Author Archives: Hiscock John

JAMES GARNER, THE MAVERICK WHO EARNED 12 GOLDEN GLOBE NOMINATIONS

James Garner, who shot to fame in the 1950s as the charming and dry-witted gambler on the hit TV western Maverick and  earned 12 Golden Globe nominations, winning three times, died at his home aged 86.

The Oklahoma-born Garner, who also starred in the long-running TV series The Rockford Files, amassed more than 80 movie and TV-movie credits during his 50-year career.

His Golden Globe wins were for Best Promising Newcomer in 1958, Best Actor in a TV movie for Decoration Day in 1991 and Barbarians at the Gate in 1994.

Garner, who lived in Los Angeles, underwent quintuple bypass heart surgery in 1988 and suffered a stroke in 2008. He had been in poor health for some time.

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HFPA SHOW LOVE FOR COURTNEY

courtney love   HFPA members crowded into the association’s conference room at its West Hollywood offices for the visit of Courtney Love, the musician-actress who has been variously described as talented, tragic, Machiavellian or simply mad.

And the 50-year-old didn’t disappoint. In a wide ranging discussion which was part of the HFPA’s Round Table series, she talked freely about her past indiscretions, her life today and her new role in the TV series Sons of Anarchy which, she says, has “bailed me out of actor jail.”

The former punk princess, who once worked as an exotic dancer, looks in great shape and says: “Physically I’m older and I don’t do drugs anymore but I have a monkey on my back which is smoking but I’m trying to quit. So the drugs have passed and I gave up caffeine but the nicotine is still very predominant and smoking is the last sin I need to get rid of.

“Well, I have many sins but there’s no sin in sex. It’s good exercise.”

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DINNER AND A MOVIE – BON APPETIT!

 ELISABETH SEREDA recalls some mouth-watering movies and dissects some culinary classicsChef-Film2The recent release of Chef and The Hundred Foot Journey brought back memories of other mouth-watering films that have caused growling stomachs while watching, followed by ravenous food consumption afterwards.

And no, I am not talking about famous restaurant scenes in famous movies as in When Harry Met Sally. Meg Ryan’s excitement at Katz’s Deli, prompting the older lady to comment: „I’m having what she’s having“, incites a hunger of a different kind. And when Anthony Hopkins is having „his liver with some fava beans“, the feeling the viewer is left with is more blood boiling than salivating. And not The Big Feast/ La Grande Bouffe either, where a group of men (Marcello Mastroianni, Michel Piccoli, Philippe Noiret, Ugo Tognazzi) hire prostitutes, go to a villa in the countryside, engage in group sex and decide to eat themselves to death. Good movie but hardly appetizing.

The films I fondly remember (and could watch over and over again) in connection with food are of a different kind. They are the ones you have to prepare for: eat before or wait til after? Re-watch on DVD – or VCR before there was a DVD – and pause to write down recipes and inspirations? Plan a huge dinner party for friends with the culinary theme of the film? I am guilty of all of the above although I have stopped food intake before the screening. You rob yourself of a gourmet experience after. I starved through The Hundred Foot Journey which begins with a sea urchin and ends with one (or a few), only to reward myself later with four (!) orders of uni at my favorite Sushi restaurant. I would have preferred urchin the way it is served in Barcelona: erizos de mar – the sweet, orange center scooped out of its shell, mixed with cream and herbs, put back into the shell and baked, just to be scooped out again by the grateful eater, the flavors melting in the mouth – but the yuzu on top of my uni was not so bad, either. The studio kindly provided a few recipes from the film (the omelet, Tandoori chicken, madeleines, etc.) but left out the soup the protagonist’s mother creates, blending the urchin with Indian spices in a way that almost makes the smell come off the screen.

The following is a list of favorite food films – or as I’d like to call it #fff:

v.l. George Segal, Robert Morley, Jacqueline Bisset

Who Is Killing the Great Chefs of Europe?

Who Is Killing the Great Chefs of Europe?

The food in this crime/thriller/comedy is fantastic with bitingly witty dialogue. Director Ted Kotcheff tells the story of a four course meal served by Europe’s greatest chefs to the Queen at Buckingham Palace. The courses are featured in Britain’s number one gourmet magazine, run by the sarcastic and surly Robert Morley: “How about recreating the Last Supper?“ an assistant asks. To which he replies : “That is without a doubt the single most tasteless, vulgar and macabre suggestion it has ever been my misfortune to hear. What next I wonder? The Andes plane crash cook book?!“

One by one the chefs are killed in the manner of their specialty: Jean Pierre Cassel (baked doves) dies stuffed into the oven. Philippe Noiret (pressed duck a l’orange) has his head end up in the duck press. The Venetian seafood master drowns in his own lobster tank. Leading lady and dessert chef Jaqueline Bisset is saved before her famous ice cream bomb explodes. And there is an amusing side story between Bisset and her ex-husband, played by George Segal, who wants to start a fast food chain for omelets while she prefers chiche lorraine over caged chicken products. The grizzly murders not withstanding, the film makes you want to cook and eat all the meals, culminating in the chocolate-strawberry-vanilla ice cream bomb. Who Is Killing The Great Chefs Of Europe? was released in 1978, but if you want to find a decent copy on DVD, good luck. Upon investigating we were told that the master had been lost. I still own a bad copy on VHS.

 Big Night
The way Stanley Tucci and Tony Shalhoub caress a timballo (bread stuffed with all sorts of Italian delicacies) in close up before carving it up to serve to a select group of friends and competitors is nothing short of sensual. Tucci co-wrote, co-directed, and starred in this heart warming story about two Jersey Shore restaurateur-brothers who hope jazz legend Louis Prima will save their failing family business.

“To eat good food is to be close to God,” says Primo (Shalhoub) to his brother Secundo (Tucci) but that doesn’t impress Pascal (Ian Holm), the owner of a popular but rather bad eatery nearby: “A guy works all day, he don’t want to look at his plate and ask, ‘What the fuck is this?’ He wants to look at his plate, see a steak, and say ‘I like steak!’” Yet even Pascal, after trying the timballo, must admit: „I should kill you! This is so fucking good, I should kill you!“ and then kisses the chef on both cheeks. Big Night inspires home cooked Italian feasts that require days-long preparations.

Like Water for Chocolate / Como Agua Para Chocolatefood water for choc
Mexican director Alfonso Arau made this wonderful and magical realist drama, telling the story of Tina who was born on the kitchen table with her mother’s tears being turned into a bag of salt. The culinary metaphors reach their climax when Tina meets her love, Pedro. To this day the film’s most ardent fans write down the recipes and copy the dishes served. That in itself is a testament to its quality.

No, this title does not refer to Arnold Schwarzenegger’s early grasp of the english language (a joke once made at one of the funnier Oscar ceremonies), but to an early Ang Lee film about a Taiwanese master chef who’s only way of communication with his three ballsy daughters is by way of cooking Sunday dinner. The comedy got a Foreign Film Oscar nom.

Babette’s Feast
This Danish drama culminates in a scene with the most spectacularly shot visuals of a dinner ever seen onscreen. It is a banquet of culinary – and other – senses and deservedly was nominated for a Foreign Film Oscar. As in all good food films, the meal is a metaphor for life, love, sex and joie de vivre. The dishes resemble emotions and actions and feelings between the family members. And yes, it too leaves you hungry for more.

Chocolatfood 3 (chocolat)
Chocolate during lent?! Quelle horreur! Juliette Binoche shocks a French village when she opens a chocolate shop in Lasse Hallström’s sweet tale, at first only winning over Johnny Depp, the riverboat-dwelling drifter, before the cacao scents invade noses and hearts of the stuffy villagers. The chocolate shop was fiction but I did have a film deja vu when I discovered Marie Belle’s in Manhattan’s Soho district where the truffels look straight out of the movie and you almost expect Binoche’s delicate face to peak from behind the hot chocolate cups.

Jiro Dreams of Sushi
My list would not be complete without this documentary, a must-see for sushi lovers. President Obama may not have been able to finish his meal with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in this famous basement restaurant in a Tokyo subway station, with its ten seats and three Michelin stars. But anyone watching would have gladly taken the leftovers. “I fell in love with my work and gave my life to it,” Jiro Ono says in the documentary. Jiro is over 90 years old; his son and sous-chef Yoshikazu has been waiting to succeed him. And we may not be able to afford a meal at Sukibashi Jiro but we will get inspired to order something other than California rolls on our next outing to the neighborhood Sushi place after watching this.

Mostly Martha
Never have spaghetti tasted this good: Martina Gedeck plays a headstrong chef who is forced to take care of her  stubborn eight-year-old niece. The girl is difficult to feed and fighting ensues until a charming Italian sous-chef arrives in the kitchen. The ingredients of this delightful German comedy are perfectly chosen and well spiced. The half baked American remake No Reservations, starring Catherine Zeta Jones, cannot hold a salt shaker to the German original.

And yes, there are others…

…like Louis Malle’s My Dinner with Andre, Meryl Streep in Julie & Julia as America’s master cook Julia Child, Helen Mirren’s first outing in a food film The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover, the noodle epic Tampopo, I Am Love, where Tilda Swinton falls for a young chef, Tim Burton’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and its original Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.

And certainly my favorite chef on TV: Monica Geller as played by Courtney Cox on Friends: her recipes for Thanksgiving dinners over nine seasons alone make you want to order an extra serving of turkey and glazed yams.

 

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TWO EMMY NODS FOR GOLDEN GLOBES

emmy photo

Our Emmy nominated hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler

 

This year’s Golden Globes show, hosted by Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, has earned two Emmy nominations.

Produced by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association in association with dick clark productions, it is the fourth consecutive year the Globes have been nominated in the Outstanding Special Class Program.

Adding to the honours this year is a nomination for outstanding writing to a team of writes headed by Barry Adelman, with Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, contributing special material.

HFPA president Theo Kingma said: “Congratulations to everyone involved, particularly Tina and Amy who did so much to make the show the wonderful success it was.  It is a great honor to be recognized for what was indeed an outstanding show and we intend to make next year’s even better.”

 

 

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HFPA MEET THE HONOURABLE MAGGIE GYLLENHAAL

maggie gyllenhaal

Maggie Gyllenhaal as The Honourable Woman

BY ELISABETH SEREDA  

  With her mini series The Honourable Woman about to start airing on the Sundance Channel, Maggie Gyllenhaal talks about the impact the story and the shoot had on her. The HFPA met with the actress during the Sundance Film Festival, when the production was still putting the finishing touches on the seven-parter.

„I really had never worked on anything that I’ve been more excited about in my life, ever. It was heaven. The scripts were phenomenal, like nothing I’d ever read before in my life,” says an exuberant Maggie Gyllenhaal in the downstairs salon of the Stein Eriksen Lodge where the sun is setting behind the snow covered ski slopes of the Wasatch Mountains.

She is dressed in pastel colors, her look more hippie than member of the House of Lords, which she plays in the series. „It’s about a woman who was raised in London and whose father was an Israeli gun runner billionaire. He was killed in front of her and her brother when they were kids. So when they get older they inherit his foundation and decide to subvert what he was doing. Instead of running arms, they lay communication cable, fiber optics for computers and internet between Israel and Palestine. She becomes this really powerful symbol of peace. And she is trying to broker peace in a way that is completely uncompromised.”

The Honourable Woman is a political thriller involving the United States, the UK and other countries, and the story takes on the MI6, the CIA and the FBI. There are kidnappings, rapes and murders. The format of the mini series affords the film makers the luxury of time, and a professionalism Gyllenhaal did not expect: „Usually in television you read an episode, then you get the next episode and they are figuring it out as they go along. In this case we had it all written before it began, and it’s exquisite in the way it is written.,” she says.

“It’s so structured that I could be as wild and unusual as I wanted within that structure, which was heaven because I had a director who was confident enough in the script that he wanted to see how far the character could go. And look, I have never read or played or explored a woman like this before. I never had seven hours.“

Gyllenhaal describes her character, Nessa Stein, as conflicted as the relationship between Israel and Palestine: „That is a backdrop for this woman to explore very similar conflicts in herself. She feels responsible for what her father was doing. He was killing people. She inherited that guilt and those crimes, and she is trying to right them. But it’s not as simple as laying communication cables between countries. This woman feels so much more than I do, but through her I have become more alive. But it’s Greek, the stuff that happens to her. It’s like Medea.”

Maggie Gyllenhaal’s eyes are sparkling and she can hardly contain herself: „This is the first time I am talking about this, so please forgive me. But I’ve been never been anywhere near a project like this one! I am a totally different person for having done it.” She explains: „There is no right way to live, there’s no such thing as an honourable woman. Nessa is figuring this out as she goes deeper into who she is, and I had similar experiences in my life. When I was younger I thought I knew what good was and now in my thirties I see that it’s much more complicated than I ever thought. And sexier and darker and way more interesting!”

She laughs. „I never used to watch TV. But this script was so good. I’m reading this and going, ‘I don’t care if it’s TV or not, it’s really special.’ And my husband (Peter Sarsgard), who did The Killing, pointed out how great it is to be able to go deeper with the character because you have no time constraints.” Gyllenhaal became a believer. And not only as an actor but also as a consumer. She now is an addict of certain TV-series: „I love Girls. I feel like I was those girls. And I like Ray Donovan. Love Downton Abbey, but that’s like crack. And no, I haven’t seen Homeland. I’ve only seen one episode of Scandal. She’s hot,” she says, referring to Kerry Washington.

As a viewer she is hooked; as an actor she hopes to have a future in television: „I drunkenly told Hugo Blick, the director, at the wrap party that I am in work-love with him. In September I am doing the Tom Stoppard play The Real Thing on Broadway with Ewan McGregor, but then I’d like to do a project with Hugo again. I want to do something awesome, because where do you go after an experience like this?!”

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ELI WALLACH – A PASSIONATE ACTOR AND GLOBE NOMINEE

eli-wallach  It was more than half a century ago when the Hollywood Foreign Press Association recognized the chameleon-like acting skills of a newcomer to the big screen. In 1957 the HFPA nominated Eli Wallach for Best Actor Award for his role in Elia Kazan‘s Baby Doll.

Wallach, who has died at the age of 98, was a passionate actor until his last breath. and he proved it at the age of 94 by playing a banker in Oliver Stone’s 2010 sequel Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps.

Eli Herschel Wallach was born on Dec. 7, 1915 in Brooklyn, New York.  He earned a master’s degree in education with the goal of becoming a teacher but began studying acting at a local playhouse.  During World War Two, Wallach served five years in the U.S. Army Medical Corps, eventually achieving the rank of captain.

He made his stage debut in 1946 in a play called Skydrift.

His film credits include The Misfits, Cinderella Liberty, The Good, Bad and the Ugly and The Godfather: Part Three.
He often starred in films opposite his wife, actress Anne Jackson.  His co-stars over the years also included Clark Gable, Marilyn Monroe, Peter O’Toole, Steve McQueen, Yul Brynner, Clint Eastwood, Al Pacino and – in his most recent role – Michael Douglas.

Elmar Biebl

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AN ARAB PALACE RISES IN ISRAEL

tyrant

Some of the Tyrant cast

ELISABETH SEREDA reports on the HFPA’s visit to the set of Tyrant near Tel Aviv.

  Some strawberry fields are not forever. In the town of Kfar Saba, a 45 minute drive north of Tel Aviv, one can find two state-of-the-art sound stages in the middle of the fields and at dusk cast and crew can smell the sweet berries from the outside. Both sound stages have been taken over by the production of Tyrant, a new FX series starting to air this Tuesday, June 24.

Last week the HFPA spent a day on the set. And what a set it was.  Tyrant is a political drama that centers around a ruling family in the Middle East. The country – Abbudin – is fictional but the story of the dictator’s family is loosely based on a number of such dictatorships in that region.

tyrant 2

The receiving area of the palace

The main character is the younger son Bassam ‚Barry’ Al Fayeed (played by Adam Rayner) who, after a turbulent and emotionally scarring childhood, escaped to the US, became a doctor and married the quintessential blonde California girl with whom he has two teenage children. When he is forced to return to his birth country to attend his nephew’s wedding the culture clash is inevitable. Further drama ensues when his father falls ill and Barry is drawn into the national politics that made him leave in the first place. His difficult relationship with his older brother Jamal also complicates things.

Lots of scenes take place in the presidential palace, and on this hot and humid day the open space between the two sound stages was covered so the production could shoot night scenes in the makeshift courtyard.

Rarely do journalists get the opportunity to watch such pivotal dialogue. Without giving too much away – no spoilers here – the scene we saw revolved around the president’s older son Jamal, his wife Leila, a female doctor and a severed penis. Yes, you read correctly. This is cable TV after all.

tyrant 3

Crew members working on one of the magnificent sets

Arab-Israeli actor Ashraf Barhom (Paradise Now, Clash of the Titans, Coriolanus) plays the heir apparent and Moran Atias, who was born and raised in Haifa and has worked and lived in Germany, Italy and now Los Angeles (where she starred in Paul Haggis’ series Crash based on his Academy Award winning film) is his wife.

We also toured one of the most elaborate sets we had ever seen:  art director Ido Dolev showed us what he called “the entire presidential palace, with every room. Like the real thing” And except for the marble staircases and floors and the frescos on the walls everything was in fact real. From the canopy beds that were inviting enough to take a nap in to the rugs and amazing lighting fixtures. “We brought some of those from Marrakech, Morocco where we shot the pilot episode” Ido explained, “The rest we bought at antique stores and flea markets right here in Israel.”

Interestingly even the bathrooms and toilets are functional, with running water and the works. Try to find that on a Hollywood studio lot – you’ll most likely end up on a port-a-potty.

Tyrant did not start out without complications. Originally attached to direct and produce, Academy Award winning Ang Lee dropped out, as did creator and writer/producer Gideon Raff, the Jerusalem born force behind Hatufim (Prisoners of War), the series he then turned into Homeland in the United States. For David Yates, Lee’s replacement (Harry Potter), the change from film to TV did not go as smoothly as expected and then there was the change of location after shooting the pilot in Morocco: the logistics and infrastructure weren’t optimal and neither were the local crews. With the Israeli film industry expanding rapidly, the producers felt they had to move filming here. The irony of building and shooting a story of an Arab country in the middle of Israel is not lost on Moran Atias and Ahraf Barhom: „We really hope that it inspires people to learn more and be more open towards this part of the world“ they say.

FX has ordered ten episodes for the first season and the production is not wasting time: while we watched the interiors the second unit was shooting a street scene in Tel Aviv’s Old Jaffa neighbourhood.

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Cannes Day Six: ACTOR-DIRECTOR DEBUTS, A SCARCITY OF WOMEN AND JUSTIN BIEBER SIGHTINGS

ryan gosling

Ryan Gosling in Cannes

Ryan Gosling presented his directorial debut Lost River, and seemed to have no clue how it was received when he started doing interviews the next morning. Some actors should stick to acting was the general consensus after the screening. The film started off with a promising long scene of a cute little boy and his mother played by Christina Hendricks. Unfortunately the story of the mother who is desperately trying not to lose her house is not holding up well. Gosling became interested in the subject matter when he was shooting The Ides of March in Detroit a few years ago.

Gosling is heavily influenced by David Lynch, Terrence Malick, Harmony Korine and Nicolas Winding Refn but the visual references are over the top. In comparison, Tommy Lee Jones made a much better film with The Homesman which screened over the weekend. Lost River has its moments, especially the beginning and the end of the film. And Gosling will get another chance at directing for sure, even if this one falls short at the box office. He is a star after all and surrounded by people who won’t say no to him. Oh, you want to open a night club? Sure, great idea! You want to write and direct a movie? Go for it! Gosling is no Redford, Beatty, Clooney or even Jones – yet. But give him a chance. He certainly knows how to cast a movie: Hendricks, Bob Mendelson and the Brits Iain De Caesecker and Matt Smith are perfect in their parts. And it is sad that on the Croisette people were more interested in the status of his relationship with Eva Mendes, who plays a small role in the film but didn’t show up for the festival.

This year’s festival selection is a mystery to most of the press, and we hear rumblings from within the jury. If Jane Campion was vocal about the lack of women directors before Cannes even started, imagine how she must feel after having watched so many films without women, objectifying women or depicting women as victims. More and more voices call for festival director Thierry Fremaux to step down, and a changing of the guards is already happening with retiring president Gilles Jacob being succeeded by Pierre Lescure.

In other news: there are Bieber sightings all over town. The troubled boy avoids movie premieres but comes out when night falls and party hops his way around the yachts. Diesel designer Renzo Rossi put up with him one night and the next it was Victoria’s Secret model Adriana Lima who accompanied him at the Port de Cannes. Why is Justin Bieber here? Well, obviously French immigration is more lenient than the US and won’t detain him for hours after his various drug violations.

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Cannes Day Five: THE TIDE TURNS AND THE OLD WHITE MEN LEAVE TOWN

expendables

Tank guys … Dolph Lundgren, Jason Statham, Mel Gibson, Sylvester Stallone and Harrison Ford. Picture: Reuters

BY ELISABETH SEREDA

  Finally the tide turned. After days of disappointing and unwatchable films – remember, by that time last year we’d already seen Inside Llewyn Davis, Nebraska and Fruitvale Station, films that went on to win a slew of awards -  the festival turned a corner Sunday and Monday with the screenings of Cronenberg’s Maps to The Stars and Bennett Miller’s Foxcatcher. The Cronenberg film is a Hollywood satire in the vein of The Player and Mulholland Drive. Or as I like to call it: Entourage for grown-ups. Julianne Moore gives a flawless performance as a disturbed C-list actress, John Cusack is believable as the alternative guru-healer figure. Robert Pattinson, who keeps making very wise career decisions, is brilliant as the limo-driving wannabe actor. Only Mia Wasikowska needs to stop playing 18 year olds.

“What drew me in was the story“ said Moore. “It’s always the story. I don’t just look at my part.“ Which explains the quality of work she has under her belt. Critics call her performance ‘courageous’: “This makes me laugh because I am never afraid of films or parts. I am afraid of skiing!“ Why? “Because I go too fast and am always afraid of losing control.“

She doesn’t think that Hollywood is quite as crazy as depicted in the film but that may just be because she lives in New York. The talented, gorgeous and above all nice actress dazzled Cannes in a variety of beautiful dresses. She wore Calvin Klein to the designer’s fete, grey silk Nina Ricci to our interview and Chanel Haute Couture on the red carpet. “Do you also get no more than two or three hours sleep?“ she asked. The question was rhetorical. Sleep is for another time, another place, another continent.

 Monday’s other premiere was Foxcatcher, the story of Olympic wrestling champion brothers Mark and Dave Schultz and their lethal entanglement with the severly troubled billionaire John DuPont. This is only Bennett Miller’s third film after Capote and Moneyball and like his first two it is an exceptionally intelligent and well made one. Taking time, it seems, pays off big: Foxcatcher got an amazing reception, not only at the premiere but at the press screening in the morning – which is a much better way to gauge success or failure. This film is far from the latter. Steve Carell proves once and for all that he is much more than a comedy star. His John DuPont is a psychologically damaged man. Whoever is responsible for his prothetic nose should win the Oscar for best make up. Channing Tatum surprises with an in debth performance few thought him capable of after popcorn fare like White House Down. And Mark Ruffalo cements his reputation as one of Hollywood’s best character actors. In our interview they talked about the physical and psychological aspects of their roles : “I spent a lot of time with the real Mark, he also was on the set.“ Tatum said. The actor, who’s had a lot of physical roles, finds wrestling to be the most demanding sport: “Of all the martial arts training I have done, wrestling was the hardest.“ Mark Ruffalo smirked at that remark – he didn’t have to train much at all: “Haha, I was a wrestling champion in high school!“ he confessed. Both agree that the typical wrestlers’ outfits are ridivulous: “Yeah! Where did that come from? It kinda looks like a swimsuit for women in the 20ties.“ Both also rave about Bennett Miller’s directing: “He knows exactly what he wants, is very precise and thoughtful.“ Foxcatcher clearly reflects this.

 The best part of the festival as it goes into its second half? The disappearance of the old white men called Expendables (Stallone, Schwarzenegger, Lundgren, Gibson, Ford, Banderas, etc) who rode a tank down the Croisette and celebrated themselves at the worst party of the festival. Gibson and Ford looked like they had swallowed soap and fled the scene early. Gibson had to fly back to New Mexico where he is shooting Blood Father, and Ford preferred the quiet terrace of his hotel.

 It is stunts like these who give Cannes a bad name. (Nightmarish memories of Sacha Baron Cohen riding a camel in front of the Carlton and causing huge traffic jams come to mind) And no one was happier to see the geriatric testosterone leave than the scores of serious international film makers who depend on this festival to get their films recognized, sold and distributed.

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Cannes Day four: MOCKINGJAY CAST PARTY IN STYLE

By ELISABETH SEREDA

Lionsgate's "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1" Photocall - The 67th Annual Cannes Film Festival

Director Francis Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth, Jennifer Lawrence, Sam Claflin and Josh Hutcherson appear at Lionsgate’s “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay photocall at the Majestic Barriere on May 17, 2014 in Cannes, France.

  Cannes is not only a screening marathon, it is above all party central. And this weekend was no exception. It all started with a reception before the premiere of The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby, where the cast including James McAvoy and Jessica Chastain and their guests mingled atop the JW Marriott with a great view of the ocean. The stars then headed over to the red carpet.  Since there wasn’t really time to eat many people boarded the shuttle to a private villa on Cap d’Antibes hungry, to attend – fittingly the mega party for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay. The mansion, surrounded by acres of gardens and terraces that lead all the way down to the ocean, is owned by a Russian oligarch who has just put it on the market for the bargain price of 150 million. Euros, not dollars. This, too, is Cannes.
Under a huge tent Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth and Donald Sutherland along with their director Francis Lawrence enjoyed Penne Foie Gras, Asparagus Risotto and a french version of Chili con carne that tasted a bit like Goulash. The DJ seemed unsure of the guests’ taste and strangely mixed Whitney Houston with Bonnie M and House music.
Julianne Moore, in town for David Cronenberg’s Maps To The Stars, stunned in emerald green Lanvin and patiently posed for smartphone pictures with Japanese businessmen.
Extras dressed as Hunger Games characters roamed the place to give it even more color. And the weirdest sighting of the evening was without a doubt Wesley Snipes, clad from head to toe in white linen. He was the most stared at, prompting one guest to ask : “When did he get out?“ Presumably he meant out of jail which the actor called home for a while for tax evasion. He must have finished his term in time to shoot Expendables 3, the film that he is promoting today.
The Hunger Games party’s biggest competition was the Vanity Fair bash a few minutes away at the Eden Roc. Anyone and everyone with a name or reputation crowded the place. Or – as one actor who prefers to stay anonymous put it: “The usual total clusterfuck.“
Many fled to the bar at the Hotel Du Cap, just a short walk up the hill, around three a.m. When in Cannes this is where all of the same Hollywood people who see each other in L.A. all the time, congregate to see each other again and talk about the same topics. It is also the best place to relax after a long day or a long party night like this one. With incredible service (and incredible prices) The Hotel du cap is just close enough to Cannes to still be part of the festival and just far enough away provide an atmosphere of calm. It is the place where stars can kick off their shoes, have a smoke and enjoy their drinks while possibly even making deals and connections with the scores of industry people who can afford to stay there, too.

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