I’m on an airplane right now. Can you tell? Spiderman XXVII is playing on the communal video screen and looks like it is being projected through 5 pairs of pantyhose. Many people around me are watching it while simultaneously glancing down at other movies playing on their “entertainment devices”. They were passed out an hour ago by flight attendants who kept saying as they came up the aisle, “Would you like an entertainment device? Would you care to use an entertainment device?” At first I thought they were offering vibrators to the women.
I just finished 3 days of press and promotion for Delirious in Los Angeles. The film opens there August 17. Gestation generously arranged for me to stay at the 5 star Collagen Gables Hotel and all the press was done there as well. I started yesterday with 3 phone interviews then went into a series of ‘roundtables’ with Alison Lohman. This is where you sit believe it or not at a round table with about 12 journalists with tape recorders. Some of them ask you questions. Some of them don’t say a word. Despite all her apprehension about doing press Alison was charming and articulate. Gina Gershon came in for the day and did a slew of press by herself.
Then I did 15 TV interviews in about 45 minutes. There is one room set up with a cameraman and a sound man. The poster of Delirious stands on an easel strategically placed behind the chair I am to sit in. The journalists come in one after the other with their pages of questions.
Sorry, I have to stop. There is a guy sitting 4 rows away from me with his head thrown back and snoring so fucking loud I feel like throwing an entertainment device at him. He’s got a book sliding down his big pot belly and his mouth is jerking open and closed making him look like a massive, stunned sturgeon gasping for air.
I will try to concentrate. So, the TV interviews. There were two other films having press days at the same time. Posters for their films leaned against the wall ready to be slipped into place when their “talent” came in. Each journalist was allotted 4 minutes. In the middle of each interview the cameraman would reach over and tap the journalist lightly on the shoulder. Even though I knew it was the signal for the journalist to start “wrapping it up” it always startled me as it seemed like the tap was intended to wake the person up.
From my position in the chair all I saw was a series of rapidly changing faces. The questions were generally good and prompted short, intense discussions. I noticed that all the women from the higher echelon news channels wore smart-looking dress suits cut very low in the front to accentuate cleavage that was impressive if not entirely authentic.
One woman from a college web outlet stomped in, sat down and announced, “Hey, dude, we’re totally cutting edge and outside the box and just pushing the envelope so feel free, man. Feel free.” I said, “Feel free to do what, take a leak in the corner?” She clapped her hands in delight. “Yeah, dude! Go for it totally go for it!” She seemed acutely disappointed when I didn’t.
The faces kept shifting. One older gentleman never looked up from his list of questions. He also never let me finish answering them. He would nod quickly, assuming by the sound of my voice I guess that I was responding but never listening to what I was saying. At one point he asked, “So, why did you make this movie?” I said, “Nooky in the morning makes you sleepy in the peepee.” He said, “I see, interesting, and tell me, what’s your next project?”
Had a break around 5. Went back to my room, fell on the bed and immediately began hallucinating. Only then realized I hadn’t eaten anything since 9. I had a screening coming up at 7 so I went down to the outdoor restaurant and had a hamburger and a beer. The restaurant was spread around the hotel pool. Though the sun was drifting lower in the jelloblue sky it was still hot and a lot of people were spread out on lounges and standing in the water. Most of them appeared very young, very white, very rich and very devoted to ankle tattoos. The only people of any authentic color were the Hispanic pool attendants spreading towels out on the lounges.
The beer went right to my head. Everything started looking dusty pink and gold. An extremely narrow young woman stood and walked slowly to the edge of the pool where she paused in a brilliant shifting glare glinting off the water. She wore a thread of a white bikini, sunglasses and a straw cowboy hat perched on top of her blonde head. She glanced down at her chest. Many other people did too. Exploding straight out from her toothpick thin body were breasts the size of bowling balls and judging from the amount of silicone in them almost as heavy. When she took another step and tottered slightly I thought this was the reason; her breasts had caused her to lose her balance. But as she continued carefully down to the shallow end I saw she was wearing a pair of enormous high heels made out of hard, completely clear plastic that gleamed in the sun as if they were glass.
She called softly to a young girl splashing at the water’s edge. The girl climbed out and let the woman wrap her gently in a towel before embracing her. Actually, it wasn’t quite an embrace as the woman’s breasts kept the child at least three feet away.
The word-of-mouth screening of Delirious was full. In fact there was some overflow that prompted streaming the film into an additional theater. Gina Gershon did the Q&A with me. The response from the audience was so direct and supportive I think it affected both of us like two or three martinis. I literally felt a little drunk from it. They all seemed not only to get the film, but also to be emotionally affected by it. Some of the most interesting questions came from the older members of the audience. One woman, a pleasingly plump septuagenarian raised her hand and asked, “Did you wear those pants out of respect for Toby tonight?”
My jeans had a huge hole in the knee. In the film Toby wears a pair of jeans with an almost identical hole. I almost fell on the floor laughing. The audience joined in. The rest of the questions were so genuine and engaging I didn’t want this room full of complete strangers to leave.
Had a drink with some friends back at the Collagen Gables then halfway through my second beer I realized I was wasted. Staggered up to my room and crashed.
And now I’ve just been informed by a flight attendant over the PA that the “seat belt sign has been eliminated” and the plane is starting its descent into JFK. It will land around 11:45. With luck I’ll be home by 1:30. I start the NY press tomorrow at 10 am.