Saturday, June 29, 2013
Behind the Camera: Why Mr. E Went to Hollywood (2012) plus Jury (2012) New York Asian Film Festival 2013
The premise of the film is that E feels that with all of the technology today you could, in theory direct a film from somewhere other than the set. Seeking to prove the premise he brings in some of the best actors in Korean, sprinkles in some of his friends from behind the scenes (there are several big name directors hanging around and acting). When they are all assembled he springs it on the cast that he's in Hollywood and would be directing the film from there. And if things weren't weird enough the short film they are making, How to Fall in Love in Ten Minutes, is about a director who is making a short film but decides to run off and direct the film from a distance.
What transpires is a mix of reality and fiction that was woven together from over 200 hours of footage. Its a film you fall into as the novel premise becomes compelling drama. Its the sort of thing where you start to watch it as a goof and then realize that way more than you can ever hope to have discovered is going on. Its this brilliant look into the relationship between actors, directors, tech people and the rest of the filmmaking community.
Begun as promo short,the previously mentioned How to Fall in Love in Ten Minutes (which we only see in clips) E co-opted the short film and tuned it into a feature exercise. Samsung was thrilled at getting two movies for the the price of one. ME I'm thrilled at getting such a wonderful drama that doubles as a neat look at how movies are made and the camaraderie of filmmaking. It also kicks up lots of other things that I haven't sussed out yet...and did I mention its just a damn cool drama/comedy?
The easiest thing to say is put this on my list of favorite films of 2013. Frankly I suspect I'll be coming back to this film to say more once I see it again because there is a great deal of wonderful stuff I only half remember.
After the film E came out and talked with Grady Hendrix. Grady did a great job to the point that when the time came for the audience to ask questions there really wasn't any left to ask. In discussing the film E said that the film was shot over three days instead of the two in the film. Shot with 11 cameras much of what happens is simply what happened. He had discussed the shooting and the characters with the actors and then simply turned them loose to see what happened. He said he really was in Hollywood during the shooting. He did say that this was an experiment that he wouldn't want to repeat. More was discussed but I can't really go into it since it relates to things that happen in the film and I don't want to give it away.
Before the film they screened JURY another sort of meta-fiction film.
The short concerns a group of actors, directors and British film critic at a short film festival in Busan. They go off to try and decide what film to give the Grand Prix award to. What transpires is a clash of personalities that is truly funny. The conceit of the film is that all of the actors are playing themselves, and while I don't know how close any of them are to there real selves, but it shows them to at least have a god nature for being able to send themselves up plus it all makes for a funny time at the movies.
Easily the short is one of the best films of this years festival.
Grady said that the reason they are showing the film is that someone connected to the festival said that what happens,violence included , is what happens at the Busan film festival. (I know the press screening bits are dead on)
If you can get to see this pairing tomorrow, do so. If not hope for some sort of US release.