Reeler Archive for May, 2006

In With the NewFest: NYC's Biggest LGBT Festival On the Way

Member tickets go on sale today for the 18th annual NewFest, the city’s biggest gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender film festival, skedded this year for June 1-11. The Reeler stole a few minutes the other day from NewFest director Basil Tsiokos, who confessed to not just a little exhaustion as he and his staff wind down their final preparations for 2006.
“It’s been a good process in terms of getting the films that I want,” said Tsiokos, who selected roughly 230 shorts and features from roughly 1,100 submissions and viewings from other festivals. “I think we’ve got a pretty strong lineup overall, with a lot of premieres for the New York area.” At the top of the premiere stack is Strangers With Candy, Paul Dinello’s long-awaited adaptation of the cult classic TV show, featuring an A-list New York cast including Amy Sedaris, Steven Colbert, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Matthew Broderick and Sarah Jessica Parker. As noted here Wednesday, Tsiokos will chat with Sedaris and Dinello at a free Soho Apple Store event on June 8.
Tsiokos noted the Sundance comedy Forgiving the Franklins among the other films he is particularly excited to screen, also namechecking other international fest faves like the Mexican drama Broken Sky, the documentaries Camp Out and Cruel & Unusual and the experimental Berlin Film Festival gem Combat. The Blossoming of Maximo Oliveros, which claimed the Berlinale’s Teddy Award for best feature, will appear as well. NewFest’s Filmmakers Forum calendar offers discussions of gay history in cinema, masculinity in the lesbian community and an intensive, 90-minute filmmaking crash course taught by Go Fish writer/director Rose Troche.
I asked Tsiokos, who joined NewFest as an intern in 1996 before ascending to his current post in 2000, to chart the festival’s evolution as both a film and community event in New York. “For a long time, the only gay film festivals were only in the major cities,”he said. “Now there are gay festivals everywhere; every small town seems to have a new festival. I believe I’ve been told the stat that there are more gay film festivals than any other kind of festival out there, just because it shows the way that it serves a community function as well as a place for filmmakers to display their talents. It also exists as a way to bring the local gay and lesbian community together.
“That said,” Tsiokos continued, “we (started as) one of the first festivals where you kind of just showed what was available–you didn’t really have much of a selection. There were so few films that you kind of had to hunt around at times. Now submissions are up every single year. There’s always a lot of work that you want to show that you can’t, because not only is there so much work being produced, but there are other competitions in New York and other places for films to screen. I think the festival in the time that I’ve been with it, even, has definitely matured to become a more professional organization–more respected outside the community and through the industry, but it definitely relflects the changing environment and the changing way that gays and lesbians are represented in media in a more public forum.”
The full program for Newfest ’06 is here, and again, NewFest members can score their tickets today. General ticket sales start May 24; most films run about $12, with the Filmmakers Forum events starting at $6. And of course, I hope you will check back with The Reeler for more coverage throughout the festival.

Now You, Too, Can Shill For Gore, Paramount Classics

Right on the heels of the news that Paramount Classics is officially an afterthought in its own organization, the distributor is putting the word out that we credulous, pajama-swaddled bloggers are indeed paramount to its marketing push for the new Al Gore/global warming doc, An Inconvenient Truth.
In fact, the folks at Technorati want you to know they are partnering with Paramount to run a live feed of Truth-related blog entries from around the Web, all of them zombiesquely positive, natch, with a few curious selections (the one-off post on this MySpace page, for example, or this appalling cry for help from one of the marketing newbies chained to her desk in the studio’s dank intern dungeon) popping up out of nowhere every now and then. The feed flows directly into Truth‘s own blog, theoretically allowing writers an instant audience with Al Gore and the few hundred hippies who have electricity.
Anyhow, the exciting thing here is that Truth has finally democratized blurb-whoring, making it easy for anyone with a blog to pare his adulation to one exclamatory adjective and a brief, hyperbolic sentence defining the film’s phenomenon–something along the lines of, “Warm! An Inconvenient Truth knocked my Birkenstocks off!” You get the idea, and if you do not, then practice–Paramount needs you.


Reeler Screening Series Starts May 30 with 'Keane'; Lodge Kerrigan in Attendance

As my under-abundance of advertisers likely proves, I am not an especially prodigious self-promoter. That said, you are going to hear a lot more of me pimping the new Reeler Screening “Series,” (so far just one film, but we are optimists) which gets underway May 30 with a viewing of Lodge Kerrigan’s masterpiece Keane. Kerrigan will be on hand afterward to chat about the film with me and fellow bloggers Lawrence Levi (Looker) and Karina Longworth (Cinematical).
And while I plan to podcast our discussion, that is certainly no excuse for you not to come. In fact, between the great film, the ever-gracious Kerrigan and the beer-and-pizza reception that will follow the Q&A, admit it: There is no excuse not to come.
The show starts at 6:30; tickets are $9 and can be purchased in advance on the Pioneer’s Web site. Full program details follow after the jump. I really hope to meet you there.

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Hitchens, Ideology and Beer Together Again at June's 'Zeitgeist' Premiere

Rob McGann’s documentary American Zeitgeist–an exploration of the culture of the War on Terror–will finally have its New York premiere (and DVD release) June 15 at the NY Society for Ethical Culture. Sure, the interviews (Richard Clarke, Noam Chomsky, David Cross among others) are great, and the doc has made acclaimed festival rounds. But I can see at least one overriding reason why this will be the place for any self-respecting wonk to be that night:

A debate over topics covered in the film, between Christopher Hitchens (Love, Poverty and War) and Mahmood Mamdani (Good Muslim, Bad Muslim), will immediately follow the screening. Free beer will be available courtesy of the Brooklyn Brewery.

Holy shit–Christopher Hitchens and free beer? That is like advertising a Fourth of July party with fireworks and free gasoline. Where do I sign up?

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Makor on the Move as 92nd St. Y Places Steinhardt Building on the Market

The Reeler had heard something to this effect in weeks past, but the higher-ups at the 92nd Street Y made it official yesterday: They are selling the Steinhardt Building (right), the Upper West Side enclave that houses its Makor film screenings and arts programs.
According to a release, both Makor and Daytime–the Y’s activity program for “mid-aged” adults–will be relocated to temporary sites while the organization’s Upper East Side headquarters are reconfigured to accommodate them, a process that is expected to take three to five years. A 92nd Street Y spokeswoman told me yesterday that officials have scoured Manhattan evaluating alternatives and that a list of 30 preliminary choices has been narrowed to “a handful of pretty distinct possibilities.” The spokeswoman emphasized that the Y does not plan to cut any programs during or after the move to the interim location.
Meanwhile, real estate broker CB Richard Ellis is handling the sale of the building at 35 West 67th St. And although a CBRE spokesman today confirmed that the property marketing is underway, he would not place an appraised or estimated value on the building, which was valued at $16 million when philanthropist and Y board member Michael Steinhardt donated it in 2001.
So anyhow, do not worry just yet about needing to research a venue change for those tickets you scored for Makor films this summer. Naturally, if any of the events are rescheduled or shifted off-site, I will let you know.


Jaded Film Comment Readers Say the Darnedest Things

From the latest issue of Film Comment:

Now, now–one thing at a time, D.: Let us first just try to get news of Sarris’s indiscretions to his editors at the Observer, who–two months hence–have yet to even pull his cribbed work down from the paper’s Web site. I think we can safely say this would never happen if De Niro were in charge.

Scorsese, Ramsay and Ferrara News Makes Morning Edition

Today’s Variety hints at a tantalizing trio of New York-based projects in varying stages of development, including a sort-of update on that untitled Elia Kazan documentary Martin Scorsese and Kent Jones have been plotting for a while now. And when I say “sort-of,” I mean, “It has a producer”: Emma Tillinger, who was just bumped up to president of production under Scorsese’s Sikelia Productions banner. Tillinger will also oversee Silence, the director’s next collaboration with Jay Cocks, once the company unloads The Departed this fall; the Kazan doc, meanwhile, continues to simmer on a back burner in the Sikelia kitchen.
There is only slightly more to report about the latest Lynne Ramsay (above) vehicle, We Need to Talk About Kevin, an adaptation of Lionel Shriver’s novel about a New York mother whose unwanted son murders a handful of his classmates Columbine-style. News of Ramsay’s return to the screen has already made my day; while I could take or leave much of her 2002 film Morvern Callar, Ramsay’s Ratcatcher (and the short films preceding it) inarguably marked one of the strongest debuts of the last decade. No cast, shooting dates or locations have yet been announced, but I will stay on top of this and pass them along as the project shapes up.
Finally, the irrepressible Abel Ferrara will return to a New York set June 9 to shoot his latest, The Last Crew. Variety’s Alison James notes that Ferrara has $10 million (and Michael Pitt) to play with in this tale of ’70s crime intrigue, a staggering number that promises either a correction in tomorrow’s edition or a finished film that glows like King of New York and bleeds like Ms. 45. Here’s hoping it is the latter; bonkers Tribeca appearances notwithstanding, I have been missing this guy.

For Your Disappointment: 'World Trade Center' Trailer Now Available

With a few dramatic exceptions–a sequence featuring the collapsing interior of a tower lobby, for example–the trailer for the upcoming Oliver Stone/ Nicolas Cage film World Trade Center does not quite stir me to circle the film’s August 9 release date a thousand times in bright red ink. Rather, it makes me wonder what marvelous new hallucinogen Stone found that makes him think he is Steven Spielberg. If that is the music Stone actually plans on using in his finished film, I am going to have to up my insulin dosage.
But I don’t know–you tell me.


Night of a Thousand Fringes (Or at Least Two)

A couple of interesting (if twisted) film events taking place around town tonight caught my eye. First off, Symphony Space is unspooling four short works by underground filmmaker Cameron Jamie, a program spotlighting topics from backyard wrestling (BB) to haunted houses in Detroit (Spook House) to Joan of Arc (Jo). Which would be great on their own, but will be made truly superior with live soundtracks performed by skronk-rockers Keiji Haino and The Melvins (right). The evening is presented as part of the Whitney Bienniel, as if such pioneering names do not make that association essentially irrelevant.
Meanwhile at BAM–in the other NYC cinema venue named after Peter Jay Sharp–get your art-smut fill with the Sundance alum Destricted. You know the one: Matthew Barney directs a guy fucking a truck; Larry Clark directs a guy fucking a porn star; Sam Taylor-Wood directs a guy fucking himself, so on and so forth. Other work by Gaspar Noé, Marina Abramovich and Richard Prince features more fucking, but because it is BAM, you can sit in front of strangers and not worry about what might land in your hair. Hell–you might as well take a date.

BREAKING: Altman Extends New York Tour to Pioneer Theater

This just in: Robert Altman will wind down his Shermanesque march through New York on June 13, when he will appear at the Pioneer Theater to discuss a program of rarely screened shorts. While the selections have not yet been finalized, Pioneer programmer Ray Privett sends word that early picks include The Party (which I had not heard of previously and could not even find on IMDB) and the 1965 tandem The Kathryn Reed Story and Pot au feu.
Longtime Altman associate Matthew Seig will host the event; the pair last visited the Pioneer in 2003 to screen Altman’s 1984 film Secret Honor. Tickets run $30 apiece and are available now–and not likely for long–on the Pioneer’s Web site.

'Omen'-clature: Director Moore Works Overtime to Validate Remake

Last night I took in John Moore’s remake of the 1976 semi-classic The Omen, starring Liev Schreiber and Julia Stiles in the Gregory Peck/Lee Remick roles of parents unwittingly raising the spawn of Satan. And while the vagaries of film publicity forbid me from telling you if it might be, say, spectacularly awful, I think I have clearance to share some of the playful back-and-forth Moore (right) shared with critics after the film, when a panel discussion about cinema’s religious fixation took over the always civil Walter Reade Theater.
Moore shared the stage with moderator Brian Rose–a film professor at Fordham–and University of Texas end-of-days guru Michael White. The filmmaker seemed articulate enough, and for a while, anyhow, he was doing just fine stating his motivation for remaking Richard Donner’s thriller. “I would posit the idea that unless God walks into this building right now, that all religious belief is speculative,” Moore said. “And that’s something that interested me greatly in the story because it requires what would–in a religious, free society–be a massive leap toward believing in the unbelievable. In a film like this and a story like this, I find that the anxiety and the plot become quite believable. And that interested me.”
A man spoke up from an exit aisle on the side of the theater. “I have a question.”
“Yes?” Rose said.
“Are you from New York, John?”
“No,” Moore said. “I’m Irish.”
“Why do you think it was OK to use an image of 9/11 to manipulate the audience’s emotions for your horror movie?” He was referring to two brief replays of planes crashing into the World Trade Center early in the film.
“Well, I didn’t manipulate. The response that an individual has isn’t necessarily up to me. But I believe–” The man responded unintelligibly before Moore continued. “Can I answer the question, or do you want to come up here and take the microphone?” he said. “Because I can see your anger, sir. I can see it from here. But let me answer the question you asked me. What happened on 9/11 was a world event. I understand that it’s particularly sensitive to New Yorkers, and what happened on 9/11 deeply affected me also. I happened to be in America when it happened. And it left a lasting impression on my mind, and the impression that I had was that we were in a very dark time, and it seemed to me to be the beginning of a very dark series of events. And that’s why I put it in the movie.”
Rose jumped in. “Well, speaking of that, maybe–”
“It’s a good thing the movie is such a piece of shit that nobody is going to see it,” the man shouted.
“All right, sir,” Rose said, waving his arm as the man walked out of the theater. “Professor, I think you can address the thing: Why–”
“You know what?” Moore interrupted. “You want to come back and actually finish your thought? Or do you want to just be like most thugs? Make your statement and leave before anyone has a chance to talk about it?”
By that point, the man returned. “All right, John. What else do you want me to say?”
“Well, could you expand on why you think the movie is a piece of shit?”
“I’m watching it, and I’m seeing you use something that hurt a lot of people to manipulate our emotions. That’s what I think you were doing.”
“All art will manipulate your emotions.”
“What’s that?”
“The point of art is to manipulate and stimulate emotion.”
“I don’t think the movie’s art. I just don’t think so.”
The man continued, but Moore replied over him. “You have an opinion, but I’d like to posit the idea that what happened on 9/11 was a global event, and believe me, as an Irishman, it’s in the movie to signal to you that I felt it was a dark and evil a moment as you might have felt on that day.”

Omen is the Future of Man: Director John Moore joins moderator Brian Rose (right) and Michael White for a chat Tuesday at the Walter Reade Theater (Photos: STV)

Whatever. Rose eventually wrested control back, but a few moments later Moore revisited the issue of The Omen as a window on human self-destruction. “The story had to play out now,” he said. “But the ideas are very old and new. And it does transcend tradiotnal Christian or Catholic religion: The notion of the end of mankind is a trans-faith notion. For me, obviolusly, the plot takes it tenets from tenets of fabled Christian teaching on the end of the world. But contained therein, what I was certainly aiming for was to put the spotlight on the idea–and I think maybe some some of the imagery I used will upset some people–the idea I was trying to spotlight was that ultimately it’s self-inflicted. The end of the world is something that will be brought about by mankind. … Christianity doesn’t have a patent on the notion that evil will be our doing and that it will indeed be manmade.”
Another viewer soon called Moore “disingenuous,” and yet another brought up the value of tying in The Omen‘s release with that other pop-religious suspenser on the immediate horizon, The Da Vinci Code. “Sir, I think what you are suggesting is that the studio is cynically riding a wave of religious fervor to cash in,” Moore said. “Wow. That’s never happened in Hollywood, has it? Look. My friend. I’m sure they did think about green-lighting a movie like this with the advance knowledge of all the cinemagoing phenomena of The Da Vinci Code. All I can do is try to do my best to try not to make a cynical movie.”
You be the judge, gentle reader, when the film gets its oh-so-spooky 6/6/06 release date. I doubt I will be able to summon any deep reactions that audiences will not deduce for themselves from a 30-second TV spot, so I think it is time to move on to dreading Lady in the Water or whatever other embargoed psychic burdens summer promises.

One Night Only: Local Developer Frames Brett Ratner

This afternoon (via Gawker), The Reeler caught especially aromatic wind of what may be the crashworthy event of the year:

(Photo: Gawker)

What is this? Another Extell Development fete celebrating another hot young director in the Fox stable? Alas, as desperately as I want to see Roger Friedman tie on a sperm bib at this one, I am already on the hook for Fox’s far, far less synergistic Omen screening at the Walter Reade Theater. I will, however, rig up a semi-nice reward (A Reeler T-shirt? A six-pack of beer?) for the brazen reader who sends a picture of or written dispatch about tonight’s debauched goings-on along West 18th Street. An aghast city needs your story.

Reeler Link Dump: Rain or Shine Edition

Nothing inhibits work like rain crashing diagonally into my window. Well, that and a mild hangover. Nevertheless, I am here for you, even if I have to rush through a few things if I am to have any chance of getting caught up:

–All right, all right: Last night’s Da Vinci Code Debate did not quite plunge New York into the sooty, swampy apocalypse I feared (I swear I will never take a publicist at face value again). That said, a press release distributed this morning says that the debaters still brandished their “verbal boxing gloves of truth” for a little intellectual bloodshed. “Sales of movies and controversial books about Jesus Christ are one thing,” said minister and Reeler Hall of Famer Mitch Glaser, “but none compare to the most powerful, truthful, historical and most read book in the world: the Holy Bible.” Well, Mitch, if your book is so fucking great, why did Ron Howard want to film the other one? Hello?

–MCN kingpin David Poland surveys the 2006 Oscar field. I gape increduously, drink a fifth of bourbon and cry myself to sleep.

–IFP and Current TV will team up this summer to select 10 documentary shorts for inclusion in something called Current/IFP VC2 Showcase. The Reeler passed along the heads-up a while back about Current’s nifty DIY content model, but Variety’s Ian Mohr now reports that with IFP involved, filmmakers selected for the showcase will also have their work screened for industry eyes at September’s IFP Market. So take note, rookies: Assuming you can throw something together by the June 30 deadline, this is some of the best potential exposure going.

–To all of you readers who are always writing me to inquire who or what will screen your latest made-in-India masterpiece, you can stop e-mailing now.

–The cult anticipating Strangers With Candy‘s big-screen debut will not have to count the seconds much longer, it appears: NewFest, the city’s pre-eminent gay and lesbian film festival, will be screening the long-awaited, only slightly troubled film as its opening-night selection June 1. As an added bonus, the asskickers at indieWIRE will host a discussion with SWC star Amy Sedaris and director Paul Dinello June 8; NewFest executive director Basil Tsiokos will moderate. Stay tuned here as The Reeler will be catching up with Tsiokos and NewFest’s 18th annual gay old time in the weeks ahead.

–Amid the scores of Tribeca round-ups available out there in the nebula of the Web, only one has readers brilliant enough to dismiss Snow Cake as a “retard movie of the week.” Harry Knowles, how do you do it?

The Kids Are Alright: 'Twelve and Holding' Bows at IFC Center

The Reeler braved the rain Monday night to check out the premiere and party for L.I.E. director Michael Cuesta’s latest film Twelve and Holding at IFC Center. The usual IFC gang was all there, including unofficial IFC Films mascot Michael Stipe (right, with Cuesta*), who followed March’s Lonesome Jim party-crash with last night’s late arrival. (Not coincidentally, I guess, REM also contributed to the film’s soundtrack.) The lovely Annabella Sciorra held court in a far corner of the room, while word of a few Willem Dafoe sightings preceded the film. I never saw him myself; he seemed to have fled the scene before a biblical-style storm besieged the white tent under which partygoers feasted on wine and cheese and–wait for it–chips, salsa and guacamole.
Anyway, the event was a rollicking success even if the film is a tad disappointing. In telling the story of three New Jersey adolescents facing a set of peculiarly traumatic growing pains, Cuesta coaxes excellent performances (including one astonishing turn by Zoe Weizenbaum) from a cast that had not a whole bunch to work with script-wise. The film is essentially melodrama refracted through the more harrowing challenges of youth: obese Leonard (Jesse Camacho) whose sudden obsession with healthy living verges on neurosis; Malee (Weizenbaum), an Asian girl whose budding sexuality homes in on one of her psychiatrist mother’s patients (Jeremy Renner); and Jacob (Conor Donovan), born with a facial birth mark, haunted by his twin brother’s death.
Everybody looks different here and is treated as such, and they take increasingly drastic measures to fill emotional gulfs widened by their parents and their peers. But a first act portending hard realities gives way to second and third acts that are more troubling for their contrivances than for their characters’ predicaments; only Malee, unable to reconcile sexual and paternal alienation, resonates with any lingering influence. “She’s a lonely girl,” the patient tells her mother, defining a simple reality less abstract than those that screenwriter Anthony Cipriano saddles Leonard and Jacob with. Cipriano’s determination to save his characters achieves full-blown pathology in Twelve and Holding‘s final 10 minutes, and you really cannot help but feel for Cuesta and his cast, whose restraint is no match for a particularly fearsome deus ex machina.

But enough of that. Cuesta, whose son attends the same Locust Alley school as IFC Films boss Jonathan Sehring’s son (Sehring evidently asked the 10-year-old to “please tell your father we want to buy his film” at a school fair), absolutely has a way with young actors; it was abundantly clear with L.I.E.‘s Paul Franklin Dano and it carries over to his Twelve and Holding trio. “Everybody asks about that, but it’s not as hard as you think,” he told me, referring to the process of working through such tough material with kids. “They read the script. Their parents read the script. They had a discussion with their parents beforehand. These kids came in prepped by their parents; it was clear that their parents were really involved and were really great. Then I think they saw in me–and maybe in the way I handled difficult material in my first film–that I was going to kind of look out for their kids. I wasn’t going to be exploitive or sensationalize it in any way. And with all that, it’s basically just letting the kids be who they are. They don’t have a lot of acting training. You capture that and guide that.”
I also caught up with Weizenbaum, whose precocity and chops dazzled Cuesta within 20 seconds of him watching her audition tape. Now 14 years old, she told me she left camp suddenly (“Farm and wilderness,” she said. “It was a Quaker camp.”) to lock down the role. “People ask me what I draw upon when I’m doing something like what I did,” she said. “It’s a hard question to answer. I think that all the issues that come up in the film, someone can relate to out there: Body image, sexuality, violent feelings–it’s what every teenager kind of goes through. And I think that being a teenager, that’s what I drew from. Those emotions. Just not necessarily to that extreme.” She also praised her director. “Michael is amazing,” she told me. “For some reason he can do teenage angst really well. I don’t know. He really understood all the characters and he said where things were going. He was very focused and serious.”
And once again, it shows–at least as much as it can before the story sabotages him. But that is OK; revelations are few and far between, and I will take them where I can get them.
* Pardon the fuzzy resolution, but my camera decided to stop working before the event and I fell back on the trusty cell phone camera. Embarrassing, yes, but we do what we have to do.

'Stupidity Wins': Porn Contest Winner Immortalized in NYDN

The Daily News’s Julian Kesner today reveals the quasi-lucky pervert who won the Fleshbot contest offering a “non-sexual role” in Burning Angel‘s alt-porn masterwork Joanna Angel’s Fuckin’ Guide to Fucking. Manhattan banker Kimani Rogers was selected from over 200 entries, the knowledge of which I am sure will thrill his wife and his employer when his photo appears today in over 700,000 newspapers.
And around his office (and no doubt at home), you can bet that Rogers’ 15 minutes of fame will no doubt attract a 16th or even 17th with revelations like these:

Rogers says he had never visited Fleshbot (though he admits to visiting, but a friend sent him a link to the contest.

His somewhat bizarre winning entry: “In a previous life, I was Jesus Christ. But more importantly, I want to have Kylee Kross’s babies. I’d carry them in my belly.” (Kross is one of the adult stars in Angel’s current production.)

“I didn’t know what to write in that kind of situation,” confesses Rogers. “I didn’t want to write ‘I’ve always dreamed of being in a porn,’ because — well, I haven’t always dreamed of being in a porn.

“I just wrote something stupid, and apparently stupidity wins every now and then. This is actually my first time winning something — my luck is turning around!”

Kudos also to “New York’s Hometown Newspaper” for devoting 850 words to a piece about porn-film casting. I love Burning Angel as much as the next guy, but I really had a family story like this pegged for the Post. Shows you what I know.

Quote Unquotesee all »

“Well, actually, of that whole group that I call the post-60s anti-authority auteurs, a lot of them came from television. Peckinpah’s the only one whose television work represents his feature work. I mean, like the only one. Mark Rydell can direct a really good episode of ‘Gunsmoke’ and Michael Ritchie can direct a really good episode of ‘The Big Valley,’ but they don’t necessarily look like The Candidate. But Peckinpah’s stuff, even the scripts he wrote that he didn’t even direct, have a Peckinpah feel – the way I think there’s a Corbucci West – suggest a Peckinpah West. That even in his random episodes that he wrote for ‘Gunsmoke’ – it’s right there.”
~ Quentin Tarantino

“The thought is interrupted by an odd interlude. We are speaking in the side room of Casita, a swish and fairly busy Italian bistro in Aoyama – a district of Tokyo usually so replete with celebrities that they spark minimal fuss. Kojima’s fame, however, exceeds normal limits and adoring staff have worked out who their guest is. He stops mid-sentence and points up towards the speakers, delighted. The soft jazz that had been playing discreetly across the restaurant’s dark, hardwood interior has suddenly been replaced with the theme music from some of Kojima’s hit games. Harry Gregson-Williams’ music is sublime in its context but ‘Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots’ is not, Kojima acknowledges, terribly restauranty. He pauses, adjusting a pair of large, blue-framed glasses of his own design, and returns to the way in which games have not only influenced films, but have also changed the way in which people watch them. “There are stories being told [in cinema] that my generation may find surprising but which the gamer generation doesn’t find weird at all,” he says.
~ Hideo Kojima