Thursday, April 30, 2009

Tribeca, Quentin Crisp, Departures

I've been doing some Q&A and panel coverage for Tribeca so if you're interested, read and click on.

Last night I caught Okuribito (Departures) [Q & A] which you'll undoubtedly remember won the Foreign Film Oscar in February. Though it's hard to believe, this marked Japan's first competitive win in the category (though they had a few honoraries early on). Had I seen this film prior to Oscar night, I would have known that Japan's wait would be over. It's more traditional and accessible than The Class (my silver medalist for 2008) and the Academy loves traditional and accessible especially when they're paired with tears. Departures plucks the heartstrings practically as well as its leading man Masahiro Motoki pretends he's plucking his beloved cello strings. [previous post feat. Motoki]

I also caught Englishman in New York [Q & A] which is a non-sequel/sequel to The Naked Civil Servant in that it also stars John Hurt as Quentin Crisp. This time we're getting highlights from the last year's of Crisp's life in the 1980s and 1990s. The film takes place entirely in New York City but for a brief amusing trip overseas for a recreation of the filming of Quentin's "never grow old" scene in Orlando opposite Tilda Swinton. Unfortunately Tilda Swinton does not play herself in this scene.

left: John Hurt as Quentin Crisp in Englishman in New York
right: Quentin Crisp as Queen Elizabeth I in Orlando

This viewing was an exceptionally odd experience for me since a dear friend of mine in Manhattan ("Mr. Steele") was once Quentin's editor and friend and he's played by Denis O'Hare in the movie! I probably don't have to tell you that it's very curious if not outright bizarre to see one of your own friends portrayed in a movie.

And finally, I ran into Katey (podcast listeners will perk up now) at an industry party at the most crazy-expensive multiple storied apartment I've ever seen in Manhattan. It was so dripping with money, even well to do movie characters who live in Manhattan could never afford it ... and you know how movie types always live in apartments that cost several times what their real life salaries would be. As a "have not", it's fun to accidentally find oneself in situations wherein one can pretend to be a "have", sipping cocktails on a rooftop patio looking out at skyscrapers. It's the life a life. P.S. Katey and I are brainstorming on a collaboration so stay tuned for that sometimes this summer.

previously @ Tribeca


alex said...

Please Nat, don't turn into the Elitist.
I beg you.



Katey said...

I have to send you the photos I took from that roof so everyone else can marvel... though I think non-New Yorkers used to seeing movies might assume everyone in this city has views like that, rather than of the brick wall 2 feet from your window.

Andrew David said...

Denis O'Hare truly is a monster... working against gay rights, failing to save Angelina Jolie's husband and then imprisoning her in a mental asylum the following year, running people over and expecting George Clooney to deal with it, now imitating people's friends...

Wayne B. said...

hmm John Hurt, nice. I like his work, he has an amazing voice. His narration of "Dogville" is one of the most memorable aspects of the movie. Have to see these Quentin Crisp movies.

Hey Nathaniel, do you think you'll get to see "The Girlfriend Experience" at Tribeca?

Anonymous said...

So "Departures" was better than both "The Class" and "Waltz With Bashir" then?


That's not what I said ;)

It's definitely more traditional and accessible and emotionally in the Oscar realm.

Unknown said...

I was supposed to leave for LA & NYC today, but I had to cancel...
You saw "Departures (okuribito)"!
Now it got over $60mil. in B.O. here.
I'm still amazed with its Oscar win because the movie is just for Japanese audiences!!!
I liked it a lot, but I think it is because I am Japanese!
Am I a bit racist?