Thursday, September 27, 2007

NYFF: Julian Schnabel Said So

The 45th Annual New York Film Festival runs Sept 28th ~ Oct 14th but the press screenings began on Sept 17th and end Oct 12th. The postings here at the blog run from now through October 16th. Don't even try to follow the chronology for it will defeat you. It's like a blog project with Rashomon angles Pulp Fiction looping and even Memento reverses. I'm already totally confused and this is the first post.

<-- Director Julian Schnabel with his former leading man Javier Bardem (Before Night Falls)

I'll also be chiming in at Oscar Watch Awards Daily soon to add to the (my) confusion. So let's start with something easy just to flip this switch.

Ready? Here comes the annoyingly hooky title...

12 Things I Learned (or was reminded of but had forgotten) While Listening to Julian Schnabel at the Press Conference and Watching His New Film The Diving Bell and Butterfly (and how I feel about those things I learned and remembered)

1. Johnny Depp was supposed to star in this movie which is about a man (Jean-Dominique Bauby) paralyzed entirely but for one eye, but the mega star dropped out. I'm glad he did actually. A movie star essentially offscreen for huge portions of the film since you're seeing things from his bedridden perspective? Maybe not the best use of star magnetism.
2. Max Von Sydow is a helluva actor. He plays Bauby's dad. If the movie breaks out at all, expect Supporting Actor nomination talk. He made me cry and I don't cry at movies.... not regularly at least.
3. Mathieu Almaric deserves a big career. Seriously he was so good in Kings and Queen, Munich and this. Three in a row.
4. Julian Schnabel likes to name drop --Andy Warhol, Johnny Depp, Marlon Brando were just the tips of the iceberg. But it's all film related so...
5. Julian Schnabel is a flashy director. This works for the movie. How else to make a movie about a man lying immobile in bed interesting?

Von Sydow gets a shave from his screen son Almaric in The Diving Bell and Butterfly

6. Julian Schnabel is a Buddhist. Cool
7. Julian Schnabel seems miffed that he didn't win the Palme D'Or and had to settle for Best Director at Cannes. Not cool -- but in fairness this might've been a joke. It was hard to tell
8. Julian Schnabel was offered both 8 Mile and American Gangster but turned them down Yeah, chew on that one for awhile. Try to imagine the results
9. Julian Schnabel really wanted to make Perfume: The Story of a Murderer. He didn't see the film when it came out. Neither did I

10. Julian Schnabel only makes biopics --Basquiat, Before Night Falls, The Diving Bell and Butterfly. He claims that this is unintentional, it's just that he's interested in artists and writers.
11. Julian Schnabel doesn't care about movies. He said so. Still, he's good at making them. This is not quite a Salieri/Mozart moment I'm having, but it's annoying when someone so gifted at filmmaking doesn't really care or know that it's the greatest artform in the world.
12. Julian Schnabel would probably love seeing his name this many times in a row. I'm just sayin'

Further suggested reading: bad boy painter turned fêted director"


Anonymous said...

I'm excited to hear that Max von Sydow is doing great acting once again! He's definitely in my top three Bergman regulars.

Anonymous said...

So Schnabel is kinda cool but also kinda full of himself? ;)

Carlos Reyes said...

I couldn't get to NY to see Schnabel's film, hopefully I'll stay long enough to stay for the 'public' screenings...

I've seen these so far, the films by Mingiu and Reygadas must be the best two films in the festival, I really doubt any other film will be able to accomplish so much... but I'm hoping...

* 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days (*****)
* Silent light (*****)
* The Axe in the Attic (***)
* Redacted (**1/2)

Anonymous said...

You can get great Peach Schnabels in Wisconsin.

Anonymous said...

I hope Janusz Kaminski gets the attention his camerawork deserves. It's really innovative stuff - flashy, but in a way that really works in context and serves the overall approach to the story.

Almeric is wonderful, too. I think this is by far Schnabel's best film.

Nice write up, btw!

Anonymous said...

I suppose after winning Best Director at Cannes I would be full of myself too!

I saw that the IFC will be hosting live interviews in their daily festival program at Does anyone know if Schnabel will be involved in this?

Anonymous said...

Didn't he get pissed at the lack of awards attention Before Night Falls was receiving (aside from Javier Bardem, obviously) because it was obviously the best of the year? Or am I misremembering?

NicksFlickPicks said...

Has anyone read the book? I've just checked it out from the library but haven't gotten to it yet...

Anonymous said...

No, you're not misremembering Steve. He was a dick. It didn't help that I already thought Before Night Falls was overrated.

Y Kant Goran Rite said...

13. Julian Schnabel is an utter utter wanker (and looks and sounds like an undergrad)

I don't need to see (but probably will see - cause of Matthieu Amalric) his schmaltzy-sounding movie to tell you it has nothing on the real Palme d'or winner

Anonymous said...

Nick, I loved the book. Found it very moving. If you read it in small chunks, rather than rush through, makes it a very reflective read.

Having had a facial palsy affect the nerves in my face, I have some minor idea what paralysis can do, but such a tiny percentage of what the author went through it doesn't bear comparison.

Anonymous said...

Nathaniel, not on topic at all.

Still, I spent 5 days of my life devoted to this and, as an actresses lover, I think you might want to check this out.

I thought of emailing you, but you'd find my Brazilian adress too weird to open.

Still, please, check this out:

It's a list, ranking actresses according to their awards win. I decided to pick a certain age, to make it easier to not forget anyone important, so, it's between 1957/1977. Many of your faves have strong showings, including The Bening, The Pfeiffer and The Moore.

It's not finished, but, if you want, I can send the whole thing already, as a huge fan of your lists and stuff.

Again, please, take a look. It would mean a lot to me.

Thanks in advance, Brazilianmovies.


Goran it's true that Schnabel's film doesn't hold a candle to the Cannes winner. but we'll get to that later

Anonymous said...

Johnny Depp made a huge mistake by turning down The Diving Bell and The Butterfly for POTC3

Depp's loss is Mathieu Amalric's gain.

Anonymous said...

Schnabel said he didnt like mar adentro, the alejandro amenabar foreign oscar winner film. He said his film is unsentimental and superior. What an a-hole

Anonymous said...

Expect a Max Von Sydow nominee for supporting.He is a Lock!

Melissa said...

ulian Schnabel is "KINDA" full of himself? If saying he doesn't care about movies isn't proof enough. Just watch him accept his Director's Guild award. The focus of course is now on Sean Young heckling him. But in spite of how much she had to drink, tell me the rest of the audience wasn't thinking the exact same thing. He wasn't nervous, he wasn't at a loss for words. He just thinks the rest of the world is as enthralled with him as he is with himself. Here is a link to the video. Watch it and wretch. That is if you haven't already seen it...after all it's Julian Schnabel.

Anonymous said...

I could go into a long boring drawn out critique of Julian Schnabel or just
use a phrase I learned as a teenager

Talk about it's who you know that gets you the job.

When your getting that cheap golden award you need to "START TALKING AND TALK FAST YOU LOUSY BUM!!!"