The Young and Prodigious T.S. Spivet
T.S. Spivet is a messy, warm comedy about grief, family and imagination. It's also ironically about being seen and rarely heard.
"What happened was, I was reading about Buster Keaton," Gene Wilder said. "About how he did all his own stunts. Like the time he had to stand in exactly the right place for the two-ton building to fall on him and he was right where the window was. So then we were making 'Silver Streak' and there we were doing our own stunts."
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. - Breakfast at the Beverly Wiltshire. The waitresses in their frills and bodices like Swiss maids. Waiting to talk with Alan Arkin, I drink coffee and read the Los Angeles Times. Convicted killer Gary Gilmore has broken his 21-day hunger strike and eats his first meal, a cheese and bologna sandwich. David Susskind walks into the breakfast room. Orders breakfast. What's he having? Scrambled eggs, toast, orange juice? Susskind is negotiating for the Gary Gilmore story. Everybody's gotta eat. Wonder if Susskind knows that Gilmore....
Sylvester Stallone sits on a hotel sofa with his feet up on the coffee table. He wears expensive blue jeans, the kind you buy in Beverly Hills. His muscles bulge beneath a T-shirt that says, simply and inexplicably, "Valentine." He has a tough, sensual face, a mane of black hair and the best hooded eyes since Robert Mitchum. Two years ago, he observes, his acting career was "intellectually, emotionally and financially defunct." Now he talks about how it's going to feel to be a star.
"It was just a year ago at this time," Jessica Lange remembered. "The screen tests were on Dec. 17 and 19, and then I went home for Christmas. And I said to my folks, I've got some news for you that you're not going to believe. I'm, ah, I'm going to star in 'King Kong'..."
Richard Brooks hunched his shoulders against a cold State Street wind and peered past the Christmas windows at Marshall Field's."Willya look at that," he said, wonderingly. "Howya gonna tell 'em?"There was a Salvation Army bucket in the middle of the sidewalk, and shoppers were automatically reaching into their pockets for dimes and quarters as they walked past. Trouble was, both the bucket and the window displays were props 'for Brooks' new movie, "Looking for Mr. Goodbar." They weren't actually due on State Street for another week.
This is ridiculous, I told myself. You've interviewed Ingmar Bergman. Robert Mitchum. John Wayne. You got through those okay. Why should you be scared of Jeanne Moreau? Simply because she's the greatest movie actress of the last 20 years? Simply because she's made more good films for great directors than anybody else? Simply because something in her face and manner has fascinated you since you sat through "Jules and Jim" twice in a row? She's only human; it's not like she's a goddess.
"You don't know me," said the great-looking blonde in the wraparound fur, "but I know you."
Some people daydream and some people don't.
Ancient Man sat in caves, safe from the wolves, and gnawed burnt meat. Hollywood Man sits in Truffles, eats smoked salmon, and discusses disaster movies. There is in both cases the delicious sensation of flirting, in exquisite comfort, with danger.
I met Dalton Trumbo only once, five years ago, but he made an impression I've not forgotten. The meeting was for lunch, long and leisurely, on the occasion of the opening of his film, "Johnny Got His Gun." Trumbo had directed the film at the age of 66, from a novel he wrote when he was 33. In the lifetime between those two ages he had been the highest-paid writer in Hollywood, had spent 10 months in prison and had won an Academy Award under a false name.