Ryan Gosling Gives An Entertaining Insight Into the Perils of the Hollywood Audition
“The movie business is like the worst girlfriend you’ve ever had,” declares Alec Baldwin, the veteran actor and star of James Toback’s documentary Seduced and Abandoned. “You are seduced and abandoned over and over again.” The hard-hitting Hollywood director returns to Cannes, where he triumphed in 2008 with his documentary on Mike Tyson, and puts the mechanics of the film festival itself under his microscope. In the wry meta-film, The Glengarry Glen Ross star and Toback work La Croisette Boulevard like the undoubted pros they are in a determined attempt to secure funding for "Last Tango in Tikrit," a sexually explicit allegory about post-Iraq disillusion in which Baldwin would take the lead. “Alec and I acted in a scene together in Woody Allen's Alice,” says Toback. “Our scene was cut from the final version but the irrational sense of connection I felt with him, both as a screen presence and as a person, lingered after our brief Woody experience.” The duo quickly discovers why Somerset Maugham described the Riviera as “a sunny place for shady people” but the impressive list of auteurs and actors they interview––including Martin Scorsese, Ryan Gosling and Francis Ford Coppola––are disarmingly candid. “It’s a celebration of film, not so much of the industry,” says Toback. “I have learned that the more movies I make, the more impossible it is to get excited by any film which is not filled with surprises, uncertainty and the daily need for invention.”
The Brooklyn Band Conjures a Blissful Psychedelic Fantasy
An abstracted landscape of volcanic clouds forms the backdrop to Baby Alpaca’s video for Turbotito’s euphoric remix of their track “Sea of Dreams”. Directed by the band’s New York-based painter-filmmaker-frontman Chris Kittrell, the work captures the balletic Benji Staker dancing on Whidbey Island in Washington. “We were watching the footage in slow motion with a few instrumental songs we had recorded,” says Kittrell of his inspiration. “I started adding in footage of paint and the sky to recreate the feeling of the day.” Although the psych-folk outfit have signed to Atlas Chair records (owned by JD Samson of Le Tigre), Kittrell still pursues other creative outlets. When not composing the band’s haunting lyrics, the singer–a one-time intern at The Row and Marc Jacobs–designs a hand-painted knitwear line called Beautiful Dreamers x Baby Alpaca. “We are going to have some parties in boutiques where we'll be launching our new collection,” enthuses Kittrell. “Melt-on-your-body knitwear. It's so soft!” Following his new wave reworks for LCD Soundsystem and Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, Producer and LA resident Turbotito’s interpretation of “Sea of Dreams” features on Baby Alpaca’s forthcoming remix album, Strictly Sexual.
Baby Alpaca’s Strictly Sexual (Remixes) is released March 2 on Atlas Chair
Part One: Miranda July, Hamish Linklater and Wim Wenders in a Cinematic Odyssey
For today's exclusive story, NOWNESS contributors and filmmaking partners Carlo Lavagna and Roberto de Paolis set out to chronicle the 61st annual Berlin International Film Festival—and came away with a highly imaginative tribute to the host city itself. Lavagna's girlfriend, aspiring filmmaker Claude Gerber, joins the intrepid duo as they hop from Berlin’s infamous nightclubs to Treptower Park’s abandoned funfair, encountering famous friends along the way: filmmaker Miranda July, in town to promote her second feature, The Future, and the movie's lead actor, Hamish Linklater; eccentric artist Julius von Bismarck; and maverick German director Wim Wenders. Soundtracked by Marlene Dietrich and Düsseldorf electropunk outfit D.A.F., the short film is stocked with cinematic riffs: "The opening scene mimics Truffaut's The 400 Blows," says Lavagna, "except the Eiffel Tower is replaced with the TV tower in Alexanderplatz." Check back tomorrow to see the filmmakers' interview with Wenders, for whom Berlin is the ultimate home. "Wim told us he tried to live in LA, in San Francisco, but they were all too beautiful to be true,” says De Paolis. "He said he loves Berlin because it's too true to be beautiful."