Saturday, June 23, 2012
The other evening I strolled into an event where they were featuring male strippers as entertainment.
I hardly got through the door when I spied something very tacky!
One of the buffed beefy dudes suddenly stopped bumping-and-grinding to count the dollar bills tucked in his sexy bikini-briefs!
According to Mr. Manners, it's stricly taboo for any stripper worth his - um - weight as an erotic performer!
For the patrons, it surely is a slap in the face, don't 'ya think?
The studly dude gave the impression he was just there to rustle up some cash (forget about entertaining or pleasing the dotting customer with a glint in their eye or a rise in their levis, eh?).
Mr. Manners say take a bow first, and exit the stage, before tallying up the big bucks.
That's not only good manners - but very classy - and the epitome of good taste, too!
"I know nothing," teased the soft-spoken writer as a rapt audience edged forward in their seats and hung on every word.
Aaron Sorkin (creator of West Wing) was holding court at a screening of the 1st segment of his HBO series (Newsroom) slated to broadcast tomorrow night to American TV audiences.
"I just want to entertain people," he stressed for the record.
After noting his latest project was shooting at Sunset-Gower Studios, he pointed out that was where the Monkees first taped their TV Sitcom.
A plague on the wall outside inspired his goal for the project which is?
To have a good time.
"I mean that," he vowed.
In a nutshell, the talented visionary described "Newsroom" as a Don Quixote-style "swashbuckler" story set against an unusual backdrop.
"Everything is in the can," he boasted.
"It's a ten-hour story with three acts. What you're about to see tonight is the prologue," he explained in so many words.
Ultimately, Sorkin promised to treat the audience to a romantic experience.
"You'll hear that word - romantic - a lot tonight."
It was not only that, but a memorable evening, too.
Fans felt pretty lucky to have been able to squeeze in the door of the packed house to catch one of the highlight events of a hectic week at the LA Film Festival.
In some respects - the high-profile screening signalled a landmark turning-point in the industry - where a partnership of a Film Festival with a reputable TV cable outlet amounted to a merging (and mixing) of two mediums.
Sorkin - who many consider a "creative genius" - downplayed his own talent, however.
In fact, the talented visionary preferred to give kudos to the actors, director, and his Executive Producer.
"Jeff Daniels raised the bar," he gushed.
For example, he explained that one day he spied Jeff going-over his lines on a location shoot - at which point - he trotted over to offer up some advice to the insightful actor.
After all, they were shooting a long difficult scene, with a lot of dialogue that day.
"Jeff just stared up at me and began to recite his lines backwards," he vividly recalled.
No problem, there.
"On the set, actors stumble around as they mumble their lines. It looks like a meth ward," he joked.
When it came to the chain of command, he explained it this way.
"There are two EP's (Executive Producers) on the show."
"I am just an honorary one," he kidded, as the audience roared beyond the floodlights.
Mr. Sorkin was pretty forthcoming when it came to questions about the process of writing, too.
"I go into a room and work alone. Of course, there are a lot of tutorials. I do a lot of research, after all."
When an interviewer asked Sorkin if the opening scene - where Jeff Daniel's character "goes off" - was his version of a "Howard Beal moment" (Network) he was quite adamant that it was not.
"Network was a dark cynical view of the news. This is not."
By the way, at one point during the Q & A, I experienced a surreal moment.
For a second, Mr. Sorkin suddenly appeared to be quite familiar to me for some inexplicable reason (his unique accent, his boyish looks, his mannerisms).
Then, it hit me.
A hint of Matt Damon came shining through!
For one bizarre moment, I imagined that it was the actor Matt Damon - and not Sorkin - that was articulating his creative thoughts on the podium last night.
One day, maybe, eh?
As for the show itself, I found it quite "entertaining".
The first week's episode focuses on the BP oil disaster in 2010.
Two other segments will focus on "Immigration" news events that have unfolded in recent days and the "Tea Party".
In response to one question about casting, Sorkin noted he'd never use a real news person for the series.
"You won't see Brian Williams pop his head in the door and say hello!"
Apparently, Sorkin did consider Chris Matthews early on, but decided against!
"It usually doesn't feel real," he confessed.
For some bizarre reason, News Anchors have difficulty portraying themselves on TV Shows and in feature films.
They often come across as caricatures of themselves.
"We will be using real news clips, however, when appropriate."
Other tidbits of information will be revealed in my upcoming review of the show.
Friday, June 22, 2012
Fans of Beverly Johnson were delighted when the high-profile model put in an appearance last night at the screening of “About Face” at the LA Film Festival.
In this well-crafted documentary, noted filmmaker and photographer – Timothy Greenfield-Sanders – takes a glimpse into the lives of a handful of top-models from the past sixty years such as those of Beverly Johnson, Jerry Hall, and Isabella Rossellini (to name a few).
The artist tosses a searing lens on the glarmorous high-paid models - who in turn – candidly discuss topics that put the focus on controversial issues such as plastic surgery, race, drugs, and-so-forth-and-so-on.
Celebrated pop model – Twiggy – is noticeably absent on the screen because she allegedly wanted to be paid for her input.
“What has she done lately,” one irate reporter hissed.
“Twiggy should be thankful she was asked,” the middle-aged woman huffed to all within earshot later in the Filmmakers Lounge.
Frankly, I disagree.
I was a teenager in the sixties when the "Twig" splashed onto the International scene with her “little boy” do!
In the heady days of Beatlemania (and the subsequent “British Music Invasion”) Twiggy was - without doubt - the “Queen” of the pop model circuit and fashion scene.
“I guess I should have paid her,” the director fessed up at last night’s event in retrospect.
His failure to include Twiggy in his documentary left a gaping hole in the project.
Meanwhile, across the festival grounds, film buffs and filmmakers were once again chatting each other up over cocktails and a delectable array of finger foods that quelled the hunger pangs, alright.
Prosecco was on the house and flowing from the bar freely all night.
I found a perch on a comfy couch and proceeded to court guests who plunked down next to me throughout the evening.
At one point, the schmoozing triggered an idea for a film.
Everyone who alighted next to my side had a story to tell.
One young actress was scouting the room for producers.
When quizzed about what part of town she resided in, she turned up her nose a tad, and gushed “Beverly Hills”.
One male guest chuckled that "310" was where an actor moved once he or she “made it” in the industry.
“I have made it,” she shot back at the startled man.
At this point, everyone turned to each other perplexed.
If she had “made it”, as she so emphatically alleged, then why didn’t we know who she was?
“I’ve made it in Italy. I'm a star there. It’s a bit tougher to become one in the States,” she fessed up.
When one gal noted that she allegedly worked for a film company overseas – I joked that I kept my Canadian Citizenship - so the Queen could honor with me with an OBE one fine day.
“If I received one, I wouldn’t pick it up,” she retorted.
“No one in England likes the Queen, you know."
Gosh, that was a pretty broad statement to make!
I immediately noted that I admired Queen Elizabeth and that she was a remarkable woman.
One member of the press from the U.K. asked me who I wrote about at the Tattler.
When I mentioned Michael Phelps, she interrupted me.
“Phelps. The Gold Medalist,” I shot back in disbelief.
“Never heard of him,” she stated without-blinking-an-eye.
I quickly noted that Phelps was an Olympic swimmer expected to take some gold home after competing in the upcoming competitions in England.
At this point she became flustered, so I dropped the subject.
The issue fell like fell a lead balloon.
At one point, the roar of conversation was getting so loud in the lounge, that guests were forced to screech at each other to be heard over the din.
Understandably, I am hoarse today!
Tonight, I plan to attend a screening of one segment of the HBO series – "Newsroom".
Aaron Sorkin, the creator, is slated to appear for a Q & A about the sizzling new project which stars likable Jeff Daniels as a TV News Anchor.
See ‘ya there!
One of the highlights of the LA Film Festival this past week was an intimate reception that Liberty Mutual Insurance tossed in honor of Oscar-nominated director Lucy Walker.
The media and a smattering of fans were invited to screen a couple of her short docs - "Magnolia" and "Brazil" - in the filmmakers lounge last evening.
The two well-crafted documentaries are two of four Ms. Walker directed for an International Sports Series.
“The project funded by Liberty Mutual Insurance explore the possibilities, goals, and trials of athletes from around the globe (going to the Olympics),” according to the organizers of the much-anticipated event.
“The films illustrate how world-class athletes overcome obstacles and display extreme dedication to honor their responsibilities to their families, sports, coaches, and countries.
On film, the athletes define what responsibility means to them as International competitors.
The two docs screened last night in the filmmakers lounge beautifully-showcased Walker's unique skills as a competent hands-on documentarian.
For example, her “shots” were crisp and precise – and thus - resonated with the viewer.
Walker – a pretty woman (who turned out in a smart white dinner jacket and chic black ensemble) - is quite articulate, too.
When I asked if it was her dream to be a director since she was a little girl, she was quick on the uptake.
“I used to film plays,” she beamed in response.
After that, her creativity blossomed from there when she focused on actual directing.
Walker has been blessed with a distinguished career to date – a list of credits, in fact – that any filmmaker would give his eye-teeth for.
Her last film – "The Tsunami and Cherry Blossom" (2011) – nabbed her the Polly Krakora Excellence in Filmmaking Award, the Women in Film National Geographic All Roads Award, the Short Film Jury Award: Non-Fiction at Sundance (2012), and an Oscar nomination.
Walker graduated with first class honors from Oxford and then won a Fulbright to attend NYU’s Graduate Film Program.
When I quizzed her about the potential challenges she has had to face as a female director involved in the sports arena (essentially a man's world?) she shrugged off any notion that it was a barrier.
“I love sports. I just jump into the project, happy that I’ve been given the opportunity,” she underscored in so many words.
The talented director intends to tackle the subject of snowboarding in her next doc.
Just betcha, she’ll nab it.
To view a video clip of Ms. Walker at the function surf to this link at my YouTube site:
See 'ya at the festival!
Thursday, June 21, 2012
Occasionally, I attend a festival and a film just blows me away!
Such was the case with – CatCam – a short film about a stray cat that a pleasant young couple take in one day in their upscale neighborhood.
When Mr. Lee disappears from the neighborhood one fine day, his new owners are curious about where he trots off to for hours-on-end.
Does he have a second life elsewhere?
Maybe he has a furry feline friend that he secretly meets up with on the grounds somewhere?
Juergen (the pet’s owner) is so intrigued by the possibilities that he rustles up a miniature camera to hang around the cat’s neck – to take stills – while he’s out on his prowl into the great unknown beyond the boundaries of their property.
The results are quite surprising!
But, I won’t spoil it for ‘ya.
CatCam is a well-crafted original short which delights.
A must-see for cat lovers!
By the way, Mr. Lee has a natural acting style, and a mesmerizing screen presence!
Vastly entertaining, too.
It is not often that a film takes me by surprise or leaves me smiling ear-to-ear as I trot out of the theatre.
The charming story was directed by Seth Keal who produced an another project you may be familiar with:
Joan Rivers: A piece of Work.
CatCam is his directorial debut.
Yesterday, a couple of star sightings on the LA Film Festival grounds triggered quite a buzz.
For example, Jeff Daniels put in an appearance at a mixer late in the afternoon at the Filmmakers Lounge.
Mr. Daniels stars in “The Newsroom” – an HBO drama - that will be screening one segment at the Festival on Friday June 22nd @ 8 p.m. (creator Aaron Sorkin)
The actor was so down-to-earth that he practically blended in with the furniture.
For this reason, I hatched up a scheme to video-tape the popular star without intruding on his space.
When I whipped out my camera, I shot a couple of segments on other guests in the room first (who I was the least bit interested in getting footage of).
Then, when I turned the spotlight on Mr. Daniels, it didn’t appear to be so “in-your-face” (if ‘ya know what I mean!).
Video Clip link:
Later, a fellow critic excitedly informed me that Angela Bassett attended the world premiere of “Middle of Nowhere”.
“Darn it. I left my video camera at home,” she wailed.
“I was forced to use my cell phone. The lighting was so bad!”
By the way, that gala event attracted so many filmgoers that the festival organizers opened up the balcony in the theatre (which normally remains closed).
A few directors were plugging their projects in the filmmakers lounge as usual.
The producers for “Beauty is Embarrassing” paraded a costumed actor around the room to get the media’s attention for instance.
The funny, irreverent joyful and inspiring story of one of America's most important artists - Wayne White - is expected to sell-out.
I shot a video clip which may be viewed at the following link:
A pretty young actress from out-of-town was making quite a splash with guests, too.
I also chatted up a male friend of hers who used to write for the Los Angeles Times (a festival sponsor).
When I brought up the name of Zell – who attempted to take-over and transform the daily to his liking (to the chagrin of the staff at the respected newspaper) he responded in disgust.
If you read between the lines it was obvious he thought the “maverick” (?) was a total a**hole!
I caught him offguard and managed to capture him on video in a relaxed moment.
Earlier in the evening I took in a premiere of “Breakfast with Curtis” which was a hilarious off-beat narrative that was highly original. A review will follow.
At the after-party, I was quite wowed by the Figueroa Hotel, too (especially the eclectic lobby).
Guests mingled by a glittering pool under a slightly spooky night sky that was somewhat mystical in many respects.
One of my press friends introduced me to the Executive Producer of “It’s a Disaster” who is a handsome blond man with a charismatic presence.
“All the writers have been trying to get him to look at their scripts,” she whispered under her breath.
Earlier she attended a disappointing google plus party at “The Library”.
“They only gave us one drink ticket. And, they expected us to share a small plate of finger foods,” she scoffed.
Apparently, only about fifteen people showed, after downloading an “app” to gain entrance.
Once again, the filmmakers turned the spotlight on me, go figure.
Over the past few days a handful of directors and producers have quizzed me about acting.
“Do you act?” they wondered aloud.
I responded by noting that I have been on a few sitcoms (Murphy Brown, Home Improvement, Grace Under Fire) a few soaps (General Hospital, Young & Restless), and in a couple of films (The Disorderlies, How I got into College).
One producer asked me if I would be interested in working on one of their projects.
“Sure. Why not?"
By the pool, one guest wanted to verify that I was the gentleman on the Nokia screen earlier in the filmmakers lounge.
Pretty volunteers were taking snap shots of guests with a Nokia camera (a sponsor of the Festival) and posting them on a wide screen (and later on their web page).
“I wondered who that dapper man was,” he added as an after-thought.
I was surprised that I appeared so at ease.
I’ve been having dental work done and been in a lot of pain.
I nearly didn’t attend a couple of events because I was hurting so much.
If I plan to go to an event, and expect to be sipping on a glass of wine or a cocktail, I don’t take any painkillers.
Not wise to mix the two after all!
Along those lines, I must say I was a bit surprised at the attitude of some guests on the issue of drinking and driving.
At one table, around midnight, folks got to talking about heading home.
“I’ve had a few drinks, but I’ll just be careful driving,” one woman promised.
I made a subtle hint.
“There’s always tipsy tow. Or, you can leave the car parked and take the Metro or a Taxi home.”
All my suggestions fell on deaf ears.
Disturbing, don’t you think?
I thought these film fans and filmmakers would be wise to the perils of driving under the influence.
Sadly, I guess not!
Well, tonight I’m heading back to the LA Film Festival and plan to take in “About Face” , “Teddy Bear”, or “Beauty is Embarrassing”.
See ‘ya there!
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
For the last few nights - when locals and out-of-towners alike have been heading home or back to their Hotels around the witching hour – they’re often transported unawares to a scary part of town confused as heck!
Apparently, one track is shut down in the tunnel each night because the Metro Red Line is either under construction or in repair.
Consequently, the one track in use is used alternately to whisk passengers to either Union Station at one end or North Hollywood on the other.
Unfortunately, Management didn’t give much notice (neglected to perhaps?) which has resulted in an ongoing headache and a few hardships for commuters to face each and every night.
Shouldn’t Metro make a concerted effort to ensure that the general travelling public is duly (and properly) noticed of the shut-downs as a matter of form?
Stay posted for updates!
One day I was googling myself (!) to locate a quick link to information, when I suddenly spied something quite curious in association with my name.
At the top of the page, Julian Ayrs was “tied in” with a bold eye-catching ad for a “tree trimming” service in the Valley (Los Angeles).
Next to the slick promo there was an icon which read:
Why this ad?
Being the curious individual that I am, I clicked on the link.
A google message informed me that since I made a “search” on “tree trimming” recently, the ad was generated automatically.
The search engine noted that I could block the ad if I chose to.
My knee-jerk reaction?
Of course, I’m going to zap it into smithereens.
The ad placement gave the impression that I was endorsing Jose’s garden shop and tree-trimming-service.
Google appears to be slyly using their client list to promote products they are also representing – without first obtaining the consent of the individual – or making any contractual agreements for fees and/or commissions!
Isn’t that illegal?
Stay posted for updates!
Posted by Julian Ayrs at 11:35 AM
Years ago they rode off into the sunset, and now, they’re back!
The Ewings are embroiled in the high-stakes cut-throat realms of the oil industry once again.
The intrigues are obviously still fascinating to television viewers at home, judging by the ratings the two-hour premiere episode rustled up last Wednesday night on a cable network.
According to the pollsters, 7 million tuned in to catch the return of the night-time soaper.
Not surprisingly, the resurrected saga attracted an older demographic, out to catch up on a cast of Dallas characters that fans either loved or hated.
Three of the original members of the cast – Larry Hagman, Patrick Duffy, and Linda Gray - have climbed back in the saddle.
Two fresh faces - Josh Henderson and Jesse Metcalfe – have been introduced to attract a younger “with-it” audience.
Like Dynasty, the producers of the old production often left viewers in suspense with emotionally-charged cliff-hangers, to lure them back the following week.
Who could forget the infamous “shower scene” or the big question posted in one episode.
Who shot J.R.???
Hopefully, there will be much of the same with refreshing new twists!
Tuesday, June 19, 2012
In addition to a slew of filmmakers flogging their flicks , a number of grass roots organizations have been plugging their causes at the LA Film Festival over the past few days.
Once a filmgoer approaches the festival grounds site, filmgoers and filmmakers alike are usually pressured into signing a petition, for example.
One of the most worthy organizations making a difference is "creativeamerica".
This organization is trying to unite the entertainment community against content (intellectual property) theft online.
Ultimately, the founders seek to have strong laws and policies implemented to protect American jobs and creativity.
"Together we will speak with once voice and make sure that it is heard," officials have promised the industry.
According to their research, thieves in the U.S. and overseas are profiting by illegally offering stolen movies and TV Shows for downloading and streaming.
Here are the facts:
Well over 500,000 movies are illegally distributed each day worldwide
Websites offering stolen content generate approximately 146 million visits per day and 350 billion visits a year.
Content theft costs the U.S. tens-of-thousands of jobs every year. It has cost $5.5 billion in wages thus far and drains the revenue that residuals, health funds and pension plans depend on.
creativeamerica is asking that you sign their petition and take action in other ways, too.
Visit creativeAmerica.org to hear about the latest updates on the cause, and find ways you can make a difference, too.
Speak out about the threat
Enlighten people about the threat that content theft poses to jobs (after all, we all have something at stake)
Ask Your Representatives and Senators for help
Petition your policitical leaders to support legislation that fights content theft.
Spread the Word
Get the word out to friends, colleagues, co-workers and suppliers through Facebook, Twitter, email, and blogs.
Join the Movement
Sign up at:
Director Jake Schreirer (Robot and Frank)
Although a posse of film buffs turned out last night for screenings the 2nd week into the Los Angeles Film Festival program, most attendees agreed that the offerings were a “mixed bag”.
One Los Angeles reviewer went so far as to lament that the films were merely cast-offs or left-overs from other festivals (such as Sundance).
In the filmmaker’s lounge, the criticisms ran the gamut.
I sat there like a “fly on the wall” listening in on the intriguing snippets of conversation all around me flying fast & furious.
Apparently several tickeholders stormed out of Steve Carell’s new flick “Seeking a friend at the end of the World”. (I passed on it)
“The story didn’t make any sense,” one wailed.
“Keira Knightley was miscast,” another scoffed.
One fellow laughed that he tried to exit, but to do so, would have caused too much of a flap in view of the fact he was lodged in-between other guests in the packed theatre.
“I sit on the aisle so I can slip out quietly,” I joked.
“Great idea. I’ll do that next time” seemed to be the consensus from my new-found friends.
One director (The Robot and Frank) – who appeared to be a bit tipsy (drunk?) – pooh poohed criticisms of his flick.
He fessed up that he persused all the tweets the night of the screening.
“Just walked out of Robot and Frank” he mimicked on the comfy couch across from me.
“Piece of shit,” he quoted another, in the next moment.
“Who cares what they think?”
“It’s only an opinion,” I soothed.
When he noticed my Press Pass - and learned I am a film critic - he kidded.
"Do I have to be nice to you to get a good review?"
One new acquaintance raved about “A Band Named Death”.
Coincidentally, the co-director – Jeff Howlett (who worked with Mark Covino) – plunked down next to me.
Covino started out directing music videos, so it begged the question.
“When you started this project did you have to shift gears?”
“Yes," he responded without taking-a-beat.
"Originally, I envisioned a 30-minute doc for an Arts Cable outlet. But, once we started the interviews with the band members, we realized that we had so much more.”
At that juncture, Covino wisely elected to pass on a narrator - and instead - allow the subjects to tell their own stories in their individual way.
I intend to catch the flick tonight since there has been such great buzz about the documentary.
One film buff felt that “FOUR” – a play that was adapted for the screen – left too many lose ends.
The close was left wide open apparently.
“Didn’t they know how to end it," he wondered aloud.
“They’re anticipating a sequel,” I joked.
By the way, I’ll be interviewing the director and actors later today, so maybe I’ll raise those questions.
At this point during the run of the festival the favorite picks appear to be “The Queen of Versaille”, “The Invisible War”, “G-Dog”, “People like Us”, “Vampira & Me”, and “Gayby” (to name a few).
Woody Allen”s – To Rome with Love – has been criticized fully this way ‘n that!
Most negative reactions, though.
Some think that two of the vignettes (there are four storylines) didn’t work at all.
Oh well, better luck next project, Woody.
See ‘ya at the festival, eh?
Monday, June 18, 2012
At a swanky party on the 42nd floor of the Ritz Carlton Hotel (where high-profile guests were offered up flutes of bubbly and a spiffy journal keepsake to take home) Officials with Los Angeles Film Festival announced an exciting film competition which triggered a lot of buzz.
“Focus Forward” is awarding $200,000 in cash prizes for the top five “3 minute Films” entered in the “Filmmaker Challenge”.
$100,000 of that prize money will be awarded to the Grand Prize Winner.
Submissions are due by August 23rd (2012), by the way.
So, interested filmmakers should surf on over to their site for all the rules & regulations.
By the way, the luxury suite at the Ritz was the perfect place to host such a dazzling event.
For example, well-heeled guests were treated to spectacular views of the city skyline, as they mixed-and-mingled with movers & shakers of the film industry.
In the high-tech kitchen, they were also keen on observing the Chef whip up the delectable finger food they later wolfed down with delicious abandon.
The upbeat par-tay was so packed that it was difficult to make one’s way across a brief stretch of the finely-appointed suite.
I captured quite a few video clips which will be posted on my YouTube channel later today or tomorrow when time permits.
Check it out, eh?
See ‘ya at the festival.
Canon (USA) – in tandem with co-sponsor HBO – hosted a chi chi mixer last night at swanky Katsuya in downtown Los Angeles.
The much-anticipated soiree (Canon Celebrates Cinematographers) attracted a slew of well-heeled “movers & shakers” in the film industry.
Once the doors swung open – smartly-attired servers began to circulate the restaurant – with trays of mouth-watering finger food which were quickly scoffed down.
At one point, the natives were so hungry for the delicious offerings, that they literally stalked the waiters down as they traversed the tony restaurant 'til the witching hour rolled around.
Meanwhile, the booze flowed freely – champagne, domestic beer, you name it – at the bar.
Right off-the-bat, the buzz was so deafening that it was difficult to have a quiet one-on-one with anyone in attendance.
Normally, I just stroll through these events, then hightail it out.
But, last night I was inclined to mix-and-mingle with a handful of new acquaintances I met over the weekend while attending a myriad of screenings and hosted parties.
The festive event was tossed to give filmmakers an up-close opportunity to touch-and-try Canon’s acclaimed cameras and newer models such as the Cinema EOS C300, EOS 5D Mark III, and the new 4K Cinema EOS C500 and EOS-1D C cameras.
Next week, there will also be a panel discussion where key creative and technical minds behind a short film – “When you find me” – will gather for a full exchange of ideas on the aspects of hands-on filmmaking.
Fledging filmmakers – seasoned pros, too – may want to attend!
Sunday, June 17, 2012
Why is it that whenever a person slips an identity card (such as a press badge) over their neck, it invariably flips over every few seconds - and thus – conceals the name and status of the individual?
For me, it always happens like clockwork every few seconds whenever I am an attendee at a Film Festival or – let’s say – at a special event at a Convention Center.
Maybe we need a new “mouse trap” (so to speak!).
Is it possible for some clever individual to design a badge – on a strap – that won’t flip over?
I have one idea.
How about a metal weight at the bottom edge of the pass?
Or, maybe a bit of sticky stuff could be applied sparingly on the back, to ensure it remains flat on the body?
Just betcha there’s at least a million bucks in it for the person who comes up with a novel solution to the pesky problem.
If you come up with an idea, get in touch, eh?
I’m tired of getting slapped in the face whenever a stiff wind blows in from the North (or wherever!).
People Like Us...Chris Pine & ELizabeth Banks attend premiere at LA Film Festival! Queen of Versailles entertaining documentary!
There was a lot of electricity in the air last night as filmgoers streamed into the theatre to catch the premiere of "People like Us" - starring Chris Pine, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Elizabeth Banks - at the LA Film Festival.
Securtiy was tight!
At the door ticketholders (and members of the press, too) were body-searched and required to turn in their video cameras which were summarily bagged, tagged, and secured until the credits crawled at the end of the screening.
At one point, when a guest flipped out their cell phone to send a last tweet before the lights went down, they were reprimanded by black-suited security guards.
"If anyone is caught talking on their cell phone, they will be escorted out of the theatre," one gruff employee barked at the startled guests.
"He's bad," wailed the gentleman sitting next to me.
Personally, I was thrilled to slip in the door, since I switched gears last-minute to attend the screening (and passed on "Beasts of the Southern Wild).
After all, the "rush" line (consisting of hapless film buffs without reserved seats hanging around waiting for a "no show") started snaking around the lobby at the Regal Theatre one hour before "showtime".
The house was sold out!
The event caused such a buzz that the Director of the Festival was inclined to turn out to introduce the celebrated guests in attendance personally (which included the film's director - Alex Kurtzman - and actors Chris Pine (hunk of-the-hour) and Elizabeth Banks.
Kurtzman's immediately noted that he had never gone the Festival route before, and thanked the LA Film Festival for agreeing to sneak peek the flick at their venue.
He also thanked Dreamworks and Disney for being supportive.
"They were very brave."
Chris Pine looked dashing - attired in black slacks teamed with a classy-looking sportcoat (and open-collared dress shirt) - when he stepped into the spotlight to welcome the audience.
By the way, a short while later - when a gent seated next to me dashed off to take a whiz - he returned with a "glow" on his face.
"Chris Pine was in the mensroom," he gushed.
"Lucky you," I chuckled.
But, the film was underway, so I didn't quiz him for all the delicious details.
Elizabeth Banks looking stunning in a black jacket and gold "sparkly" cocktail dress.
At the top of the event, it appears that people got their money's worth, juding by their ecstatic reactions before the lights went down and the flick splashed up on the silver screen.
"People like Us" turned out to be quite a well-crafted drama (its allegedly based on true events) which I shall pen a review on in a day or two.
Earlier in the evening I also caught an entertaining documentary aptly titled the "Queen of Versailles".
Here, the filmmaker tossed an insightful lens on Dave and Jackie Siegel - a wealthy Florida couple - who unwittingly end up building the biggest single-family dwelling in America (to the tune of $100 million).
Mr. Siegel is known for being the brains behind Westgate - the largest time-share real estate entity of its kind - in the world.
During the course of the filming, one of the wealthiest men in America - not only suffers a shift in fortunes - but manages to let slip an intrigue or two along the way.
For example, at one point early on, Siegel boasts that he helped George Bush (Junior) get elected!
"How did you go that?" the filmmaker probed.
"I don't know if it was legal, so I can't answer that question," he grinned, like a Cheshire cat.
Later, he appeared to have some regrets about that endorsement, however.
"I wonder now about the wisdom of that decision now," he confided to the interviewer.
"After that, came the War on Iraq, and all our troubles began."
His wife Jackie was quite the fascinating character, too.
A review will follow.
Later today, I plan to take in a doc on Vampira.
It will also be interesting to see what "unfolds" for me at the Festival today.
Usually, when I stroll into an event, half of the guests recognize me right off-the-bat - at which point - they stare and point me out to friends, then whisper up a storm.
Then, some stranger next to me in line, turns out to be clueless about who I am.
"Are you a filmmaker," they innocently ask out-of-the-blue.
I chuckle to myself at this point.
There will always be someone who doesn't know who you are (or could give a damn either!).
Like, last night, for instance.
When I politely asked a black female volunteer about a gala party, she snarled at me - "It's by invitation only" - in spite of the fact I was wearing my press pass (which she gave the evil eye) which established my right to access.
I was reminded - at that juncture - that John Lennon was loved by millions of fans around the face of the earth.
It only took one demented person to shoot him dead.
Unfortunately, that's life!
Stay posted, eh?
Posted by Julian Ayrs at 2:31 PM