My First Time: Last Night At Beauty & Essex

Beauty & Essex is one of those places that fell into my social cracks. Believe me; there are many of those and other categories of cracks and, yes, I’m starting to see wrinkles around my eyes. My birthday (Feb. 2nd) is coming up and, well, it’s just starting out to be one of those days. Probably because it was just one of those nights. Anyway, before last night, I had never been to Beauty & Essex. I’ll let the "what kind of nightlife writer do you pretend to be?” lines get out of the way and just say… "it happens.”

Chris Santos, the owner/operator, has invited me a zillion times, and I adore him and respect the brand a lot but…it happens. So last night, I finally went to Beauty & Essex, and it was for bon vivant and scallywag Dave Delzio’s birthday bash. He was there – a hundred familiar people told me – but, alas, I couldn’t find him for an hour. As I was leaving, I finally spotted the rock and roll-club promoter. Dave showed me his new neck tattoos and I asked him a few questions about growing up.

How old are you and what do you have to be most proud of on this day?
I’m 38 and I’m dating the most beautiful girl in the world and I couldn’t be happier?

Why do this party at Beauty & Essex?
Chris Santos is my best friend and it always feels like home here

What do you want to be when you grow up?
You !!

One of the attendees at Dave’s birthday bash was the charming and disarming El (Lindsay) Grace, a beautiful, fresh, up-and-coming model/photographer. Her band, El Grace, will be performing its new age, ambient, psych folk offerings at The Delancey this coming Monday at 10pm. She will be celebrating her birthday at the gig. I would be there but I’m DJing at the new Passenger Bar for Sailor Jerry’s Birthday. Unfortunately, Sailor Jerry will be a for sure no-show.

Speaking of, Charlie Sheen was a no-show at the New York screening after-party for A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III at Hotel Chantelle. Still, there were plenty of celebrities to gawk at from Chantelle’s roof. I arrived as it was winding down; the staff was abuzz about the likes of Swan III director Roman Coppola’s clan which included Francis Ford Coppola, Sophia Coppola, Eleanor Copolla, Jason Scwartzman, Sean Lennon, Anna Sui, Fred Armisen, Alan Cumming, Tennessee Thomas, Alexa Chung, and someone said Bill Murray attended as well. 

Note: today is Pat Benatar’s birthday…she’s 60! And I’ll be honoring her in my set tonight at Hotel Chantelle.

That’s Quite A Cast There, ‘Grand Budapest Hotel’

So, today we learned a lot of new things about Wes Anderson’s early-20th-century European romp, The Grand Budapest Hotel, which now has a distributor (Anderson fans Fox Searchlight) and something of a plot. In addition to IMDb’s lone sentence about the tribulations of Mr. Gustave, "the hotel’s perfectly-composed concierge," Screen Daily has a bit more substantial information. 

 

"The Grand Budapest Hotel tells of a legendary concierge at a famous European hotel between the wars and his friendship with a young employee who becomes his trusted protégé. The story involves the theft and recovery of a priceless Renaissance painting, the battle for an enormous family fortune and the slow and then sudden upheavals that transformed Europe during the first half of the 20th century."

Wartime friendships? A dysfunctional family? Curious protégés of crazy rich white dudes? Stolen art? Did I mention a dysfunctional family? This is sounding pretty Wes-tacular. But even more characteristically Wes Anderson is the cast, which includes all his favorite pals, and a lot of other marquee names that will probably make this post read like it was done just for SEO purposes.

Returning Anderson-movie alumni include Bill Murray, Tilda Swinton, Adrien Brody, Owen Wilson Jason Schwartzman, Edward Norton, Harvey Keitel, Jeff Goldblum and Willem Dafoe, as well as (deep breath) Jude Law, Ralph Fiennes, Tom Wilkinson, Bob Balaban, Saoirse Ronan, Mathieu Amalric, F. Murray Abraham and Tony Revolori. Whew. That’s a lot of people. That’s, like, more than are going to fit on one movie poster. Is there going to be some kind of Hunger Games to determine who gets marquee billing or are they going to try and fit everyone? Wow.

[via Indiewire]

It May Be Oscar Time But There Are Plenty of Other Films Playing Around NYC This Weekend

It’s safe to say we’re all pretty much over the Oscars, right? I mean sure, we can watch all of the beautiful people waltz down the red carpet for the dénouement of luxurious award season and enjoy seeing some our favorite and most talented stars feign modesty, but we all know who is going to win—and I’m not sure I feel like subjecting myself to the risk of watching Anne Hathaway say "blerg" again. So, because you’ve probably seen most of the year’s Academy picks—especially now that Lincoln, The Master, Amour, Beasts of the Southern Wild, etc have gotten an extend theatrical run—why not take this weekend to explore something new? From Hal Ashby’s dark-humored existentialist love story to Roman Coppola’s latest aesthetically-pleasing whimsical look at the troubles of love and all the cinema goodness in between, I’ve compiled a list of the best films to see around New York this weekend. Enjoy.

 

Nitehawk Cinema

Santa Sangre
Oscar Animated Shorts
Oscar Live Action Shorts
Lady Terminator

Film Society Lincoln Center

Like Someone in Love
11 Flowers
In the Fog
Dormant Beauty

Museum of the Moving Image

In Another Country
Compensation
Bless Their Little Hearts
Molly’s Theory of Relativity

 

Angelika Film Center

A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III
No
Barbara
Lore

 

IFC Center

Harold and Maude
Holy Motors
Jaws
Young Mr. Lincoln

 

Anthology Film Archives

Two for the Road
The Triumph of Will
Dark Waters
Rituals in the Avant-Garde PGM: 7 Butoh on Film

 

Videology

Flashdance
Compliance

Sitting Down For a Glimpse Inside the Minds of Roman Coppola and Jason Schwartzman

The connection between a director and his leading actors is always unique. It requires a kind of understanding and symbiosis, or perhaps a general distain for one another that could illuminate something in performance. But for Roman Coppola, the talented writer, director, and producer, he likes to keep things close to home. It’s one thing to have had a boyhood friendship with your star, it’s another to have spent your early adolescence together in the Philippines watching your father’s make one of the most infamous and beloved films of the last century, Apocalypse Now

And premiering this week, from the overflowing psyche of Roman Coppola, comes his first directorial effort in a decade with A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III, the deliciously entertaining film starring Charlie Sheen in a performance we haven’t seen him give in years. Perfectly suited for the part, Sheen takes on Charles with charisma, pizzazz, and just enough remorse for his fatal flaws to make you empathetic to his existential and romantic dilemmas. Tailored for the role like one of his many velvet suits, a more composed and endearing Sheen plays alongside the always lovable and brilliant Jason Schwartzman, making for an unlikely duo.

Set in 1970s Los Angeles, Charles Swan plays like a pop art wet dream. It’s filled with ephemera from the time and an aesthetic quality that makes you fall in love with the vibrancy of color and the personalities that made it come alive. The main focus of the film is on Charles as we gain an eccentric and fantastical look at a man whose life begins to unravel when the woman he loves leaves him. Charles copes by letting his mind wander off into elaborate fantasies as the film takes you on a ride through his unconscious, encompassing brief genre moments from old school western to spy thriller. The true question of the film is, "Is it possible to love and hate someone at the same time."

Last month, I got the chance to sit down with Coppola and Schwartzman to talk about the pleasure of working together, the creation of Charles, and the exploratory nature of filmmaking.

So I really enjoyed the film, I thought it was really fun and entertaining.
Roman Coppola: Oh good, I’m so glad you thought that. It was intended to be that way so hopefully people will see it that way.

Why did you decide to tell the story of this man Charles?
RC: I’ve got to get my head screwed on. I don’t want to just give a rogue answer here.

Was there something specifically that inspired the film, a breakup?
RC: A couple things. I did experience a breakup and got into a very loopy mode where I was talking with my friends—Jason and people I’m close to. You start to ask these questions and the whole, I still love her and want her back. No! I hate her. And you’re very dazzled and confused and on one hand you’re still connected, then you’re pushing away. In my experience, you reach out to people that you’re close to—my sister, Jason, pals—so just that feeling of processing and examining the relationship and going back in time and rehashing things. So anyway, there was that real occurrence.I thought it would be interesting to do a portrait of a character but also a portrait of a relationship told in a fractured way, I thought that was neat. And then I was also eager to do a character study based on someone who was very dynamic and outgoing and has a lot of pizazz. I’m a fan of certain movies like All that Jazz and whatnot, so I thought it would be fun. It’s personal and I relate to it, but it’s sort of a fantasy. So I asked myself, If I could have any car, what would I drive? Well, it would be a 1941 fast-back. If I could have any pet it would be a toucan. You sort of do a fantasy projection and it’s also stacked in writing—imagining things—but there was a starting point from my own tastes and interests that I started to build this far out character. I feel like I’m not giving a very clear answer.
Jason Schwartzman: Oh no, it’s pretty good! I’m still here like fuck…

And did you write Jason’s character for him?
RC: Definitely. Well, Jason was a person in my life when I experienced that thing and so I put it into the script. I would often ask Jason, "Hey, what do you think of this?" And a lot of the stuff in the early stages of writing when you have more of a glimmer of something, you know, I would say, this guy he wears a blue velvet suit and then I could tell Jason. You have a sort of shorthand with people you’re close to. So Jason was one of the people I confided in when I was working on the story. And as you may not know, Jason’s a very funny and very witty, so I thought if he was a standup comic that would be a fun character. So I cooked up this idea of Kirby Star for Jason.

Jason, what did you think when you read the script for the first time and the character Roman wrote for you?
JS: You know, Roman’s someone who has a lot of interests ands a lot of things happening in his life, so I don’t know when he does do everything. He’s always doing all this stuff and this script—
RC: I talked about it for a long time.
JS: Yeah, constantly. It was something we would talk about, just going over stuff or saying, "Hey, what do you think of this" or showing me a scene. So it was in the works for a long time, and then really exciting when I got the full finished script, seeing it all pieced and stitched together. I read it with a big smile on my face because I know Roman and it’s just so him and full of all these things. It’s just so inventive and you don’t ever know where it’s going next. Also, to me, it had a lot of emotion in it and it felt like the feeling of a breakup and remembering things and sometimes remembering things better than they were.

And how everything changes in memory.
JS: Yeah, so that was one thing. Even thinking about it now, is even what we’re seeing the truth? That’s just how he remembers it. Like if we saw a glimpse inside the mind of her, maybe it would totally different. I’m very interested in the imagination and the impression you take from a situation.

I loved the fantastical elements of the film and the different genres you played with. As a director, did you just want to be able to experience those things in one film? And as an actor, was it fun to not be confined to one sort of movie?
RC: It was fun day to day when we were filming. And of course, you often film things out of order so we’d be on the set and Jason would be in his Western outfit and then the next day in the nightclub. So it was fun to have a sense of adventure when we were shooting because you never knew the next thing we’d be doing.
JS: And also, the nature of the making of the movie was very small—it was a small crew and we shot it at Roman’s house. A lot of the props and things Roman actually bought himself on Ebay. I grew my own beard—it was very homemade in that way. And so sometimes on a movie with a bigger production, the bigger it gets, it’s typical that things get more spread out and there’s less interconnection. And so often times, not only you’re changing these things but you’re doing it so fast. I remember during the first day of shooting at Roman’s house, they put some clothes on me and we’re doing a whole thing then they slam a pie in my face then "clean em off! Now put on this thing!" You know the video for Peter Gabriel’s "Sledgehammer" [starts singing "sledgehammmma"]? I felt like I was on the longer version of "Sledgehammer," the not stop-motion version.
RC: One thing that popped into my mind is that it took me a couple years to kind of figure it out—I’m a little bit slow so it’s not like I work every day, I get distracted and do other things—but I think it was because this was something I had a gut feeling of what I wanted the spirit of the movie to be. I knew I wanted a lot of costumes and a sense of freedom that it could just go anywhere, so that was sort of the premise. I was thinking about how because it took me like eight years from the time I started it to the time I made it, that had I written it in three months or six months, it probably would have been very different because it’s over all that time just a new thing pops in your head—you see an old western and then say, hey I can put it in the movie, because anything goes. So there was a unique thing that came out of that gestation period where anything that just kind of seemed like it would be fun and more than just fun, speak to the spirit of what the movie was, I would just grab it and stick it in that container. So that’s why the movie maybe has a diversity.

And having this diversity in the aesthetic quality of it echoes Charles’ fixation with visuals and how he is with women and how everything is beautiful but fleeting. Did you want to set it in the past as an aesthetic choice?
RC: I did. One of the inspiration points was the Maxell guy from the famous ads in the 1970s. I was born in 1965, and in 1975 and you’re ten and everything is very so exciting. I grew up in Northern California so we’d go to Hollywood and go down the Sunset Strip and you’d see the billboards, you’d see Tower Records, you’d see the palm trees, you’d see that imagery of that time. There were the spectacular billboards and the album cover art of that time was really spectacular.
JS: There’s a great book that just came out called Rock and Roll on the Sunset Strip and it’s all billboards.
RC: Ohhh, I gotta get that one. So yeah, those are impressions of that time and place that meant something to me. It’s true, the Maxell guy, this iconic thing of the time, I was like okay the Maxell guy just broke up with his girlfriend, what’s the story? And that’s kind of a launch pad. The imagery of that time, the fashion, the culture, music, it’s just something that I’m drawn to. When I did CQ a lot of people said, "So are you a huge fan of 60s kitsch movies?" And I wasn’t but I was curious about it, so I used the movie as a way to check out this interest. There’s sort of two branches of filmmaking: one more pop commercial stuff and the more personal, which is what that movie is about. But I guess what I’m getting at is that I was drawn to this period of time and what was happening in the graphic art scene so I learned about the guys that were doing that work. There’s a guy named Charles White III who inspired the name whose become a friend; he’s a brilliant illustrator/conceptualizer. Guys like Michael Salisbury and all the greats of the time who created this imagery that I find so attractive. So in a way you use a movie to learn about it and all the art that’s in the movie is their work. 

You were talking about the exploratory nature of making a film, but you’re both people that seem to also really love the collaborative nature of filmmaking and working with people you’re close to.
RC: I like telling Jason what to do.
JS: And I listen.
RC: This movie was very much, I don’t want to say a home movie because that’s the wrong cube, but everyone involved in the movie was a friend or family member or someone close to me. And even Charlie, who I hadn’t seen in many years, I was pals with him as a kid because we were both in the Philipines together during Apocalypse Now. So he was someone I that rapport with being a 12 year old kid, and Bill is someone who has become a friend now having worked with Sophia and Wes, and Jason I’ve known since the beginning and even other roles like Stephen Dorff become a pal—people that are all in your life. We shot in my house, in my office, I used my cars, my clothes for Charlie. So seguing the question, this movie has very much the spirit of a just fun, let’s make a movie!
JS: And it has to be that. A movie of this nature, that’s so personal. And again, the word homespun or homemade isn’t the right word because it’s so much more ambitions than that, but it’s not like we had a ton of time so everyone had to be flexible. I think the smaller you are as a unit and the more friendly you are with everyone, you can be more flexible and move more quickly because everyone’s sort of game like okay, let’s do this.

It felt like an ensemble film but everyone was rotating, which also helped you get inside of Charles because these people were coming in and out of his life very quickly. He didn’t spend enough time with anyone and so they were never fully there.
JS: And remember, it’s just a glimpse. It’s not the end all be all.
RC: What’s one more from a glimpse?
JS: A view?  A glance? A moment?

Did you write it with Charlie in mind?
RC: I didn’t but towards the end I realized. I had been working on it for a long time and I had the idea of this character and the basic foundation and that he was dealing with a breakup and it was told in this kaleidoscopic way like the sensation of dealing with a breakup, and it was hard to grab a hold of the script because it could be anything, it was all over the place. And finally it just so happened I was doing a commercial and the stunt driver on the commercial was buddies with Charlie and he said, oh I’m going to get Charlie on the phone when’s the last time you spoke with him? Which was like ten years ago, and we got on the phone and he was like, "What are you doing we gotta make a movie one of these days," and that sort of stuck in my head like, wow if I can finish this thing, I could call Charlie and say, hey I got something for us. And to make a long story short, I was revved up by that feeling, I could show it to Charlie and I did and the rest is history as we say. For some other article we could talk about the text exchange with Charlie that’s like, "Hey Charlie, I got the script for us." "And him saying, "Cool come over" and then it’s like "Hey, Merry Christmas Charlie" and then it’s just like "I’m just here in Aspen with the kids," and we know the rest of the story… So the process of trying to get him to commit for a year and a half or so—
JS: For him, I think it’s so cool. He’s an incredible actor. I think it’s important to…obviously he’s so famous and hasn’t—
RC: He hasn’t had a chance to shine.
JS: He hasn’t disappeared from the public eye but he hasn’t been in a movie in a long time. I’m happy for him.

The Interactive ‘Moonrise Kingdom’ Script Is Better Than Your ‘For Your Consideration’

The Academy Award nominations are done and dusted, and one of our favorite movies of 2012 and one of Wes Anderson’s best film in years, Moonrise Kingdom, got the shaft when it came to Best Picture voting. (We think perhaps the powers that be need look deep inside themselves and ask themselves if Les Misérables was really *that* good or if it just captured that period-drama grandeur that Oscar loves ever so much.)

Anyway, what Moonrise did get is the bone usually thrown to delightful, original but (ugh, sorry) "quirky" cinematic feats, a nod for Best Original Screenplay. And it’s up against the likes of Amour, Zero Dark Thirty and category Golden Globe winner Django Unchained. But that doesn’t mean Anderson and co-writer Roman Coppola are gonna try their damnedest to court Oscar voters before the final count in February. 

And what a beautiful campaign it is. Anderson, Coppola and Focus Features have released an interactive screenplay for the film, featuring a map of New Penzance Island, original sketches of set pieces and shot setups, including Suzy’s home, Camp Ivanhoe and the very precarious treehouse, the ark for the church presentation of Noye’s Fludde and Sam Shakusky’s Khaki Scouts registration card. It’s a neat look into the process, well-designed and if you start now, before you know it you’ll be at the wedding scene and it will also be mid-afternoon and you will have gotten nothing done. Click through the whole thing if you have some time today. 

A New Look at Roman Coppola’s ‘A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III’

From the mind of Roman Coppola comes his first directorial effort in over a decade with A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III. We’ve already seen the first trailer for the film, but a new red band teaser has been released that gives you a peak at the 1970s pop art aesthetic of the picture and a taste of the unlikely duo: a much more composed and endearing Charlie Sheen and the always lovable Jason Schwartzman. The main focus of the film is on Charlie as Charles, as it is after all a glimpse inside his mind, but the supporting cast of Bill Murray, Patricia Arequette, and Aubrey Plaza (to name a few) make brief but memorable appearances in the eccentric and playful look at a man whose life begins to unravel when the woman he loves leaves him. Charles copes by letting his mind wander off into elaborate fantasies as the film takes you on a ride through his unconscious, encompassing brief genre moments from old school western to spy thriller. As the synopsis reveals, the true question of the film is, "Is it possible to love and hate someone at the same time."

Earlier this week, I got the chance to sit down with Coppola and Schwartzman for an interview, which you’ll be able to read in the coming weeks—but in the meantime, check out the new teaser.

Check Out the Debut Trailer for Roman Coppola’s ‘A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III’

A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III may be Roman Coppola’s first directorial effort in over a decade, but let’s be real, the most important part of the debut trailer for the film is that we see Charles Swan (played by Charlie Sheen) driving a Cadillac with an easy-over eggs decal on one side and bacon on the other. Has there ever been a more perfect vehicle? Also, following in tune with the aesthetics of the film, the posters have been pretty eye-catchingly saucy as well:

pop

I got the chance to see the film last week, and without giving away too much, it was a highly-entertaining pop-art infused fantastical romp with a cast that includes the usual Wes Anderson/Roman Coppola fare of Jason Schwartzman (sporting a pretty solid afro) and Bill Murray, alongside the always welcome Patricia Arquette and Mary Elizabeth Winstead. Due out in February you can check out the new trailer below, and the synopsis goes as follows:

Set in a stylized Los Angeles, A GLIMPSE INSIDE THE MIND OF CHARLES SWAN III is a playful comedy of lost love, friendship, revenge fantasies, and Brandy Alexanders. Charles (Charlie Sheen) is a successful graphic designer whose fame, money and charm have provided him with a seemingly perfect life. When his true love, a perplexing beauty named Ivana, suddenly breaks off their relationship, Charles’ life falls apart, and he swirls into a downward spiral of doubt, confusion and reflection. With the support of his loyal intimates—Kirby (Jason Schwartzman), Saul (Bill Murray), and his sister, Izzy (Patricia Arquette)—he begins the hard road of self-evaluation to come to terms with a life without Ivana. The film begs the question: Is it possible to love and hate someone at the same time?

Angela Lindvall Comes Alive on Hallowed Ground in Hollywood

Angela Lindvall, one of the world’s most famous supermodels, is in the shower when I arrive at her Topanga Canyon home. When she emerges, Lindvall, 33, is wearing a silk dashiki and no shoes. She looks like some sort of golden sylph. The Lindvall ranch is a mountainside utopia. It’s easy to see what lured John Phillips here to record Wolf King of L.A. in 1970. “The first time I came out here was to visit [his daughter] Bijou,” Lindvall says in a husky voice that still holds a drip of her native Kansas City, Missouri. “I thought ‘Oh my God, I’m back in the country!’” An organic garden blossoms in front of us, and in the yoga studio she built on her property, her yoga teacher is giving birth. Her yelps punctuate the thrum of bees and the susurrus of apple trees rustling in the warm mistral. This is what 19 years at the top of the fashion game gets you: a chance to check out.

Lindvall, who has graced all the big covers and booked more campaigns than General MacArthur, has severely stemmed her modeling commitments. “Sometimes,” she says, “you need to take a step back to discover what is truly important to you.” Though she commands an astonishing day rate, Lindvall devotes most of her time to training to become a Kundalini yoga teacher, creating the line of sustainable jewelry with John Hardy that debuted in October, working for charities like the National Resources Defense Council, and raising her two sons, William and Sebastian. And, like many beautiful Los Angeles people, she’s trying to break into movies and television.

She’s off to a good start. She’s had cameos in Sofia Coppola’s Somewhere and her brother Roman Coppola’s two features, CQ and A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III. Last season, Lindvall starred as the judge in the hit Lifetime show Project Runway: All-Stars. “It was really difficult to step into Heidi Klum’s shoes,” she admits, “but I had a terrific time.” Lindvall will not appear in the next season, but her explorations on the small screen aren’t finished yet. “I want to do a television show where my boys and I travel around the world, eating worms in Thailand and having crazy adventures.”

In fact, Lindvall’s story illustrates how irresistible the siren call of television is to the fashion world. When Project Runway began in 2004, participation in a television show was considered a fatal mistake. Now, upstart designers, as well as established icons, are clamoring to appear. We at BlackBook aren’t immune, either. The shoot in which Lindvall appears was styled by Taylor Jacobson, a contestant on a television program called Hollywood Unzipped: Stylist Wars on Oxygen and was filmed as part of their finale. Lindvall, meanwhile, was adamant that the article not be a simple fashion spread in which she is treated as a model, which it isn’t, but rather a feature on her as an actress, or at least something else, which it is. “There’s definitely a shelf-life to being a model,” she says. “I’m lucky that it’s even lasted as long as it has. Now, it’s time to focus on my true passions: being a mother to my children and addressing environmental issues.” And if part of that happens to be televised, all the better. Chez Lindvall, everything seems possible.

Jason Schwartzman Hypes ‘New Yorker’ iPhone App

Last night’s Bored to Death premier reminded me of two important things: 1) Ted Danson no longer has eyebrows, and 2) Jason Schwartzman is still pretty funny. The former was confirmed by a Google image search (Exhibit A), the latter by an advertisement for The New Yorker‘s new iPhone app, directed by Roman Coppola, and starring a mustachioed Schwartzman.

image Exhibit B

So it seems that the elite squad at The New Yorker has chosen adaptation over extinction, and though it hurts my heart a little every time I see a tourist using a glowing information-machine as a sun shield, wielding their iPads over tanned face like Moses did with the Commandments, I will say I’m glad The New Yorker is trying to stay relevant, even hip. It’s touching. Besides, as I recently discussed, I canceled my subscription to the print mag because they offer almost all their content online for free now anyway. Either way, the Schwartzman video is pretty hilarious, and well worth your time.