Saturday, April 4, 2009
Okay. I lied. I can't spread the TV clips wealth at this very moment--it turns out our publicity team (the awesome Falco Ink.) is hoping to get us an exclusive on one of those show-biz shows (ET? Extra? Who Knows?) One must use whatever is in the arsenal and, alas, I have to preserve the clips until said show airs. Please don't hate me. Oh, hell. Hate me.
Let me tell you about Falco. They're New York's first stop, top movie/indie/pr/press firm--but trying to characterize them in terms of their job is less than accurate. They are, in fact, master hand-holders at the most vital and sensitive moment of the whole filmmaking process--the moment of the unvailing of the work. For about ten years, I've been privileged to work with them--only it's not really work. They're family--"meshpuca" as the yiddish would say (although they'd probably spell it differently). Led by the galvanizing Janice Roland, these are folks whose hands you willingly and fearlessly can put your child into and expect the best from. They handle the press, the film festivals, the public perception of your film and its future life and do so with real concern for the future of the product you've created. They practice a craft which also becomes an increasingly personal connection. An uneasy mixture at best, but one they handle with grace and ease.
I first worked with Janice and her late partner Gary Hill (who died far too young this past fall) on my film "Two Family House". Their presence at Sundance made that frankly nightmarish festival a much lovelier experience than it deserved to be in retrospect (these public events where you unvail your work can be much less glamourous and more daunting then you might imagine). Gary was a lovely southern man--a Texas boy destined for the big city-- with a wry and witty take on the whole nasty mess that passes for normal life in show-biz. I do believe it was he who named the company--after Tony Curtis' character Sidney Falco in "The Sweet Smell Of Success" (see above photo). In that great film--one of my five favorites of all time--Curtis makes sure to pronounce his self-named public relations firm (in fact just a grubby one-room apartment which he uses as an office) "Falco comma Ink." Thus was Falco Ink anointed--a whole company was born and named after a line in a movie. So taken with Tony Curtis and his role in SSOS was Gary Hill that he somehow managed to actualize his obsession into dinner one night at that venerable New York nightspot 21 with Tony Curtis himself--and 21 was the setting for several scenes in "Sweet Smell..." In a sense, Gary figured out a way to put himself into "Sweet Smell Of Success"--re-staging, as it were, an encounter with Sidney Falco at 21, only including himself in the scene.
Stage managing that coup and telling me about it at the bar of the Warwick Hotel--which is primarily where my meetings with Janice and Gary always took place--remains my fondest memory of Gary. In tribute to him--as well as his and my mutual obsession with "SSOS", here's a clip from the movie. "You're walkin' around blind without a cane!" is the great line in this two minute stretch--and "SSOS" is a movie with a gem of dialogue at least every minute.
Posted by Raymond De Felitta at 8:05 AM