Saturday, June 11, 2005
I had to stop by the press office on Friday afternoon and who should I see waiting for the W Hotel's "up" elevator, but Junebug's Ben McKenzie. He was wearing a blazer, so I almost didn't recognize him. Otherwise, he looks just as he does on screen; well, expect for the moustache he sports in the film. I was waiting for the "down" elevator and it arrived just as I figured out who he was or I would've said something.
Ben McKenzie sporting a small 'stache
So then I went to see Ellie Parker the next day. Yes, I too went on the recommendations of Gillian and Neil. While I didn't like it as much as they did, I liked it well enough. That said, I don't think I've seen Naomi Watts give a bad performance. Granted, I still haven't seen Tank Girl...apparently, it was on the set of said film that writer/director Scott Coffey first made her acquaintance, as he noted after the screening. She deserves a lot of credit for working on the low profile, micro-budget Parker for as long as she did--five years--purely for the love of it. Coffey said she wasn't paid and that the shoot cost around $500 (!). He also mentioned that it'll be getting released in December, around the same time as King Kong, so here's hoping the mega-publicity surrounding Peter Jackson's epic benefits his film, too.
Phil Morrison sporting a strange 'stache
In any case, while I was waiting for the film to begin, I heard two gentlemen behind me talking about what sounded like Junebug. One stepped away for a minute, which gave me a chance to turn around and ask the guy with the Southern accent if he was the director (Phil Morrison). Bingo! Well, I let him know I enjoyed his film and that I ran into Mr. McKenzie the day before. I told him that I had recently reviewed the first season of Pete & Pete for a certain on-line merchant and noticed in the Junebug press notes that he had directed an episode. "Which one was it?" I asked. "Well, I arrived somewhat late in the game," he replied. "Don't Tread on Pete." "I've seen that," I said. "It's on the DVD set." "Really?" he asked. "You didn't know?" I responded. "No," he said. "I'm glad they're making it available." And with that we had a few words about Junebug (I told him I liked Allesandro Nivola's singing in the film, he told me he hadn't seen "The O.C." before casting McKenzie, etc.) and then Ellie Parker began. Anyway, he seemed nice, and I'm glad I got to chat with him, however briefly.
Note: Poster and production photos from Sony Pictures Classics.