Good Morning Hollywood, August 27: Waiting for Godard

Jean-Luc Godard dominates the Oscar conversation by keeping quiet

In this morning’s roundup of movie news ‘n’ notes from around the web, Jean-Luc Godard dominates the Oscar conversation by keeping quiet.

The elusive Jean-Luc Godard has made himself the most talked-about honorary Oscar recipient by not doing anything at all – or more accurately, by not responding to any of the Academy’s attempts to notify him of the honor. Besides Movieline’s “MISSING” poster (which the Odds wrote about on Thursday), Geoffrey Macnab says the Academy’s Board of Governors made “an idiotic decision” in voting Godard the Oscar, because he “never … was part of any mainstream” (which, as far as I can figure, has never been a prerequisite for the award), and that they should hope he doesn’t show up – because if he does, he’ll probably “give a speech that would provoke far more outrage than anything Vanessa Redgrave or Marlon Brando ever said or did on Oscar night.” He might have a point there. (The Independent)

Jean-Luc GodardC’est a Chier, meanwhile, reprints the letter that Godard sent to the Village Voice in 1995 when he declined the New York Film Critics Circle’s first-ever career-achievement award. His batty explanation of why Hollywood is right, and he’s “not fit for telling stories,” takes shots at Steven Spielberg, Ted Turner, Bill Gates, Sony and Krystof Kieslowski. (C’est a Chier) Even nuttier is a telegram the director sent to London’s National Film Theater explaining what they should do if he doesn’t show up for a scheduled Q&A: “IF AM NOT THERE TAKE ANYONE IN THE STREET THE POOREST IF POSSIBLE GIVE HIM MY 100 POUNDS AND TALK WITH HIM OF IMAGES AND SOUDN [sic] AND YOU WILL LEARN FROM HIM MUCH MORE THAN FROM ME BECAUSE IT IS THE POOR PEOPLE WHO ARE REALLY INVENTING THE LANGUAGE STOP YOUR ANONYMOUS GODARD.” (Hot Splice)

If Godard does end up declining to appear at the Governors Awards, he’ll have Jeff Wells in his corner. “If people haven’t been returning some of your calls prior to accepting an honorary career Oscar, they won’t return any of them the morning after,” Wells insists, adding that Eli Wallach might as well accept his honorary Oscar. Godard and Francis Ford Coppola, he says, would be better off saying “thanks but no thanks,” rather than accept an honor that he sees as the equivalent of a gold watch and a push out the door of Hollywood. Of course, Godard never actually wanted to go in that door. (Hollywood Elsewhere)

With two weeks to go until the start of the 35th Toronto International Film Festival, a hometown magazine looks back through the years and picks the most memorable moments in TIFF’s history. The list, quite heavy on the misbehavior front, ranges from Robbie Robertson’s “true rock-and-roll fornicatorium” (one hell of a turn of phrase on the part of a fest director) to the birth of Toronto’s Hollywood celebrity culture (turns out “The Big Chill” started it) to Colin Farrell taking a homeless man on a $2,100 shopping spree. (Toronto Life)

There’s an open casting call on Saturday in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, for an unnamed “upcoming family oriented Hollywood romantic drama to be filmed in Oklahoma,” according to Gene Triplett. Bartlesville, it turns out, is the hometown of the elusive Terrence Malick, who’s said to be directing a movie with Ben Affleck, Rachel Weisz and Rachel McAdams this fall … though he’s also said to be still working on the very-long-delayed “The Tree of Life.” So is this Malick’s project? Nobody who knows is saying – but with the call open to anyone regardless of acting experience, this just might provide a chance for an unknown to appear in a prestige film by a major director, who could conceivably get around to releasing it by, say 2015 or so. (NewsOK)