The Arclight on Sunset Blvd has to be one of the coolest theaters on the planet, making my recent move to L.A. that much easier. (Other transition helpers: I just got a job and a car.) I saw Collateral there last time I was in town. Sahweet, as some might say. Assigned seating, top picture and sound quality, tons of celebrities in the audience.
Sometimes filmmakers introduce their films, as was the case last night with a screening Sundance audience award-winner The Squid and the Whale, written and directed by Noah Baumbach, who was on hand for a post-screening Q&A. (I gave up my ticket to attend my first day of work — *frown*) Here’s a report from my partner in crime, LP:
The Q&A was not the most exciting thing, but here are some highlights:
Noah talked about how incredibly tight the budget (1.5M for a period piece!!!) was and how they all had to make sacrifices — all of the actors AND the music rights were on deferred pay (UNBELIEVABLE for who he got) — and the shoot was 23 days, which is incredible, so they had lots of rehearsal (you know the speil I’m sure: “We wanted enough rehearsal so that everyone found the essence of the scene, but so that they could really hit the nail on the head when we shot it!”)
William Baldwin was WAY funnier than i ever could have even remotely given him credit for. He said he felt like he had to read intense books on the set, because his character is oft referred to as a “philistine,” haha.
This was great: the question that OF COURSE is going to come up: “So this was based on your life — how close was it to fact?” Noah: “Actually, my parents both work in a steel mill in Pennsylvania, so they were delighted when they saw this — really proud of me — mentioned that they never get to see this kind of stuff — they only see films about…steel.” Half the audience was laughing cause they knew he was kidding and the other half = dense awkward silence.
Jesse Eisenberg was funny too — he goes, “I kept wanting my character to BE funny becuase I knew the lines were funny, but they had to be read seriously, that’s what made it funny, so I kept saying to Noah, ‘Lemme read it funny,’ and he would say, ‘Save it for the Q&As’…………and clearly I haven’t,” haha.
She also told me that the movie’s period look — it looks very 1986 — is because they didn’t have the budget to shoot on 35mm. Plus Noah wanted to shoot all hand-held. So they shot on super16. (Hmm, kinda like a movie I just worked on.) Baumbach avoided digital precisely because it wouldn’t match the period.
RELATED: This week’s Newsweek has a funny chart about TS&TW. (They call the movie “no budget.” Wow I wish I had a no budget of $1.5M!)