“The King’s Speech” Talk with Director Tom Hooper

October 14, 2010 § Leave a comment

The Oscar race is in full swing with this year’s Best Picture Contender, “The King’s Speech”, due out November 26, 2010.

Follow the relationship between a down to earth, middle class family man working as a speech therapist and the Duke of York with a stammering problem. Lionel Logue, played by Geoffrey Rush, is not just an instructor, but a witty and fun loving, friend, speech and psychotherapist, who attempts to assist a client by breaking the ice, while breaking down childhood fears and walls built up after years of growing up as a member of The Royal Family, as well. The newly appointed King George VI must overcome obstacles in order to demonstrate his leadership skills so that he can serve the public through one of the most difficult periods in history.

Director Tom Hooper on “The King’s Speech”:

“Writer of “The King’s Speech” screenplay, David Seidler, felt inspired to write the story, because when he was younger, he also stammered.  David would listen to recordings of King George VI, and think to himself, “if he can overcome his stammer, then so can I.”

“Colin Firth, as King George VI, and Geoffrey Rush, as Lionel Logue, were joyous to work with. They are both fiercely talented.  Geoffrey is actually Australian, but his British accent is so impeccable, I think it kept Colin on his toes.  Geoff has a boyish enthusiasm, while Colin has a different energy. They were both fabulous, rehearsing for three weeks.”

“Nine weeks before the shoot we tracked down Lionel Logue’s guardian, who had unpublished diaries of interactions between Logue and King George VI, in his attic. The diary was never seen before by any art historian. This was a treasure trove of information, as the diaries only started once he was King. For example, the line, “You still stammered on the ‘W’.  “Well, I had to throw in a few, so they knew it was me.”, was a direct quote from the diaries.  Also, the shot of him at the desk and giving the speech standing up with the window open to relax him, were all information provided to us from the diary.”

Q: Colin Firth had so much fear in his face as he played the role of King George VI. How did you direct him?

A: “I terrorized him. No, but seriously, Colin watched 6 hours of footage of the King. Colin so wanted to get it right. We also cut away a lot, so that when we cut back to faces, you would see quiet desperation.  Stammering is very infectious. We also had the stammerer who played Claudius in “I, Claudius”, Derek Jacobi, on the set, in case we needed to refer to him.”

Q: “How did you research the speech therapist?”

A: “Colin Firth’s sister ironically is a speech therapist.  It is not about what you say, it is actually about the silences.  It’s about being caught drowning in those silences.  It was about making a film that was tolerable to watch.  If the stammering became too much, the movie would become unwatchable.”

Q: Talk about the role of Queen Elizabeth, played by Helena Bonham Carter.

A: “Helena Bonham Carter was so eager to talk to anyone who had spoken with the Queen. She was splendid.”

Q: Talk about researching the time period.

A: “I was able to still talk to people who were alive during that time period. For example, my next door neighbor was still able to provide me with facts and information of activities of daily living. For example, the smog was so thick that in order to hail a cab it had to be done from six feet in front of the car.”

Article by Sharon Abella

Rome International Film Festival, October 28-November 5, 2010

October 8, 2010 § Leave a comment

If you find yourself in Rome towards the end of October to the beginning of November, 2010, then maybe one of the 146 Films and Documentaries being shown at the Auditorium Parco della Musica at the Rome International Film Festival, will be of interest to you.

Of the Sixteen films in competition, judged by the International Jury comprised of Sergio Castellitto, Natalia Aspesi, Ulu Grosbard, Patrick McGrath, Edgar Reitz, and Olga Sviblova, four are Italian, while two are American.

1.  “Una Vita Tranquilla”  by Claudio Cupellini  starring Toni Servillo

2. “La Scuola e Finita” by Valerio Jalongo starring Valerio Golino

3. “Gangor” by Italo Spinelli, and

4. “Io sono con te” by Guido Chiesa

Two American films in competition include,

1. “Last Night” by Massy Tadjedin starring Keira Knightley, Sam Worthington, Eva Mendes, and

2. “Rabbit Hole” by John Cameron Mitchell starring Nicole Kidman, Aaron Eckhart and Dianne Wiest

Official Selection films out of competition include,

“Crime d’amour”, a pilot of the series, “Boardwalk Empire” by Martin Scorsese, “The Kids Are All Right”, “Let Me In”,  and “Il padre e lo straniero”.

Sophia Loren, Gina Lollobrigida, Marcello Mastroianni, and Federico Fellini are just a few of the masters in the long life of Italian Cinema who have helped form the film industry to make it what it is today. Come celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Fellini classic, “La Dolce Vita”, as this iconic film has been newly restored with special help from the laboratory L’Immagine Ritrovata at the Cineteca in Bologna, in association with the Film Foundation, Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia-Cineteca Nazionale, Pathe, Fondation Jerome Seydoux-Pathe, Mediaset, Medusa Film, Paramount PIctures and Cinecitta Luce, and will make it’s world premiere at the Auditorium Parco della Musica on October 30th!

Article by Sharon Abella


In Memory of Greg Giraldo: Funny Stand Up Lines From 9/6/06

October 1, 2010 § Leave a comment

Funny stand up lines by Greg Giraldo: 12/10/65-9/29/10 RIP

“If you see something, say something”. “This is the New York City Subway system we are talking about, of course, I’m going to see something suspicious. In fact, one time I saw someone peeing on someone who was masturbating.”

“So many people are so quick to judge the homeless people in NYC, thinking to themselves, “Well, if I give him a dollar, he’ll probably spend it on drugs or alcohol.” Come to think of it, that’s what I’ll probably spend it on.”

“Once I saw a homeless man wearing his underwear on top of his pants. Now we say, why don’t the homeless just go out and get a job? If he’s wearing his underwear on top of his pants, I doubt his resume is in order, and I don’t think he’s going to make it too far in the interview process. In fact, I’m pretty sure that McDonald’s has a no underwear over your pant policy.”

“There’s been so much talk in the news lately about illegal aliens in the workplace. When was the last time an illegal alien stole your job? Oh yeah, that dream job of the Chinese Delivery man pedaling up Broadway delivering Chinese food for .40 cents an hour, or on the back of a landscaping truck with 15 others.”

“How many of you text message? It’s a great way of not communicating.”

“If I drive my SUV I’m supporting terrorism. Okay, I’ll take a taxi, Is that better?”

“Wallmart had their employees switch from saying “Merry Christmas” to “Happy Holidays”. How many Jews are really shopping at Wallmart? In fact, if you’re a Jew shopping at Wallmart, your life probably hasn’t gone as planned.”

“We’re a spoiled, lazy culture, full of ethnic pride that has to have a parade for every nationality.”

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