Wednesday, January 31, 2018

A quick update: Interviewing Timothee Chalamet, Ziad Doueiri, and CMBYN...again


One of the greatest gifts that come with writing my annual Foreign Film piece for Awards Daily has been the opportunity to interview the directors nominated in the category. It's always an interesting adventure navigating the process through various day jobs over the years, and this year has already been a scheduling challenge, to say the least. First world problems, I know.

I have also managed, every so often to interview actors and directors and such from the US as well. My first was Patricia Clarkson, followed a few years later by Daniel Radcliffe and Dane DeHaan, director Jon Krokidas and screenwriter Austin Bunn for "Kill Your Darlings." Julie Delpy from "Before Midnight" and even Pharrell when he was up for a nomination for the first "Despicable Me."

Yesterday I landed an interview that I've been hoping for for months, and that is with Elio himself-- Timothee Chalamet. Still no word on whether or not I'll get to speak with Peter Spears, one of the producers of "Call Me By Your Name." We'll have to see, I guess.

One of the challenges will be asking something original. These folks have been on the circuit for months and for Chalamet, a year. I think as long as I focus on the craft, I'll be fine. Also...this isn't for a traditional review of the film. As I have mentioned this is for an Awards Daily piece on Queer Cinema...particularly my experience over the years. It should be an enlightening read if I allow myself to get personal. Something tells me I will.

So far I have only scheduled Timothee and Ziad Doueiri, the director of "The Insult." "The Insult," Lebanon's entry in the foreign film category is one of the films considered to have knocked out frontrunners "In the Fade" and "Foxtrot." I haven't seen the latter, but I have to say that "The Insult" certainly earned its spot over "In the Fade" despite an incredible leading performance by Diane Kruger.

More on "The Insult" later.

Tonight, I have decided to see "Call Me By Your Name" in the theater for a 4th time. I know my readers come from all over, in various disciplines...some friends who appease me by reading my work, some movie fanatics like myself, and other Oscar watchers who simply can't get enough of this wild and crazy ride. Some of you may not grasp why I would do this. Particularly when I have a screener and could simply watch it in the comfort of my home on my 55" screen.

The last time I saw a movie this many times was "Black Swan." I think I capped that one off at 4 as well. Even last year I only saw "La La Land" two times and "Moonlight" only once. That being said last year I was a bit more behind than I am this year. And as much as I loved both of those films, in retrospect they can't compare to both "Black Swan" or "Call Me By Your Name." I declared "La La Land" my favorite film since "Black Swan," and that very well may still be true. Who knows. This summer I hope to revisit some of the films I've declared, "the best" to see where they stand outside of the Oscars/end of the year insanity.

Over the years other movies have gotten me into the theater multiple times. The first was "Bugsy," back in the early 90s. Then "Pulp Fiction." Over the late 90s I can't think of many others...not until around 2000 when I saw "Billy Elliot" 4 times and then "A Walk to Remember."

When a film affects me the way these have, I need to experience them on the big screen, the way they were intended. Tonight may be the last time that I see "Call Me By Your Name" in the theater. And I want to cherish that. I love the art of cinema. It has saved me time and time again.

Later today we will have the Dorian Awards announcement which is very exciting!! Look for that around 1:00PM CST.


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