As I said before, I had hoped to get close to the red carpet to the Golden Globes at the Beverly Hilton. Thing is, they did a good job keeping people away. It's easier to be across the street from the Kodak Theater the week before the Oscars, which I did a few years back. At least there, you have the chance to hold an Oscar.
So I had to settle for people starting the preparations two days before where once would see this:
and the famous E! shrine
However, the Globes did give a few hundred people a chance to be in the same room as Angelina Jolie and Pedro Almodovar, for starters. It took place at the Egyptian, thanks to American Cinematique. They had a discussion of the nominees for Best Foreign Language Film. Here's Jolie with Asghar Fahardi, who made the movie that will probably win awards by the ton, A Separation.
and Jolie by herself....
I was also there for Almodovar, who made The Skin I Live In, which I HAVE to see after I missed my chance before. I think his translation, who he didn't really need, looks like someone from one of his movies....
It was a pretty good discussion of the people behind the movies. Jolie admits she's not a filmmaker, but she certainly learned a lot about bringing Land of Blood and Honey, a very important story, to the screen. Some of the cast was in the audience, and she certainly praised them. The movie is about love in the time of the civil war in Yugoslavia back in the 80s. She points out the couple in the story was born in the same hospital back in Yugoslavia, but the war forced them to be on opposite sides. Jolie was also able to make basically two versions, English and native language. We're getting the latter version, and hopefully it will head to Sacramento soon.
Almodovar also talked about how he had to learn the filming process from using Super 8 films (hello, JJ Abrams) and even doing all the jobs himself. That's why he admitted he'd have a tough time trying to make a movie in the U-S in the usual way we make movies. He'd drown in the permits alone.
There was also the Dardennes brothers, who make The Kid With A Bike, about a young boy deserted by his father but taken care of by a hairdresser. They said it was based on the story of a Japanese orphan who wound up killing someone. In this movie, we have an orphan who finds another way to deal with his situation.
I was really happy that Fahardi was there. He's the guy behind A Separation, which will likely get Oscar gold next month (and then the next day some radio pundit will claim that Oscar will be the final piece Iran needs to build a bomb to kill us all). Well, he admits the movie doesn't represent all of Iran. It shows a middle class family dealing with the mom (Simin) and dad (Nader) separating because she wants to leave and he has to take care of his dad with Alzheimer's. Caught in the crossfire is their daughter Termeh (played by Farhadi's daughter). Nader hires a maid who has a young daughter, and she takes care of his dad. Things get difficult when Nader fires the maid after she ties his dad to his bed to keep him from wandering off, and is also accused of stealing. He pushes the maid out of the house, and suddenly he hears the maid's in the hospital due to a miscarriage. There's even more twists to the story about how one couple's decision can affect many more people. It's a situation that fits any nation and any faith. Fahardi calls this movie a detective story, in a way. He also talked about how we are all the same although politics, here and in Iran, tend to emphasize the differences.
Fahardi spoke mainly Farsi at the panel, although he spoke good English when he won the Golden Globes the next night. I am sure he felt more comfortable in his native language. By the way, here's where it played in L-A, the Royal. It may not look like much on the outside. Inside, though, it's one VERY nice place to see a film.
Sadly, the director of The Flowers of War with Christian Bale, couldn't make it. Otherwise, they would have talked about that movie. They should have tried.
Maybe I could have tried to get as close to the red carpet the next night, but this is more complicated than a movie premiere. Just as well. Besides, at least it convinced me to go to that flea market at Fairfax High School and find some very rare stuff for a song.