Friday, May 29, 2009

Four For Friday

I had not planned on doing this, and in some recess of my mind had forgotten I had even written this, but someone asked me this week about Cannes and the long blind item I had written about Cannes. I wrote it almost two years ago which made me realize how long I have been writing this blog. The time has just flown by. Anyway, with Cannes just finishing, I thought this would be the perfect time to revisit this wild item. I have included the link in case you want to see what the original guesses were.

CR Goes AWOL

August 14, 2007

As you can probably tell from some of the other long blind items, much of my early legal career consisted of being a highly paid gofer or fix it person. It's not like I was the only one, there were several of us who when we were not wading through thousands upon thousands of discovery documents were assigned to make sure so and so got to court or to his deposition or went to homes to pick up legal documents and made sure they were signed. And when I mean signed, I mean signed by the actual party that was supposed to sign them and not someone's housekeeper because the actual party had been on a 72 hour coke binge and couldn't even hold a pen. This is the weirdest one of the getting someone sober incidents I have been involved in, but they happen everyday. Everyday. There is no difference between regular folks and celebrity folks except that when celebrity folks get trashed out of their minds they are often responsible for hundreds of jobs and there are millions of dollars involved.

Big film festivals were part of the daily grunt work. At a film festival, especially an international one, deals are done for new films and international distribution agreements are also hammered out. Usually these deals are done in a more intricate game of swapping then the guy who traded up from a paperclip to a house.

Whenever there are deals to be done there are attorneys, managers, agents, and the people to make sure all the copies are done. I suppose it would be less expensive for a minimum wage college kid to do it, but if I did it, then you could charge somebody $400 an hour. Remember film accounting.

So a few years ago, I along with my fellow brethren were sitting in Cannes. Ahh, movie stars, photo calls and big hotels. Well when you think of me at Cannes you have to imagine two guys, and sometimes three in a room designed for one very small individual. Added to the fact that I'm 400 pounds and sweat profusely when there is no a/c and you can see why my peers weren't too thrilled to be sharing a room with me. Did I mention I have IBS? OK, I don't, but that would have added to their fun no doubt.

So anyway, there is going to be huge movie debuting at Cannes with lots of stars and one hugely popular director. Not as popular in the States, but you know those French. They love this guy. The director has been away scouting locations in Poland for an upcoming film but was due into Cannes three days previously. No one knows exactly where in Poland he is, and the powers that be are getting anxious. Very anxious. As in anxious that millions of dollars could be pissed away because the whacked out hack of a director can't be found. (Earlier in the week he was the creative visionary who was eccentric)

One star of the film who has worked with CR before has been summoned to try and find the director but either she (former A list actress and hottie) doesn't know or isn't saying. At this point someone remembers that said star and I have known each other for awhile and that maybe she will tell me what she won't reveal to anyone else. Yes, I know her, but one forced six hour plane ride years previously is not the same as coming over for some 400 pound loving. She doesn't know.




Then one night, the director's long time assistant calls and says that the director is holed up in Krakow and has fallen in love. He doesn't want to leave and has decided to stay there. So, because of my two degree of separation which doesn't even exist I am sent to Krakow to meet up with the assistant and get the director to Cannes.

Well getting from Cannes isn't that easy. Of course I don't get a private jet. What I get is a 3 connection flight from Nice that gets me into Krakow at 3am. What was nice early summer weather in Cannes is actually some freezing late spring weather in Krakow and the assistant doesn't meet me at the dinky (sorry Krakow) airport and so I'm forced to find a place to crash.

When I call the assistant the next morning he apologizes for not coming to pick me up, but had been thrown in jail the night before for getting into a fight at a bar. When he picks me up in the early afternoon the swollen lip and missing tooth are a nice touch.

So, as we make our way to the new home of CR, the assistant filled me in on what happened. It seems that the director went to a bar in Krakow which was designed basically to remove as much money from a patron's pocket as possible while getting the patron drunk. Topless bartenders and waitresses sit down with the patron and get them to buy $25 drinks which allows the patron to spend time with the topless worker. Our director doesn't speak any Polish and his worker didn't speak any English, but somehow the director was convinced they were in love. The fact that that the director dropped several thousand dollars in one night probably didn't hurt in his quest for her love either. It certainly isn't his ravishing good looks.

Well, we get to the tiny apartment and the first thing that assaults me is the smell of sweat and stale urine. I also see the new girlfriend tapping a vein in her arm in preparation for her visit to H land. Turns out she had used some of the CR windfall to go on a major H bender. I want to make it clear that I didn't see CR using H or have any reason to suspect he did or does. I will say that he was a mess though. He was always a frenetic, frantic person but was at this point in some type of lets say drunken haze.

I told him basically that people were worried about him and then in my legalese told him that he had certain obligations and responsibilities which he needed to fulfill in order to avoid any possible consequences in the future..blah blah blah. It was a bunch of crap, but thought I would give it a shot. He started blathering and I do mean blathering which was babbling and drooling and spitting as he spoke about his new vision for a Polish cinema and how he was inspired and a whole bunch of other crap which made no sense. He mentioned that his H shooting friend and he were going to get married and become a great team. His future wife didn't look like she was going to make it through the week, let alone be a part of this great film making team.

He said that no one he had spoken to was familiar with his work and that he wanted to start a film festival there to show his works and those of other similar directors. I don't know where he got all this from because sitting in that very tiny apartment was a medium size television with a DVD player and about 30 DVD's at least one of which was a film by him. This guy was in seriously bad shape and because I didn't know him and didn't know if this was normal behavior when he got wasted I didn't know if he was going to die on me or be perfectly sober in a few hours. His assistant said he hadn't seen CR like this before but thought it was because they had been drinking homemade vodka and not store bought. Whatever. I could already see that there were no drugs involved, and that it was going to be some bad vodka he ingested while scouting for his latest film. Well that's what the story would be if something got out.

The problem I faced was how to get him out. He wasn't going to go if I said we needed to go to Cannes and there was no way I could carry him and I still didn't know if he was too sick to travel or what. What I suggested was that we go out for food and let his girlfriend have some time for herself as I looked at her sitting in a chair with these absolutely vacant eyes.

CR looked at the girl and I guess decided he was hungry and so we helped him up and out of the apartment with all of us ignoring the lovely urine stain on CR's pants. When we got outside, I swear there has never been a breath I have enjoyed taking more. I can still remember it vividly.

CR was basically compliant and we walked down the street for a good ways until we came to the central square and found a place with some heat lamps and ate outside. At first CR wouldn't eat anything but as we stayed there for several hours, CR began to eat and to regain some of his regular traits. Basically the three of us sat there people watching for the entire time although the assistant and I would make comments about some of the people and eventually even CR joined in. He still blathered, but it was more babbling, then blather and I knew that if I could keep him away from his "girlfriend's" place that I could get him to Cannes.

We started talking about his film that was going to be at Cannes at I got him to talk about it and try and remember what he loved about it and how people loved him in France and just became a bigger kiss ass than Larry King could ever dream to be.

At some point, I went to find a phone. (Yes, no cell) I made a call to Cannes and it turns out they already had a jet ready and waiting for CR at Krakow airport to bring him to Cannes. I explained the situation and they said they would handle it once I got him on the plane. When I got back to the pair, I suggested a taxi ride to see the city and CR agreed and the next thing you know, we are at the dinky airport and he basically just let his assistant guide him to the plane. I actually freaked out at one point about CR's passport, but the assistant had it in the backpack he had been carrying and had never let go of even when he had been arrested the night before. He said the police never bothered to search it or take it from him.

So the two got on the plane, and I got to go back to LA with not even a thank you and not even in Business Class, the cheap bastards. The film went on to be one of the highest grossing films of the year.

63 comments:

MontanaMarriott said...

Hmm Roman Polanksi?

Mooshki said...

This was one of my favorites. :)

kris said...

Wow...I forgot about this one...

MontanaMarriott said...

They also stated back then SOderbergh for Traffic, hottie actress CZ Jones
Or
Paul Vorhoeven, hottie actress Sharon Stone
Tarantino hottie actress Uma Thurman

Pookie said...

oooooooh, i remember this from my lurking days...my answer is the same as it was then. idt it's an american, i think this is spanish director, pedro almodovar. he's a major cannes darling and is known to be a freak w/ wild hair whims at the drop of a hat.

Nutty_Flavor said...

Not Polanski - this director didn't speak Polish.

Nutty_Flavor said...

Why does Enty refer to the director as "CR"?

emailchallenged said...

i also thought of polanski too, but he's polish, so if he didn't speak his own tounge....other than that im stumped

robert said...

If it was Pedro Almodovar it'd have had to of been Volver and maybe Penelope Cruz but it only did 13 mil in the US (85 mil total) so no where near highest gross.

The bold is I love to get to write that combo of words.

figgy said...

Try this combo of words, Robert: "it'd have had to HAVE been," that might work better.

Almodovar is gay, so it's not him.

robert said...

Yeah, tx.

Also, I'm little r, the big R guy still comes around.

jax said...

damn this is old! i think i guessed Quentin and Uma for this back then.

oh the good old days before i peeked behind the curtain lol.

SkittleKitty said...

But Pedro's gay, isn't he?

Also, this clearly happened a good while ago in his career, I would say as much as 10 years.

I like Oliver Stone, but cannot find a film to coincide. According to IMDB, he speaks French fluently.

Jen said...

Oliver Stone, Meg Ryan, The Doors movie?

whole_lotto _luv said...

I liked the Woody Allen guess in the older posts, but per imdb he married Soon-yi in 1997, and it seems like anything before that predates the boatload of DVDs.

I think Lars von Trier would be crazy enough for it to be him, but Cannes hates him per the Huffington Post. Plus, I don't think his films are commercially successful.

I guess I'm on the Tarantino train.

faithy said...

This is just a guess....

I want to say the director is Mel Gibson. Not sure who the actress is. Here is my logic:

Blind was posted in 2007. Enty says it was Cannes "a few years ago" which would be 2004. The Passion of the Christ was from that year. I found the fact that it is the highest grossing non-English language film (in the US).

robert said...

He is goofy looking and too big to carry.

robert said...

err, Tarantino/

A Pimp Named DaveR said...

Here's what bugs me about the Tarantino guess -- for what project would he have been scouting in Poland? Assuming the Cannes film in question is Pulp Fiction -- didn't he basically know he was doing Jackie Brown next at that time? And there's no way that Jackie Brown would have ever been shot in Poland -- it's an LA film through and through.

Throwing out a couple of names that weren't mentioned either here or in the original:

-- Baz Lurhman? (Moulin Rouge was at Cannes 2001)

-- Joel or Ethan Coen? (O Brother Where Art Thou? at Cannes 2000)

TinselSass said...

Fantastic. And Enty, you are a fascinating storyteller. Thank you for sharing.

Will this answer be shared on REVEAL day?! Pretty Please!

budford said...

Mel Gibson? Maybe this new gf is the one in the story.

Berlin Brunching said...

Ok, first time commenting here but I think there are two important clues

1. DVDs - this must be post DVD introduction i.e. post late 90's at the earliest

2. Enty mentions having to find a phone and says 'yes, no cell'. Now I've got to assume that he did possess a cellphone by the late 1990s, and that it functioned in Cannes but not in Krakow. Europe at that time operated a common to a common digital cellphone standard, GSM, so I assume that this all happened before this system was available in Poland, when Polish cellphone networks still operated an analogue system. According to the 'Orange Polska'(leading polish cellphone provider) wikipedia page, the switchover to a digital GSM system in Poland happened in 2001. Therefore I would suggest that this event did not take place any later than 2001, most likely 2000 or 1999

busybee said...

quentin tarantino and the high grossing movie, was Kill Bill

marie said...

i would say abel ferrara, except for the mention of the film being one of the highest grossing films of the year - i don't know if he ever was a commercial director.
i'm french, and he's considered to be really talented here. and he came to cannes several times (i remember when he was there for the black out, with beatrice dalle, both completely wasted the whole time).

Lisa (original) said...

Enty dahling, promise me that some day you'll write your memoirs; you can name names in those, non?

Regardless, you must write them!

bionic bunny! said...

i remember this blind! i even remember the guesses without peeking!

jbdean_79 said...
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jbdean_79 said...
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Michelle said...

I'm going with James Cameron. His film was submitted in 1993 Ghosts of the Abyss to Cannes, however, was left out of competetion. Titanic is #1 grossing movie 1997 and he is Canadian, thus "the french love him" reference.

yeahwhatever said...

Don't think it's James Cameron for a couple reasons. Many French people actually look down on Canadians - LOL, they look down on everyone, tho. Also, Titanic was one of the highest grossing films of all time, not just that year, right? Enty likely would have mentioned that and not phrased it "one of the highest grossing films of the YEAR."

Still scratching my head on this one...

Katja said...

Chris Columbus?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chris_Columbus_(filmmaker)

shakey said...

Chris Columbus directed The Goonies, so wouldn't Ent have known him from before, if the legend is correct?

James Cameron directed the Terminator movies. Hugely commercial director. Not him. Not eccentric - just an egotistical bastard.

I really don't have a guess, but I'm impressed with Berlin Brunching's detective work.

yeahwhatever - really re Canadians? Regular Canadians or French Canadians? In general, Qu├ębecois don't like the French, which has always baffled me. I think it's because the French spoken here is closer to the language spoken 400 years ago than the evolved French in France.

monalisa999 said...

Andrew Adamson. The Chronicles of Narnia (2005) was also filmed in Poland. Wow, stuff you would never know about people until you read it first hand from the source. What a truly gifted and bizarre man.

monalisa999 said...

Enty, I mean the director is gifted and bizarre, not the source. LOL! Happy weekend! :D

monalisa999 said...

Good grief, I mean you are not bizarre, Enty...sigh...

Katja said...

I forgot about the Goonies..

ok this link has the answer in it
http://www.movieweb.com/movies/boxoffice/alltime.php
it just needs to be found. It is the list of all time top grossing 1000 films.

Katja said...

Terry Gilliam=

The Meaning of Life debuted at Cannes in 1983, where it was well received and awarded the Grand Prize of the Jury. Gilliam, a commodity in affiliation with The Meaning of Life and financially with Time Bandits, was approached with interest by Universal Studios. The correspondence would result in a contract for his most ambitious film.

How old are we taking enty for? (Whichever Enty this is anyway).

Emily said...

Andrew Adamson seems pretty normal in interviews on YouTube. Bookish and a writer. I highly doubt it's him.

Whoever this is is someone really 'out there' and clearly someone who has a questionable lifestyle. I mean, there was already a PR plan in the works. This wasn't the first time that his people have had to do some damage control. To quote Enty: "He was always a frenetic, frantic person but was at this point in some type of lets say drunken haze."

I also got stuck on the assistant having a backpack. What assistant carries a backpack? That suggests, to me, that it can't be someone too mired in Hollywood-land. It's also someone who travels with one assistant and not an entourage.

Maybe Tim Burton? Planet of the Apes came out in 2002 and was very high-grossing. He was between marriages at the time, too. But did Apes debut at Cannes?

B626 said...

Tarantino-
'It certainly isn't his ravishing good looks'

Solomon Grundy said...

David Lynch's Inland Empire was shot in Poland, and he's wackadoodle enough for the rest to fit. But Mulholland Drive wasn't "one of the highest grossing films of the year."

Tim Burton's followup to Planet of the Apes was that stupid movie Big Fish, entirely set and shot in the deep south, so there's no reason he'd be scouting locations in Poland.

I think the Poland filming location would be an easier way to find the right director. How many films could have been shot in Poland in that period? By directors with one and only one previous blockbuster?

UNLESS the director were so burnt by his Polish tryst that he then changed filming location.

Solomon Grundy said...

Tarantino had already done Pulp Fiction, which was a huge hit in the U.S. I don't think he'd qualify as "not as popular in the States."

Soderbergh works, EXCEPT that Ocean's Eleven was filmed entirely in the U.S. Even his next big movie, Solaris, was filmed entirely in the U.S. It's not until Ocean's Twelve that he films in exotic locations. But that wouldn't have been greenlit til after the success of Ocean's Eleven, which happened after he had directed the blockbusters Erin Brockavich and Traffic. So, I think Soderberg is disqualified unless he was initially considering filming Ocean's Eleven in Poland but changed his mind.

Solomon Grundy said...

Also, Tarantino's followup to his blockbuster Kill Bill was DeathProof, filmed entirely in the States, released 3 years later.

Kill Bill 2 was shot at the same time as the first one.

Solomon Grundy said...

Andrew Adamson makes no sense, because all he directs are two family-oriented blockbuster franchises (Shrek, Narnia).

Argh this blind is killing me.

monalisa999 said...

He was at Cannes in 2004, where Shrek 2 was being spotlighted in the competition that year. The following year, Narnia was released that was also filmed in Poland. In 2004, the director in question was scouting locations in Poland. Shrek 2 went on to become one of the top grossing films that same year Shrek 2 was at Cannes. That may not make a lot of sense to you, unless you read the details of the blind. Even if it's the wrong answer, it more than makes sense.

Jeje84 said...

100% David Lynch... his film Inland Empire had a Polish storyline to it. I am certain of this blind item, for the first time ever!!!

Jeje84 said...

And the French adore him...

selenakyle said...

This is way late, but I remember Soderbergh and Lynch being the top picks at the time. Lynch is one I'd consider weird, no doubt, but no idea about Soderbergh.

libby said...

monalisa, I like your reasoning.

But it COULD BE Tarantino. "Inglorious Basterds" was filmed in Poland, and just because it wasn't his very next movie after "Kill Bill," he might have started looking for a location back then.

libby said...

Oops...I found this at the bottom of David Lynch's imbd bio:

Where are they now?
(May 2004) Lodz, Poland. Discussing his plans for building post production film studio in an old factory on Targowa street

Ding ding ding!

monalisa999 said...

Aha! :) (So much for reasoning...lol!)

Chatty said...

I kind of like the Tim Burton guess.....

Also, don't forget guys that just because he was SCOUTING in Poland that means he shot his next film in Poland. The film easily could have been postponed, allowing for another project between OR the film could have been scrapped, it happens all the time. Of course, he also could have changed locations- point being that "scouting" does not equal "filming"

Solomon Grundy said...

Monalisa: I already noticed all those facts, HOWEVER it cannot be Aronson, because of the proviso that the Cannes-debuting film was the director's first U.S. blockbuster. Shrek was already a mega-huge franchise.

Jeje and Libby: I already said David Lynch almost fits, EXCEPT that he never had a blockbuster debuting at Cannes. Mulholland Drive? Ich don't think so.

And as far as Tarantino, I like the idea of shitty Inglorious Bastards being the film he was scouting. BUT (big but), Pulp Fiction had already made him an American megastar director. That doesn't really fit the proviso that until the Cannes-debuting blockbuster he had been much more popular in France than in the States.

I think that unfortunately Chatty might be right that the film didn't end up getting shot in Poland. Which makes the blind that much harder to decipher.

Charlo said...

Longtime lurker, first time poster: My money is definitely on David Lynch!

iatiad said...

Hm, my first thought was Luc Besson, the film in Cannes would be 'The fifth Element' in 1997 and if I remember correctly his next film with Milla Jovovich about Joan of Arc was filmed in Poland.

Emily said...

More problems with the David Lynch guess:

(1) Here are a couple of photos of him at Cannes and he looks fine, especially in the first where you can clearly see his eyes, skin, and hair, and he looks perfectly fine and no like someone who was drinking and not eating for a few days prior:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:David_Lynch_-microphone_-10Aug2007-2p.jpg

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Mulholland_drive(lynch)--.jpg

(2) According to boxofficemojo, Mulholland Drive was 137th in box office ratings in 2001 in the US. If it made only $7 million domestically and $12 million internationally, that's still pretty bad. Plus, it only made $5 million more than it cost to make -- by any definition, a box office crapper.

(3) Who would the now-former A-list actress have been? I can only think it would have been Isabella Rossellini, whose looks would be better described as "beautiful" than "hottie." And is she A-list? (She's Ingrid Bergman's daughter, but still...)

Emily said...

Ooooh, iatiad! Luc Besson is a great guess!

Fifth Element made a boatload of money, with a greater share abroad than domestically; he's French, so that explains why the French would love him; parts of "The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc" appear to have been filmed in Czech Republic (next to Poland) and it would make sense if Poland was dropped as a potential location for more than just the bad experience -- by that I mean, the assistant was probably barred from returning to the country and I doubt his 'longtime' status would have been ended just for the sake of a movie.)

That premiere would have been a big deal since Bruce Willis was in the movie. And 'hottie' would accurately describe Milla Jovovich (who became his wife sometime later that year or the next), although I don't know about "A-list" would (at that time? prior to then?). According to Wikipedia, she was in Return to the Blue Lagoon in 2001 - which is six years earlier and would explain why Enty might have been on a plane-ride with her.

Still ... Besson doesn't look too thrashed in a pic from Cannes 1997, though I doubt anyone was looking at him given what she was (wasn't) wearing.

:-)

Also, Besson's La Femme Nikita, which is about a heroin addict, might have been a movie on DVD that a heroin addict would have in her home in 1997, too.

One more thing: Why would Enty have re-posted -- with links to the original guesses -- this if it had originally been answered correctly. There would be no point... so that further eliminates David Lynch from "contention."

Solomon Grundy said...

Emily and Iatiad: Brilliant! But at the same time sad, because I love that teddy bear Besson.

The only way it makes sense to call Milla Jovovich a "(former A list actress and hottie)" is if the information in the parentheses is from the perspective of today, not 1997. After all, she did used to have her own private hit franchise (though surely she'd be more B+ list...?).

The Milla A list thing is my only hesitation. Otherwise, this is the first guess that really fits. Also, the bizarrely romantic/needy disposition of the director fits, since he "falls in love with" every hot woman he casts in a movie.

SittingPat said...

Mike Leigh. 1996 Golden Palm award at Cannes for "Secrets & Lies." Definitely eccentric. Don't know what he would have supposedly been scouting in Poland but it doesn't say that he actually filmed there. Leigh's father was Russian so he might have found the east an irrestible appeal.

Uncle Scoopy said...

Besson sounds like a winner. The story fits his adolescent psychology. The Fifth Element premier was a big deal and Fifth Element was a good grosser. His next movie, that ridiculous thing with Joan of Arc as a valley girl, probably involved scouting some Polish locations. It ended up being filmed in the Czech Republic.

I suppose Milla was the hottie, although A-list is debatable.

Diggity said...

Tim Burton makes no sense.

Beetlejuice
Edward Sissorhands
BATMAN!
Pee Wee

All before 1990

Thumper said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Thumper said...

luc besson is a great guess - fifth element was screened out of comp at cannes in 1997 and its worldwide box office was huge - milla being "a list" not so much in films but yes in terms of supermodel status

Katja said...

today June 4
Musician Oksana Grigorieva, Mel Gibson's pregnant girlfriend....