Re: City Island. Click on the above to read the marvelously positive notice about our movie in Film Comment magazine. Film Comment, snootiest of the snooty cinema rags, has never before (to my knowlege) deigned to write about one of my films. So Amy Taubin's excellent piece is a real thrill for me.
Re: our "sponsor screening" the other night. The Tribeca Film Festival gave a little party for the executives who work for the various companies who sponsored the festival--Amex, Snapple, Heineken, Delta Airlines etc. were all represented. Our movie was the chosen entertainment--and Julianna Margulies and I showed up and did a little Q&A. Thank you to Tribeca for picking us and thank you Julianna for coming out for the movie once again--a peach of a pro. Click here for pictures of the event.
Re: Cameron Crowe and "jazz abuse". Here's a very articulate post I dug up, reprinted with no permission whatsoever, written by somebody identified only as "lunacymusic"--it was on the IMDB discussion board for "Jerry McGuire". Before fanning the flames of this not very controversial controversy, let me add that I love the movie "Jerry McGuire" and even really like Crowe's ode to the rock he adores (and that I abhor) "Almost Famous". This is a very good summary of Crowe's most egregious jazz bitch-slap--the unfortunate "jazz nerd baby sitter" sub plot. Viz:
I find it curious that Crowe would blemish an otherwise very entertaining movie with unecessary digs at jazz. I cringe everytime it gets to the part with the male babysitter; he's portayed as a complete anti-social jazz nerd. When he says that he's gonna teach the kid about jazz (something that I think the kid would benefit from), Dorothy says something like, "That'll put him to sleep, for sure." I have kids and they've always loved jazz their whole lives and never went to sleep on it, unless they were already tired. And then the real idiotic part is when the babysitter tries to give Jerry some music that is supposed to "romance" Dorothy - so he gives him Miles and Trane in Stockholm, music that was recorded when Trane was in a transitional, searching period in his career. Not romantic background music, to be sure. The kicker, of course, is that when Jerry takes his advice and plays the CD, it ISN'T Miles in Stockholm; the source music that they use is actually Mingus - "Haitian Fight Song" - another intense and serious jazz composition. Finally, an exasperated Jerry says, "What IS this music??", at which point we then hear some lame, tired, and tepid "indie" sounding pop song.
My point is that jazz is an American art form that everybody in the world recognizes as important, except here in America. Cameron Crowe may look at jazz as "elitist egghead music"; he certainly portrays it as such. Likewise, a jazz musician (which I am) may look at Cameron as a film maker, who has neither the inclination, capacity, nor attention-span to understand jazz.
Thank you, lunacymusic, whoever you are.
Re: the Woody Allen clip I posted last time. I still don't know quite what its from (it feels like raw footage--unedited that is--for a TV profile piece). As always with New York footage, the primary joy for me are the period (in this case mid-sixties) views of the Upper East Side--the neighborhood I live in by the way--where Woody has always lived/worked. We see the brownstone on East 79th that he then inhabited--the apartment was (is) a duplex in an old five story house. Later Woody moved to the fabled penthouse on Fifth Avenue and 74th--the views of Manhattan seen in the magnificent opening montage of "Manhattan" were shot from the terraces of that apartment.
When he left 79th Street, he gave the lease of that apartment over to Dick Cavett, who continues to live there to this day. Jim Gavin and I shot a wonderful interview with the very witty and erudite Mr. Cavett a few months ago and then walked him home. He told us that his apartment had formerly been Woody's and then mused: "I always liked saying 'we took the Woody Allen place'--the way people in Hollywood used to say 'we took the Gable and Lombard place'. Wouldn't it be great if somebody said, 'We took the Leo Gorcey place'?" For those of you who know who Leo Gorcey is, this is prime Cavettian humor...
The not so upbeat ending of our "Two Family House" saga will follow shortly (and Cameron Crowe once again figures into the action...). Below, Woody and Dick--old pals and not yet landlord and tenant?--jaw it up on Cavett's network TV program from the early seventies.