Friday, December 06, 2002

Thursday, December 05, 2002

Went to the 1970s retro-style Loews Cineplex Century Plaza Theatre to the premiere of the new Roman Polanski holocaust picture, THE PIANIST. Roman was not there, of course, but Jack Nicholson was, wearing his sunglasses inside at night. The audience was crowded with beautiful people who looked like people you see on television but don’t know who they are. The picture got off to a good start. Warsaw, 1939. Wladyslaw Szpilman (Adrian Brody) is playing the piano for a radio broadcast. Bombs fall. He refuses to stop playing. Finally, a bomb shatters the studio and he is forced to flee. Then he goes home to his family, who speak so softly you cannot hear a word they are saying. Bombs explode loudly. You clearly hear someone in the next room ask, “Has anyone seen my sweater?” But the people speaking on camera are muffled and unintelligible. The main sound channel is not functioning. The audience begins to groan and laugh. The picture goes off; the lights come up.

Gregory went to get popcorn and saw Adrian Brody sulking in the lobby. A man walked to the front of the auditorium and told us that the Dolby™ people had everything under control. More groans and laughter from the audience. As the minutes ticked by, Gregory and I deconstructed MRS. NIGHT somewhat and pieced together ideas for a new pilot. After about an hour, we were told that the film could not be shown and to head over to the reception at the Century Plaza Hotel. Meanwhile, the non-celebrities who were cast aside to auditorium 2 saw the picture without a hitch. We were quite disappointed not to see the film, but not nearly as disappointed as the people who paid $125 a ticket.

The Grand Ballroom at the Century Plaza looks just like the Grand Ballroom in THE POSEIDON ADVENTURE. Gregory and I got in line at the buffet and this pushy, whiny bitch immediately started crowding me from behind. I almost had to turn around and tell Fran Drescher to get off my ass and get a job. The Los Angeles Jewish Symphony played Wladyslaw Szpilman’s “Piano Concertino” which was highly derivative of Gershwin. Gregory and I stood and ate with a view of Martin Landau and John Savage at the Captain’s Table. I thought I saw my favorite Polish actor Zbigniew Zamachowski among the throng, but alas, no. A couple of starlet boys chatted with us for awhile, then we called it a night.

Chris Weitz crossed the street in front of my car on Santa Monica Blvd. Weitz played Chuck in one of my favorite films, CHUCK & BUCK. Chris, along with his brother Paul, who also appeared in C&B, wrote and produced such films as ANTZ and AMERICAN PIE, but none of those accomplishments are nearly as impressive to me as the fact that he is the son of the fabulous Susan Kohner, who played Sarah Jane in Douglas Sirk’s masterpiece IMITATION OF LIFE. I refrained from yelling out the window, “Tell your mom I love her!”

Thus ends another night in Hollywood.

Monday, December 02, 2002

Wed., 11/27/02.
Worked half a day, then went to see the new Sexy Priest movie, EL CRIMEN DEL PADRE AMARO (Carlos Carrera, 2002). The Catholics are supposedly offended by this movie because the priest knocks a girl up and then (***SPOILER!***) treats her to a fatal coat-hanger abortion. I was offended because it was BORING. I forgot the movie while I was watching it. Went over to Gregory’s for family Thanksgiving dinner. Jeremy dropped in and showed us some of his very funny short films, and then we watched Gregory’s boys play an extremely sick and violent video game, just the sort of thing you would expect to find in Eric Harris & Dylan Klebold’s bedrooms.

Thur., 11/28/02
Avery took me over to Leon & Charlie’s penthouse for Thanksgiving. They live on Cahuenga, right beneath the lighted cross. From their balcony, they have a breathtaking view of downtown Los Angeles and Hollywood, most notably, the Capitol Records building and the Lion King sign, which perches atop the Pantages Theatre. Charlie cooked a delicious meal, and then we watched a DVD of old public service films. Highlights included a 1968 anti-marijuana propaganda short, starring the very stoned Sonny Bono, and a training film for people teaching sex education to the mentally retarded or, as they are called in the field, “The Trainables.” Sick.

Fri., 11/29/02
Hideous nasal congestion.

Sat., 11/30/02
Started moving stuff over to the new place. There was a big rainstorm between trips. Had a corned beef sandwich w/fries at the Village Coffee Shop on Beachwood. Came home and collapsed. I’m re-reading Randy Shilts’ And the Band Played On.

Sun., 12/01/02
More moving. Went for a substantial hike/climb in the Hollywood Hills. It must be nice to live in one of these luxurious hillside places and have the Hollywood Sign staring right into your living room window, but I would not want to live much further up than Tim's place for two reasons: 1) If there were a fire, it would be almost impossible to escape; 2) It would be a major hassle if I wanted a bowl of cereal at 11:30 at night and ran out of milk. Watched JEFFREY (Christopher Ashley, 1995). Paul Rudnick’s romantic comedy about AIDS still holds up, and I like the God concept espoused in the film by Nathan Lane.