Tuesday  September 16, 2003


If Lovisa and Lisa were French...

Are you sure you don't want to examine the bags one more time?!

Wow. 36 hours in France. And it's not like I had any time to relax, either. Michel Burnstein, the ace publicist Rachel Goldstein recommended, had me parked in the hotel cafe the from the moment I arrived giving interviews for the French press. I did three on-camera interviews, eight tape recorded interviews and three photo sessions -- all on two hours of sleep. I assume I was utterly incoherent; I don't really remember.

A little international promotion for Woodstock

That same night Julie and I went to the screening of Matchstick Men, which included a tribute to Ridley Scott. The Minister of Culture made a brief speech and was hissed at by the crowd. We had no idea why; his speech seemed innocuous enough. Apparently that was exactly the problem -- he is not known for his great knowledge of things cultural. Ridley then said a nice, if somewhat tepid "thank you" and the screening began. Only an hour and a half late. By the time we got to dinner in Trouville it was 23h30. Asleep by 2 AM.

Michel the slave-driver had me up and doing more interviews at 09h30 the next morning. By then I was really incoherent, or at least somewhat repetitive. After all that was finished, it was time to write my opening remarks for the EvenHand screening, which was only 20 minutes away. These days I usually don't write anything, limiting myself to a thank you for the festival and the programmer that chose my film and a hearty "enjoy the film." In this case, though, I was determined to make my remarks in French, even though I don't really speak the language. So, at breakfast, Julie translated and transcribed and Michel made final corrections. I must say, this was an excellent choice; the audience was extremely appreciative of the effort. I was told that I did make a couple of mistakes, but I definitely won some points for trying.

The translation

Arriving at the C.I.D. theater, we walked down the same long red carpet that Ridley Scott, Sam Rockwell and the talented Alison Lohman had walked down the night before to a blizzard of flashbulbs and cries of "Brad Pitt!" which were, I think, (mis)directed at Sam Rockwell. The following morning was a very different scene. There was only one papparazzo, who called out "Joseph!" I turned, posed for two pictures and went inside, feeling rather pointedly the gap between my career and, say, Ridley Scott's.

The audience was, in general, more subdued than most, but the overall reaction seemed pretty good. One of the festival officials confided in me that he liked EvenHand better than any that were in competition, which was a nice thing to say. No immediate offers from distributors, but Michel and Andrew will be following up. I would love to get the film in French theaters.

The cabanas of fame

*"Le flic gros" is "fat cop" in French.

Here is an update of the current EvenHand festival line-up through the end of next week: 



On Saturday 9/20 at noon, at the Woodstock Film Festival, I will also be appearing on a panel entitled FILM CRITICS AND FILMMAKERS. Panelists will discuss the symbiotic relationship between critics and filmmakers, focusing on the world of limited release films.

By the way, the hopeful reference in the last journal entry to the Athens Film Festival finding the missing print was not a joke. Apparently, as of the morning of the 12th, FedEx said the print was still in London. The screening was scheduled for 7:00 PM that evening, and the Athens programmer was, understandably, freaking out. It turned out the print was in Athens after all, but I did not find out until yesterday that the screening proceeded according to schedule. No word yet on how it was received by the Greek audience.

- Joseph Pierson

Why don't we have one of these?

I noticed the other day that the EvenHand listing on the Internet Movie Database has started getting votes. If you have seen the film (and like it -- don't be mean!), please take a minute and register your vote there. Here's a link:




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