Here Stay The Warm Jets

Jordan | Cram it in Your Ear | Friday, June 30th, 2006

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I’ve had very little time to do anything — even listen to music — since principle photography started. But I find that every time I sit at my computer to go through email or look at scheduling or anything, I immidiately hit Brian Eno’s “Here Come The Warm Jets” on my iTunes. It’s odd — I don’t really remember when this album came in to my life. I was fond of Roxy Music & some other Eno-related albums in high school and college — but at some point in the past 3 or 4 years “Here Come The Warm Jets” has become something of a constant presence in my life. It is energetic, perhaps even a little ominous at times, but incredibly tuneful.

Productin Journal, Day, Um, I Can’t Remember

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Friday, June 30th, 2006

Today was the day that I, the producer/co-director, was to blame for everything. It was me who left the permits on the kitchen table before he left for the set. It was me who then didn’t give Patches the key to the van when he sped back home in a cab to get said permits. And it was me who smashed up the van (and a parked 4-Runner) and had to bribe an angry Russian man with an *obscene* amount of money to keep the cops out of it. But at the end of the day, we burned some amazing footage. We had some sound and sun issues — but that’s what post-production movie magic is for. We also had some amazing day players: Irma St. Paule, Pamelyn Chee and John Wu. These guys a real troopers and didn’t mind waiting around until I got my head out of my arse and got the production rolling. We still have the best crew in New York (especially now that Hillary is back) and I can’t wait to get shooting again on July 5. Okay. . .I can wait a little bit — a few days off would be nice.

Production Journal, Second Trimester

Jordan | Tales Of Hoffman | Sunday, June 25th, 2006

Our 21 days of shooting entered its second trimester today as we wrapped Day 8. We shot the Charleston scene — one of the most baffling scenes in the movie and, perhaps, my favorite. We’ve got two heavy dramatic scenes for tomorrow. And lots and lots and lots of little pick-ups. The good news is is that we’re basically back on schedule. We’re on a tight schedule, but we aren’t behind. I’ll get a decent night’s sleep tonight.

Production Journal, First Day Off

Jordan | Tales Of Hoffman | Friday, June 23rd, 2006

It’s the first day off — six straight days of shooting — and I finally have a moment to reflect. Overall, I am very pleased so far. We only had one major foul-up with any consequences — a simple miscommunication landed us a little behind schedule. We’re not extremely behind schedule, but a little behind schedule. We may have to put in one or two overtime days. I’m not worried about how this will change our budget (at this point, the budget is just an abstraction to me — there’ll always be semen to sell) — but gosh darnit a 12 hour day is kinda long enough!

Anyway, I must take a moment to sing the praises of our DP Raoul Germain — the guy is just a lagoon of calm in what should be a typhoon of chaos. Maybe it is because he is from LA, but the man just doesn’t know how to get frustrated. It is remarkable. Also, our fantastic cast: Rob Gomes had to go from faking an orgasm in one shot to then queitly weeping in the next. That ain’t easy to do. Especially in cramped quarters with people barking at you nonstop. The luminous Leslie Kendall is a joy to work with, especially because there is no Woody Allen quote she can’t follow-up on. The other star of the show is Young Matt Patches, originally hired as “extra guy on set,” this 19 year old kid has become Kerry’s and my right arm. He is a fantastic AD/Script Supervisor and far more on top of things than we are. We’ve had to make some last minute schedule changes in the heat of battle (mostly due to the aforementioned fuck-up) and we’ve basically turned to this guy and said, “Whaddya suggest we shoot now?” Was I this organized when I was his age?

One quick anecdote. It is 6:30 AM and I am driving (yes, me — driving!) from Kerry’s apartment to get to the set. We have these giant flags and silks roped to the top of my mother’s car. We need to get there quickly, but I don’t want to go too quickly because if I do these massive objects — basically humongous parachutes — will fly off the roof and kill people and Kerry and I would end up on the cover of the New York Daily News. I turn on the radio, which had been tuned to WQXR. And they are playing. . .the William Tell Overture!!! Maybe you just had to be there, but I don’t think I’ve laughed that hard in weeks.

On to photos:

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Production Journal, Hoffman Style

Jordan | Tales Of Hoffman | Saturday, June 17th, 2006

One down, twenty to go.

I have to get up at 5:30 tomorrow.

What’s Keeping Me Sane?

Jordan | Tales Of Hoffman | Thursday, June 15th, 2006

It’s less than 36 hours from the start of principle. What’s helped me make it this far?

My Nebulizer.

Great episodes from TOS Season Two. (It’s where you’ll find me each night at 1 AM when I realize there is *no way* I am getting to sleep — even though I am exhausted.)

DJ Spooky remixing Allen Ginsburg.

And this fantastic wonderful wacko who can never be praised enough.

Cat Hat

Jordan | Goober | Sunday, June 11th, 2006

If you are sitting on our couch and Goober climbs up and sits behind you, you’ve got Cat Hat.

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Goober owns the couch.

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Ann hears something.

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Stardom (2000), Denys Arcand, B

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Sunday, June 11th, 2006

Denys Arcand, French Canada’s greatest filmmaker, is always thinking. Even when he’s doing what is ostensibly a piece of hackwork like this — a standard “rise and fall” of a fashion model — there are wonderful flashes of originality. The big gimmick here is that we only see our hero as the public sees her, in snippets on TV chat shows and red carpet interviews. Each innovation tops the next as the peripheral characters broaden out. I’m sure this is a low-budget affair with many favors thrown in. Some sets looks ridiculously cheap, while some of the locations are loaded with production value. Fun movie, even if predictable.

Chronos (1985), Ron Fricke, B-

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Saturday, June 10th, 2006

A poor man’s “Koyaanisqatsi.” Not bad, but kinda pointless.

Diary of a Country Priest (1952), Robert Bresson, C-

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Saturday, June 10th, 2006

Every film historian on Earth cites this as a milestone, but I found it about as compelling as (so I imagine) a long Sunday morning at church. There’s a brick wall for some reason between Bresson and me. I give up on him.

Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991), Nicholas Meyer, A+

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal,The Star Trek Project | Saturday, June 10th, 2006

The most complex and intelligent of the Trek films, originally intended as a metaphor for the end of the cold war, one could also read it is a prediction of an eventual detente between the West and Islam (if one has the necessary Trek optimism.) Good comedy, great action sequences, Sulu promoted to Captain, Worf’s grandfather, Kim Catrall as an evil Vulcan, Christopher Plummer with a nailed-in eyepatch, globules of purple Klingon blood floating in zero G — you just can’t go wrong. I worked at the local Loews when this came out and I think I watched it fifteen times.

Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (1989), William Shatner, B-

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal,The Star Trek Project | Saturday, June 10th, 2006

This movie is not the disaster some make it out to be. In fact, the first two-thirds are just dandy. There is good comedy (particularly from Dr. McCoy) and the action sequences are good, too. Then it completely falls apart. It makes absolutely no sense – as if whole scenes are missing (which, I beleive is actually the case.) There are wild character contradictions, plot holes and a massive anti-climax. Yes, the ending of “Star Trek V” does indeed suck. But the whole movie is not a waste, and fans of Trek will find plenty to enjoy in the earlier sections of the film.

Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room (2005), Alex Gibney, C

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Monday, June 5th, 2006

Here’s a little insight into my character. I avoided this movie ’cause I thought it would depress me — only now, after Lay & Skilling are wearing the ball and stripes, did I decide to rent it. Frankly, there is nothing here you haven’t already seen on the Discovery/Times Channel. There isn’t all that much context given and the style of the film is standard talking heads. Adequate.

Speaking Parts (1989), Atom Egoyan, A

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Monday, June 5th, 2006

Egoyan is always hit or miss for me, but on this one he nailed it. Videodrome meets The Shining meets State and Main? A tone poem on the responsibility of image-making with scenes both deadpan and heartbreaking. There is virutally no dialogue in the first twenty minutes (and the story remains baffling for at least 45) but the images are intriuging enough to keep you hooked until things begin to reveal themselves. Also: the film stock, the music, the unknown (to non-Canadian eyes) actors — this is like a time capsule of a late 80s indie film. Highly recommended.

A thin, opaque, abnormal coating on the cornea of the eye

Jordan | E-motions | Saturday, June 3rd, 2006

. . .that, of course, is the dictionary definition of the word film.

I want to just let all frequent SS Fun readers know that posts may be few and far between for the next six weeks as we dive into production on Body/Antibody. I don’t write too much about it on this blog, but it has now officially taken over my life. Today was the last tour I will work until after July 14 (yes, we wrap on Bastille Day!). . .I just hope the companies I work for will remember me when I come crawling back. We’ve got most of our crew assembled, most of our cast, most of our locations. . . .that’s what’s driving me crazy — the “most of” aspect. What we have, we love. We have an awesome DP — we have the best leading man and the best leading lady — the most enthusiastic investors. . .the stuff that is assembled is solid. It’s that there is a lot of loose ends scurrying all over the place and just two guys (me and Kerry) trying to spin all these plates at the same time. There was some nice comedy tonight as we were alone at our primary location, wrestling with an air conditioner, convinced we were about to drop it onto the heads of the nice New York citizens walking home on the street below us. It was so friggin humid in there and I was sweating like a filthy hog (as I am sometimes wont to do) and Kerry had just been eating prawns and reeked of prawns and kept breathing his horrible prawn breath in my face as sweat poured in my eyes nearly blinding me.

And I thought — THIS IS CINEMA!!!!

What Ever Happened To Baby Jane? (1962), Robert Aldrich, A-

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Thursday, June 1st, 2006

Unlike, say, “The Bad Seed,” this is a camp classic that is also a pretty exciting movie. The difference here is that Bette Davis knows exactly what she is doing . . .she’s bravely setting herself up as a joke. At least I hope she is. Joan Crawford, actually the stauncher of these two staunch women in my book, kinda plays it straight. A disappointment, but probably necessary to make the movie believable at all. The line “But you ARE, Blanche!” is one of the most wonderfully mean-spirited moments I’ve ever seen in a film.

Because Nothing Ever Excited A Commie Like A Free Gift Certificate

Jordan | No News Is Good News | Thursday, June 1st, 2006

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Anyone else see this bizzare story?

Rewards for anti-Communist Czech voters

PRAGUE (Reuters) – The prospect of the Communist Party returning to play a role in power haunts some Czechs so much they are offering voters rewards to shun the left in this weekend’s election.

Sports equipment retailer Rock Point said on Thursday it would give a 20 percent discount to anyone who turned in unused ballots for the Communists and the leftist ruling party, the Social Democrats.

“Do not vote for the red coalition. Vote for a 20 percent discount,” the firm said on its Web site. A similar pledge to Rockpoint’s appeared at an antique store in Prague.

Graphics studio Mowshe is running a campaign urging voters to send in as many Communist ballots as possible, and said it had received about 2,500 so far, including 12 collected by one family. Czech voters get ballot papers for each party by post.

Mowshe’s Michal Gregorini said the winners would receive prizes like anti-Communist T-shirts and a subscription to the weekly magazine Respekt.

The Communists have had no share of power since their Soviet-backed dictatorship ended in 1989, but the Social Democrats say after the election they may try to form a minority cabinet dependent on Communist support in some key votes.

The Social Democrats lag slightly behind the right-wing opposition Civic Democrats in opinion polls. No party stands a chance of winning an outright majority, so any winner will need partners to form a government.

Unlike their counterparts in several other former Communist countries, the Czech Communists did not change their name and have not made a clear break with their past

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