23 March 2007

Entertainment Tonight

Here’s a clip you won’t find in the final cut of I Heart
the "existential comedy" directed by the former
Buddhist monk who once tried to beat up George Clooney

And speaking of obsessive autuers who can’t play nicely
with others...

Mr. Roth, a former Disney studio chief who
proclaimed his ’60’s-influenced, artist-friendly
ethos in 2000 by naming his new company
Revolution Studios, is himself a director, of films
like “Christmas With the Kranks,” “Revenge of
the Nerds II: Nerds in Paradise” and

He said that Ms. Taymor was overreacting to a
normal Hollywood process of testing different
versions of a movie, something he has done
many times before, including with Michael
Mann’s “Last of the Mohicans.” He called his
version of “Across the Universe” “an

“She’s a brilliant director,” he said. “She’s made
a brilliant movie. This process is not anything
out of the ordinary. Her reaction through her
representatives might be. But her orientation is
stage. It’s different if you’re making a $12-
million film, or a $45-million film. No one is
uncomfortable in this process, other than Julie.”

Although she never directed a Revenge of the Nerds movie,
the NY Times article does mention that Julie Taymor was
given a MacArthur “genius” grant in 1991. It also compares her
current situation with the creative battles that consumed the
career of Orson Welles.

But the LA Weekly’s Nikki Finke has a very different take
on the subject.

I'm told everyone began the movie with
Taymor expecting trouble. And there
was. By some accounts, the film was even
flawed from the very start. "She went into
production on the movie without a good
script. Instead, she went into production on
just a great idea." As one insider described
the process: "You try to help her, but it's
only ever a one-way street. She has a
narcissistic disorder."

But her behavior reportedly grew worse
after she delivered a cut of the film last
October at 2 hours, 32 minutes,and started
receiving criticism about the film. Without
giving details, Roth himself made reference
to Taymor's "hysteria" to the NYT. "I gave
her a note to cut two supporting characters,
one white and one black," a source told me.
"And she starts screaming, 'I'm not cutting
all the black people.'"

Unlike the NYT portrayal, I've been assured
that problems with Taymor's version went
way beyond length to the point where the
pic simply doesn't work. "It is visually a
really interesting and arresting
movie," says one insider, "but as usual with
her it veers off into the absurd." Says
another source: "Her cut is indulgent and
pretentious." Explains an insider: "The
visuals get in the way of the narrative,
which makes no sense. And the pacing is all
wrong. They have a scene with Bono that's
psychedelic, and goes on and on, and has to
be cut down." Still another source
chides: "By the time the dancing puppet
heads come out, you're just like no, no,

Dancing puppet heads?!

Never-ending scenes with Bono?!

Where do I get tickets?

But if you need further proof of just how hard it is to spend
$45 million in Hollywood, check out the trailer.

Jai Guru Deva Om