This came in a few weeks ago from Johnny Depp. I made reference to it in a comment buried deep in the last post. It struck me recently that it deserved its own page. These are Johnny's words, written in response to a request from the producers to comment about his participation in the film.
"DiCillo's When You're Strange is a meticulously crafted, exhilarating ode to one of music's greatest, most exciting ensembles; The Doors. Watching the hypnotic, hitherto, unreleased footage of Jim, John, Ray and Robby, both on and off the stage, I felt like I was there, with them, living and experiencing what they were experiencing, seeing it all through their eyes. Ultimately, Jim has been resurrected here to remind us that he is to this very day, one of the most significant frontmen/poets/shaman to ever grace a stage and that the band behind him, kept the music alive every step of the way, adding fuel to an already raging fire, all along their wild and electrifying ride into history. The raw material entrances throughout. In terms of a rock n' roll documentary, or any kind of documentary for that matter, it simply doesn't get any better than this. What an honor to have been involved. I am as proud of this as anything I have ever done."
I, too am immensely proud of the film, and everyone who worked on it--including Johnny. His narration adds an eloquence and intimacy that lift the film into an entirely different dimension. His words above are extremely meaningful.
For everyone who has been asking about the US theatrical release I have been assured by the film's producers that, "A theatrical release WILL happen." It may not be a massive commercial release but I know a theatrical release is important to the producers and they are making every effort to ignite one. When it happens it will be within the next few months.
A definite fact is the film will air on TV in May on PBS. The goal would be to have the theatrical release just before then. There will of course be a huge DVD release soon afterwards. A soundtrack album is also happening. I've seen the artwork for it. Both it and the list of included Door's songs are very impressive.
Sales continue strong in Europe. Most of the countries who have bought the film are working on setting up major theatrical releases. Several of the larger territories like France, Germany and Britain are planning theatrical premieres in late Spring of 2010.
So, that's it. That's what I know. When it comes time for the US theatrical release I will be asking all of you Doors fans out there to help us; spread the word, tell everyone you know. We're going to need your help. All of you. Get ready.
You probably know all this but I thought it would be a good FYI for the folks here. Johnny Depp’s got a big 3D “Alice in Wonderland” being released in March directed by Tim Burton, so during all the hype for that maybe he’ll put in a few words for WYS. That could raise awareness.
Sounds like a lot a fun the next few months. We could use it. Best, Jeff
When is the film screening? Also, do you know how many screenings it will have there?
Also, make sure you drink 4.7 beers before the screening.
The Unbelievable Truth is actually my favorite Hartley film.
I love Russ Meyer but my new film is actually more along the lines of the classic European sex comedies of the mid-60’s. From directors like Eric Roehmer, Roger Vadim etc.
I think kids will embrace it too. It is informative and mysterious at the same time.
There is some possibility the Johnny Depp will be reading some of Jim’s poetry on the film’s soundtrack cd. Not absolutely definite yet but moving forward.
You keep that Sundance poster under glass. I think it’s going to be a Collector’s Item.
Strong showing for the film at the Santa Barbara Film Festival. They added another screening. I think that is very, very encouraging.
Come on April.
Aldous Huxley 1954
PBs is going to run the film as is and put the sex photos of Sarah Palin and Pat Robertson over any sexually oriented body parts.
Speaking of which, “Variety” reports Johnny is directing a documentary on Keith Richards. I think it’s fair to say that you didn’t sour him on rock docs. Actually, perhaps WYS helped inspire him to dive in?
Take care and thanks for all the good times here.
Thanks for both your comments. I sincerely appreciate your support. And listen, you are a journalist now. That means your sole responsibility is to be completely objective. So, I insist that you feel free to write your honest opinion of the film if you’re going to review it.
I haven’t heard anything yet about coming over. I’d sure like to. I was in Dublin over-night once, doing publicity for Living In Oblivion. It was there, in the hotel bar, that I had the great, mind-blowing experience of drinking my first real Guinness draft. Like I said, it was like drinking a fresh loaf of bread.
Thanks for writing. You should hook up with Wayne and raise a few pints together after the film. I hope you enjoy it. I think it may even be a real 35mm print. Not sure. Up til now everything has been hi-def video so you may be in for a treat.
I know it will get down there near enough to you that you can see it. The release dates are for end of March, early April. As we get closer (within the next 2 weeks) I’m fairly confident there will be an official announcement and we’ll all know what’s what.
I know there will be 8 cities to start. It will most likely go to more as the release expands. Of course much depends on early attendance and word of mouth.
I know this much; three of the first eight will be NY, LA, probably Boston. As soon as I know anything certain I’ll post it here.
That’s another good question and dammnit will take another hour to answer. That’s a compliment. Let me think on it and get back to you. Right now I have two very different scripts I’ve written that are in various stages of development. One is a contemporary sex comedy (a truly under-appreciated genre) and the other is a darker crime movie with some rather intense sexual themes.
So, you can see what’s on my mind.
I mean, besides the Tea Party morons.
What is the next project you want to do Tom ? What is next on your horizon ? Is there a film you have always wanted to make but never had a chance ?
Yes, I think you will have to hop the train. From what I understand the initial release will be in about 8 major cities, New York and LA among them.
I’m a little out of the loop on this stuff for some reason. If you heard April 2 then maybe that is true. And yes, it is great news.
Another one like you
There will never be
Another one who can
Do the things you do, oh.
(courtesy of idafan’s brilliant site…www.idafan.com)
Click on the trailer link and click the play icon.
By all means go ahead and use the screen grabs. I’m actually amazed you asked. But, pleased. Really, thank you for your consideration.
I’m glad you liked the film. Buscemi is incredible in it.
Anything you can do to draw attention to his performance and the film is fine by me.
Thanks for writing when you were sick. Most important was what you said and I thank you for it.
I couldn’t agree more: without Jim, the Doors and their music there would be no film. I’m extremely grateful to have been able to experience some part of that.
It has changed me permanently.
Thank you so much for your words. There was no way for me to tell this story without getting emotionally involved in it. And so I did. Not only do I care about these 4 guys, their talent and their music but I deeply care about this film.
It deserves to be seen. Unfortunately these tough financial times are making it difficult–it is a music documentary after all. It’s funny but I don’t see it that way. I see it as an intense drama, a real feature film.
It will get seen. Depp’s words cannot go unnoticed. But, like I said, we will need all the help we can get.
Good to hear from you. I can’t speak to those rumors about a March release except to say, it better fokkin happen!
I like your question about my favorite part of the film. It really made me think. I was looking at it again today and I was struck by how much there is in it; performance, each member being highlighted, behind the scenes footage.
But, maybe for me the most rewarding is the usage of the footage of Jim from his own film HWY. I took a chance early on in the writing and decided to use these images of Jim wandering through the desert as a kind of motif; an emotional thread that holds the narrative together.
Jim’s presence in this footage is so immediate and intimate it is like having an amazing actor in a lead role. The fact that it is Jim, and it is from his own film only gives it more resonance to me.
The film has soul.
No question about it.
Yeah, it’s come around–I don’t know if it’s full circle but it has come around. The truly amazing thing through all of this has been the incredible support from people like you and Salli and Janet and David and Baron. It is really what has kept me going.
I agree with you about Johnny Depp and the soulfullness. I knew from the beginning the narrator needed first and foremost needed to be someone you believed. Not just someone mouthing the words. This is a very emotional story. Johnny brought a huge part of himself to this and you can feel the intimacy in every word.
I don’t know what the plans are for promotion. In order to do as you suggested on Law and Order time would have to be purchased from NBC; not cheap. I’ll mention it though. I know all people from Law and Order (Dick Wolf) are really pleased with the film and would want to find some way to support it.
We shall see.
Anything about theatrical release in Spain? I couldn’t see the documentary at San Sebastian Festival.
have you secured a theatrical release in Ireland? Any chance you could post a complete list of those territories that have signed up?