Jewish-folks-discussing-sex you'll ever see.
Baby Boomers are getting ready to retire. That's why you see a lot of new home construction while driving around this area. A good buddy of mine went undercover into one of those 55
But then he began to feel like he was being fattened up for... well, let's put it this way: he gained a sh*tload of weight, along with the uncanny ability to sniff out truffles.
Opening Night. There I am, in the Sweaty Palms cocktail lounge, knocking back my 5th or 8th Fat Weasel, when a VP of Acquisitions from the Blueberry Pie Channel ("HD pie, 24/7"™) comes rolling in. He's been locked in a cubicle all day, watching tapes and DVDs of short films, and he's starved for human contact.
So Mr. Piehole straddles the stool next to me and begins yammering about the lack of decent Pie cinema: "Where are the flaky crust auteurs? Where are the angst-filled dramas on the rolling of the dough?"
After he realizes I'm not taking the bait, he switches topics, to The Ladies Who Lunch: "How do they do it? How do they sit outside those cafés and NOT SWEAT? I'm wandering down Palm Canyon Drive, hallucinating with heatstroke, and they're in the sidewalk patios with clouds of useless mist raining down on them. It's hotter than the inside of a pizza oven at their tables, but they don't show even a DROP of perspiration!"
I briefly wonder if I should explain the acclimating process, but something else burbles out instead: "Don't tell anyone, but they've all had their sweat glands removed."
Piehole's eyes widen: "Really?"
I'm in much too far to bail out now: "Sure. It's the latest fad. Most plastic surgeons offer 'em a package deal, when they get their jowls winched back behind their ears."
He stands up warily and moves to the far end of the bar, watching me with reproachful eyes.
Strangely content, I resume sucking on my Weasel.
Two To Watch. Former Brat Packer Andrew McCarthy has matured into quite the writer/director. With an incandescent lead performance from Nora-Jane Noone and haunting music by Cathie Ryan, he's adapted Frank O'Connor's short story into a resonant film, News for the Church.
And Belgium's Jonas Geirnaert has already won a prize at Cannes with his Flatlife animation. Methinks he'll win more.
Powered by Blogger.