January 23rd, 2010
07:24 PM ET
My first assignment today at Sundance was to cover the red carpet arrivals of "Get Low." The film stars Academy Award winners Robert Duvall and Sissy Spacek as well as Bill Murray. Shot in just 24 days in Atlanta, Georgia, the low-budget feature tells the tale of "Felix Bush."
Inspired by a true story, Bush spends the majority of his life in recluse, until one day he decides to throw his own funeral, while he's still alive to see what people say about him. Duvall plays Bush, Sissy plays his one-time wife and Murray plays the shifty mortician looking to make a mint off of the unique situation.
Last to arrive to the event, Murray showed up with a limp and using a single crutch. As he hobbled from reporter to reporter, I imagined all the possible scenarios that could have caused his injury. FULL POST
January 23rd, 2010
01:49 AM ET
Bill Gates appears briefly in the Sundance movie "Waiting for Superman," which is a documentary on the problems of America's public education system and public schools.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation gives millions every year to education related causes, which is why he is featured in the film. The film is directed by Davis Guggenheim, who also directed "An Inconvenient Truth," which he premiered at the Sundance Film Festival.
"Waiting for Superman" was the first film bought at Sundance this year. It was bought by Paramount Pictures and will be released through its Paramount Vantage arm. There is currently no theatrical release date set for the film. FULL POST
September 16th, 2009
05:42 PM ET
On "Showbiz Tonight" you may have seen the regular segment where a celebrity talks about how he or she makes a marriage work. It's a question we put to some big names, when we get the chance.
I've discovered a trend has emerged that the men will all give a version of the same answer. For example, I spoke with Matt Damon last night at the premiere for "The Informant" and toward the end of the interview I put the question to him. He said that the key for him was he picked the right woman, but then he added that men need to "listen, and practice these three words, 'you're right honey'." It's not a surprising answer, Marc Anthony told me roughly the same thing once. (If you were wondering it did come a couple of minutes after Jennifer Lopez had left the room).
Thinking that maybe I just hit a couple of guys with the question and happened to get a similar answer I chatted with Jen Gerardo, the producer who regularly works on this segment. She told me that married celebrity women who get the question tend to come up with a more thoughtful answer, while the men tend to go for the cheap laugh with a "yes Dear" answer. I get it. But, I'm not sure what it says about married men overall, that we instinctively understand that we can get a laugh by going with the cliche (disclaimer time here - I just got married this summer and I've already made the joke among friends more a few times).
So, when you hear the most famous and successful men in the world say the secret to a good marriage is "yes dear", do you buy it? Or, is there a better answer for this question?
September 11th, 2009
04:33 PM ET
I heard recently that the acronym “OMG” has officially been added to the English dictionary. This is great news because I had one heck of an OMG moment ealier today. You see, when you’re in the throes of covering a major entertainment news event, like the Toronto Film Festival, you’re likely to encounter at least one, if not more, scheduling errors. It’s only human, right? Numbers get transposed, press events change, and sometimes, just sometimes, sit-down interviews with the entire cast of a major motion picture are actually on a different day than you think.
I’m scheduled to interview the cast of “Jennifer’s Body,” including star Megan Fox, tomorrow, not today. Oh my goodness, is right. But rather than think of this as a mistake, I like to think I showed up to Toronto’s Park Hyatt Hotel nice and early – 24 hours early, where I got an exclusive advanced peak at this poster.
Needless to say, an appropriate blog based on an actual interivew with Fox will be posted tomorrow.
As for tonight, I’m attending the red carpet premiere and after party for ”The Men Who Stare at Goats” starring George Clooney, Kevin Spacey and Ewan McGregor. Follow my moment to moment updates on twitter at: www.twitter.com/jdcargillcnn
September 10th, 2009
06:17 PM ET
It's day one of the Toronto International Film Festival and I am currently en route somewhere over The Rockies.
If you're wondering how this guy is blogging about a film festival when he hasn't even arrived, the answer is my dirty little secret – I see the movies in advance! Not all of them, by any stretch – I've seen 3 of about 10 I plan to cover – but, I did see as many as I could in order to give myself more time at the festival for interviews and press events.
So, what have I already seen?
First, there's Steven Soderberg's "The Informant." The film stars Matt Damon and is produced by Damon's "Ocean's" buddy, George Clooney. The movie is a dark comedy about espionage, price fixing, and a company whistleblower who tries bring down the nation's most corrupt white collar corporate corn criminals. Say that ten times fast.
I've also seen the Lee Daniel's movie "Precious," starring newcomer Gabby Sidibe, Mariah Carey and Paula Patton. It's a heart-wrenching tale of an overweight, illiterate Harlem teenager who fights to rise above her circumstances. The film, which is produced by Oprah Winfrey and Tyler Perry also stars Mo'Nique as the girl's abusive mother and is already being called one of the most transformative roles of the year.
Lastly, I saw the horror flick, "Jennifer's Body," which stars one of the country's fastest rising sex symbols, Megan Fox. The movie was written by "Juno's" Oscar-winning screenwriter, Diablo Cody, and includes much of the trademark phrasing and 'high school lingo' she made famous in her debut hit. The film's tale of a beautiful cheerleader's demon-possessed body and its need to feed on teenage boys is sure to appeal to the masses.
In addition to these titles check back here for blog entries, photos and interviews on a number of other movies and their stars as the festival continues to unfold. I'll be sitting down with Michael Moore for a chat about his latest headline-grabbing documentary "Capitalism: A Love Story." I'll be attending the red carpet premieres of George Clooney's "The Men Who Stare at Goats" as well as that of Drew Barrymore's directorial debut, "Whip It." I'll also dig into festival's more serious fare including the politically charged documentary "The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers."
It's time to put my seat and tray table in their upright and locked positions – Toronto International Film Festival, here I come!
September 10th, 2009
05:48 PM ET
The skinny little models running around Bryant Park are a sure sign that Fashion Week is back in the Big Apple.
Twice a year the fashion world shows its wares in midtown Manhattan. While throngs of people have been arriving at the tents designers use to hold their fashion shows, the big event of the opening day isn't a show, it's something called "Fashion's Night Out". It's Vogue Editor Anna Wintour's big brainstorm to rescue the fashion industry from the people-not-spending-money problem.
"FNO", as the fashionistas are calling it, is a worldwide initiative that has stores around the world holding star-studded events and staying open late in the hopes that shoppers will make the cash registers sing into the night.
In New York, major designers and some celebrities like Kate Hudson, Charlize Theron, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, Hugh Jackman, and Justin Timberlake will be at stores in Manhattan and Queens to support the initiative until the wee hours. And on Wednesday, more than 100 top models dragged themselves out of bed before 9 am– the horror– to show off FNO t-shirts. See, everyone in fashion is doing their part. Regular people can buy these at participating stores and boutiques.
Whether it works or not, we'll know about sales in a couple of days, but the fashion crowd is buzzing that the elusive Anna Wintour is actually heading to a Macy's store in Queens to kick it off– at, gasp, a mall. This, I gotta see. I'm headed out there.
Do you think it will work? Will the fashion kingdom and its reigning emperor /editor seem more real-world relevant with a little help from a big one-night party with real people at real stores?
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