‘This bushy-browed Hollywood progeny of producer Jack Schwartzman (Lion Heart, 007: Never Say Never Again) and actress Talia Shire is no stranger to the LA beat. On his latest Coconut Records album, he croons, “I miss you; I’m going back home to the west coast.” Home indeed. Nephew to Francis Ford Coppola, cousin of Nicolas Cage—Jason Schwartzman was practically bred for the multiplex. Fortunately, he chose not to stretch his creative muscle in the oily blood-and-guts melodramas of Cage and Coppola. Instead he wielded drumsticks for the rock band Phantom Planet and spent his formative teenage years championing a subtler, more sensitive brand of cinema a la Sofia Coppola and her inconspicuous brother, Roman (a serial Second Unit director, writer/director of the underappreciated CQ, and, um, uncredited Senate Guard in The Phantom Menace).
‘For the past decade, Jason Schwartzman’s M.O. has been offbeat, quirky, personal films. Kudos to Wes Anderson, who’s spent the last decade casting Schwartzman as his tenured darling. Schwartzman charms the screen as actor and co-writer of the acclaimed Darjeeling Limited as much as he did in his unforgettable breakout role as Max Fischer in Rushmore. The iconic high school dissident and melancholy lover turns twenty-eight years old today, June 26. On this, the eve of his premiere role as a television lead in Bored to Death (in which Schwartzman plays a writer-turned-private-eye alongside latent funnyman Zach Galifianakis) we take a retrospective look at one of his most unrecognized accomplishments—Hotel Chevalier—the short film prologue to the Darjeeling Limited.
‘A.O. Scott calls the thirteen-minute prolegomenon “an almost perfect distillation of Mr. Anderson’s vexing and intriguing talents, enigmatic, affecting and wry.” Without Schwartzman’s guileless melancholy, barefooted calm, and steadiness, Hotel Chevalier would be nothing more than an obsessive-compulsive exercise in symmetry. As vital to the jigsaw Andersonian mise-en-scène is the presence of the actor inhabiting the space. Gene Hackman hits the target in The Royal Tenenbaums with his comedic gloom. Bill Murray does the same in The Life Aquatic. Schwartzman masters the look in Hotel Chevalier. It’s not ambiguous so much as it is withholding. It forces the viewer to wait and guess at his inner turmoil. The way Schwartzman wears his face reminds one of Kuleshov’s famous experiment. In the 1920s, Russian filmmaker Lev Kuleshov photographed “a close-up shot of an actor with a neutral expression on his face; when the same footage of the actor’s face was edited with shots of a bowl of soup, or a dead body, or a baby…ordinary filmgoers praised the actor’s performance, believing that his face had registered an appropriate response to what they had just seen.” Some think this is the result of psychology. Take Alfred Hitchcock, for instance. Inferring from Kuleshov’s experiment that actors are nearly inconsequential to a film so long as the montage is effective, Hitchcock treated his actors with notable contempt. In 1938, he made the infamous observation, “Actors are cattle.” No one knows whether the Kuleshov phenomenon is a result of camera trickery or talent, but a sober, committed actor like Schwartzman gets the benefit of the doubt.
‘In Hotel Chevalier, Schwartzman plays Jack Whitman, a reclusive expatriate who has been hiding in one of the ritziest hotel rooms in Paris for more than a month after a messy breakup with his girlfriend—the beautiful but jejune Natalie Portman. She shoves a fat toothbrush in her mouth as he waits patiently at the door and answers her banal questions. “What the fuck is going on?” she inquires. He doesn’t answer. Later, they make hurried love, and as he undresses her, garment by garment, each fallen article reveals a dark blotch on her skin. “You’ve got bruises on your body,” Jack remarks. She hesitates for an instant before shutting his mouth with kisses.
‘In a way, this moment communicates one of Schwartzman’s most finely tuned sensibilities. He has a pitch-perfect temper. Two butterflies stand pinned to a white taxidermy card at the desk. Isolated, beautiful, nostalgic, dead—that is their tone. It’s Schwartzman’s as well. The unfinished painting by the mirror—he eyes it with neither pride nor disgust. Schwartzman delivers his lines from the same frequency of his environment. He asks not who made the bruises or how they got there, he only brings them to light—freezes the moment before us spectators. He becomes one with the room—observant and quiet. He shows no feelings—yet the viewer feels compelled with emotion. Effectively, Schwartzman gets out of the way of the film. He removes himself from the role. Cezanne writes that the artist must discard “interpretive bias even of vague emotional memories, prejudices, and predilections transmitted as part of one’s heritage.” A blank slate. In a way, one must discard oneself. That is the sign of a true artist. Jason Schwartzman is well on his way.’ — J. M. Harper
Jason Schwartzman @ IMDb
Jason Schwartzman’s mass interview @ reddit
Young Baby Records/Coconut Records
NERDIST PODCAST: JASON SCHWARTZMAN RETURNS
‘An Abridged History of Jason Schwartzman’s Most Loathsome Characters’
‘The Resurgence of Jason Schwartzman’
‘Jason Schwartzman on why he keeps playing neurotic authors’
‘Want to Make a Movie, Jason Schwartzman?’
‘Can Classical Music Find a Modern Audience with JS’s “Mozart in the Jungle?”‘
JS interviewed @ Interview Magazine
‘An unconscious JS guest-stars on ‘Tim & Eric’s Bedtime Stories’
‘All Jason Schwartzman Fans Look Like Jason Schwartzman’
‘As Lit’s Biggest Prick, Jason Schwartzman Wears Us Down’
‘JS interviewed @ Slant Magazine
‘Eating Vegan Ice Cream With JS and Director Alex Ross Perry
‘JS Is More Likable Than He Thinks’
Jason Schwartzman Introduces “The New Yorker” iPad App
‘Literary Foibles: Talking Books with Jason Schwartzman’
‘Jason Schwartzman teaches us How to Sneeze at Parties’
Jason Schwartzman’s “Thor” Audition Reel
fuck yeah jason schwartzman.
Three years after his departure from the band Phantom Planet, musician/actor Jason Schwartzman returned to the L.A.’s music scene with the solo project Coconut Records. Schwartzman had launched Phantom Planet in 1994 and served as the band’s drummer for nearly a decade, simultaneously furthering his acting career with roles in Rushmore, CQ, Slackers, S1m0ne, and Spun. The offers increased once he left Phantom Planet’s lineup in 2003, but Schwartzman nevertheless had trouble shaking music from his system. With Incubus guitarist Mike Einziger serving as producer, he decamped to Malibu during the summer of 2006 to record Nighttiming, handling most of the vocal and instrumental duties himself while granting cameos to a slew of fellow actors and musicians (including Kirsten Dunst, Zooey Deschanel, Brandon Boyd, Ben Kenney, and brother Robert Carmine). The album was released early the following year on Young Baby Records, with the initial copies containing Polaroid photos taken by Schwartzman himself. Coconut Records’ sophomore release, Davy, was released in January, 2009.’ — collaged
Coconut Records ‘Microphone’
Coconut Records ‘West Coast’
Coconut Records ‘Any Fun’
Coconut Records ‘Wires’
Don’t Talk – Jason Schwartzman
Jason Schwartzman – What’s In My Bag?
WES ANDERSON and JASON SCHWARTZMAN Shop for CDs and DVDs
Jason Schwartzman – In Character: Actors Acting
Ghost Stories: Jason Schwartzman
from Paper Magazine
What kind of teenager were you?
Jason Schwartzman: I started playing drums when I was ten. I was into sports too, I feel like that sort of gave me a focus. I was angry but in a more internal way. I had a rebellious feeling in me but I was afraid to get in trouble. I don’t think I was into hardcore music, I was never that kind of angry…
What were the big bands in LA like when you were growing up? Was it like Guns N’ Roses or…
JS: Nirvana, Weezer.
What about LA bands?
JS: LA bands? There were a lot of great LA bands. Weezer is an LA band. I like melodic music.
JS: I had lots of friends, my school was very small, but I was always feeling a little … girls didn’t talk to me, you know? I mean, I wasn’t on a rock by myself — there were those people at my high school, you know, sitting alone. Within that I had a hard time with girls. Specifically, I think of romance. I related to things like “In My Room,” by The Beach Boys, that type of music, and to people who liked being alone. I feel like I did not have an abnormal teenage experience.
You felt alienated.
JS: Yes, I had that. I wasn’t necessarily angry, but moody, extremely moody. Quintessentially moody. Like. “What do you know?” and, like, “Mom get off my back!” And it’s funny because, when you read the book and you watch the movie, it was interesting because at the time I remember my mom saying something like, “Oh you teenagers, trust me, you think what’s happening is new, but this is not new and you’ll get over this” and I remember thinking that’s the last thing you want to hear, that what you’re feeling isn’t unique.
So you’d be in your room listening to music. You didn’t try to sneak out or go into clubs or that kind of stuff?
JS: Well, my band, we played a lot of clubs. Some of them were 21 and over, but we’d have to wait outside and then go in.
And you didn’t drink or act out that way?
JS: Maybe at 16 or 17 a little bit. But not really. There would be parties but I didn’t really have a lot of fun in that type of situation. I had a problem with the group…
Being in social in groups can be tough at that age.
JS: It’s still tough. And I respect it, like my wife loves the idea of a game night with friends, and to me a game night is not fun. That’s not my idea of a good thing but to each his own.
Even music itself, was that a kind of rebellion — to do music in the Hollywood world that you were from.
JS: Not at all. I think I was on a set maybe three or four times as a kid that I can legitimately remember and for not very long. My mom loves acting, but she has a very kind of apprehensive attitude towards the Hollywood mechanism in general.
So she didn’t buy into the whole thing.
JS: No. The ’80s, that was blockbuster central. We would go see movies with Mel Gibson in it. I’ve read interviews with actors who describe watching a movie and saying, “Oh I’m going to be up there one day.” I never really thought that.
You started with music before acting.
JS: I got into music because that seemed like you could do that, in your house. I got into music and I loved movies. As a kid, we had cable so I saw a lot of really bad movies a lot. And I had a friend who now is one of the key guys at the Cinefamily movie theaters in Los Angeles. We would just watch movies, like Human Highway — do you remember that movie, Human Highway, a Neil Young movie. I didn’t really like “movie” movies. Of course I saw ’80s movies that are now classics, I guess, like Ghostbusters, but my mom would aldo rent stuff like The Graduate, Harold and Maude, and Dog Day Afternoon. And I remember seeing those and thinking, “Where were these the last few years? I could’ve used these.” I just know that when I would listen to music, I would get a rush and a feeling of like “Oh my god, I want to rip off my skin.”
So when you finally did start acting, was it weird?
JS: I think that in the very beginning I was like “Me? You want me for this audition?” What the hell’s happening?
So someone just approached you, you didn’t seek it out.
JS: I was at my uncle’s house in San Francisco at a hybrid party/ family occasion in honor of a piece of music that my grandfather had written, a score for [Abel Gance’s] Napoleon. And there was a casting director, a friend of the family there, talking to my cousin Sofia. And Sofia said “What are you working on?” and she said, “Oh I’m casting a movie for the director Wes Anderson but we’re trying to find a person to play the character and we’ve been auditioning lots of people.” She described the character and Sofia said, “Oh, that sounds like Jason.” And I remember saying “No… I’m in a band, you should meet the other guys they’re great.” She said, “No, no take my number” and I gave her my address and she sent the script. It was the first script for a movie I had ever read. And I went in and auditioned for Wes and I got a callback and another callback and I got the part.
And it turned out to be this wonderful relationship.
JS: Yes. Beyond wonderful. He’s my mentor and best friend.
It seems to me like you’re the reluctant actor.
JS: Reluctant in a good way or in a bad way?
No, not in a bad way. It seems like you’re not someone who’s really out there trying to get the part, auditioning, working hard to be a star.
JS: I’m surprised that I’ve been in as many now that I’ve been in. It’s very improbable. I went to the Critics’ Choice Awards and I was looking around and I was like “All these actors, they all seem pretty comfortable here” and I’m wondering like, how do you get to that point, where this is not unusual?
Bored to Death is one of my favorite shows. There’s talk of a film version, right?
JS: We pitched a movie idea to HBO which they bought. But at the same time, I don’t want to say that it’s happening because sometimes they just don’t happen. It’s a combination of not wanting to get my hopes up too high and, in my mind, preparing for it because it was really heartbreaking [when the show was cancelled]… It would’ve been, in a weird way, less heartbreaking if I didn’t know what the fourth season was going to be. Because Jonathan Ames told me the whole thing. I know what I missed.
And now you’re also in Wes Anderson’s new movie, The Grand Budapest Hotel.
JS: I haven’t seen it. I’m only in it for a few seconds. I’m probably in it longer in the trailer than I am in the movie.
They’re just using you for bait in the trailer.
JS: When you make a short trailer and you keep me in it for the same exact amount of time, it’s great. It’s like double spacing. I’m doubled spaced. I’m a longer essay.
19 of Jason Schwartzman’s 50 roles
Wes Anderson Rushmore (1998)
‘It was the best. It was so much fun. It’s funny, of the top five most amazing experiences of my life, Wes Anderson is in, like, three of them. That was amazing, because it was just him and me and a guy from Disney making sure we didn’t get into too much trouble, in this bus that’s made for 12 to 14 people. We just kind of drove around and took ourselves around the country, rather than having people have to fly to us. We took ourselves to the masses, just basically visiting every college and big city in America. We met tons of really great people and saw the country. It was one of the few times I’ve lived in the lap of luxury and felt totally comfortable. It was really nice. It was one of those times where every day, you’re excited. But by the end, I was a little burnt out. Looking back on it, it was really nice, but at all crazy times, you don’t realize they’re happening until they’re over. I was nervous. It was my first movie and everything, and it all just seemed to happen so fast. The next thing I know, I’m being interviewed, and people are like, “What do you think about this and that?” And I’m like, “I think a couple things, but don’t you want to ask somebody who counts?” I was like, “Why do you want to know anything about me?” I don’t think the human body is designed to talk about itself for three weeks, or even two hours in a day. It kind of threw me out of touch, but overall it was really good. I have no complaints.’ — Jason Schwartzman
Jason Schwartzman auditions for the film Rushmore
Roman Coppola CQ (2001)
‘CQ is set in 1969 Paris. A young American film student (Jeremy Davies) is the editor on a sci-fi/secret agent/revolution type of picture called ‘Codename: Dragonfly’. If that sounds discombobulated, it is, and so is its director (Gerard Depardieu) who can’t seem to find an ending for his film. The producers fire him and bring on a flashy young American director (Jason Schwartzman) to snazz it up and finally finish the movie. Along the way, Davies falls in love with the production’s beautiful star, who plays the sexy secret agent that must save the Earth from the moon base’s rebel revolution! The cast on this one is worth the price of admission alone. The previously mentioned Davies, Depardieu and Schwartzman are all fantastic in their parts. Billy Zane has a small but wonderful role as the leader of the moon base revolution. Giancarlo Giannini, Academy Award nominee and recently of James Bond fame (he plays Bond’s friend Rene), is the Roger Corman-esque producer. The late, great John Phillip Law (‘Barbarella’, ‘Danger: Diabolik’) shows up, as does Dean Stockwell. The unknown female lead, model-turned-actress Angela Lindvall, plays Dragonfly. She’s beautiful and perfect in this role. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like much has come from her transition to the silver screen.’ — The Bonus View
Dewey Hicks Slackers (2002)
‘Slackers is an odd little movie. And not in a good way. A teen comedy with a stalker at its center – and it plays this guy for laughs – this film wants to carve out a niche for itself. It concentrates on deviousness rather than foolishness (there’s a dash of Dangerous Liaisons/Cruel Intentions in its lineage), and it includes big-name cameos. But giving a few moments of screen time to Gina Gershon and Cameron Diaz does not a cool film make. Slackers starts off promisingly enough, with an ethereal version of the Who’s “Baba O’Reilly” playing over the opening credits. Turning this anthem of teen rebellion into something like church music is an intriguing conceit, but the film never builds on that promise. Schwartzman, so good in Rushmore, is nothing if not game; he’s a force of energy who’ll do anything for a laugh. But in a world with too many real and dangerous idiots, a vindictive stalker is just not a funny guy.’ — Baltimore Sun
Jonas Åkerlund Spun (2002)
‘Edward Havens: When I was watching the film, I kept thinking to how many of today’s actors look for something in a character where he grows as a human being from the start to the finish, and this character just seems to crank on throughout the entire film. At one point, he says “The great thing is that I’m not an addict” as he’s taking his eighth snort in a span of a few minutes. It just didn’t seem that he was any better off at the end. Jason Schwartzman: That’s the life of a crystal meth addict. It’s all about the next five minutes. That’s all they care about. That’s their world. These characters are otherwise just normal people with boring lives. My character’s job here is as the narrator. The movie is seen through Ross’s eyes, and since it only takes place during the course of three days, he almost has to be neutral and unchanging in order to see the changes in the others, to see them really self-destruct. I think it’s a good thing he doesn’t change that drastically in the course of three days, because it’s an honest and very real portrayal of what it’s like to be a crystal meth user. I think that drugs keep people from changing.’ — filmjerk
David O. Russell I Heart Huckabees (2004)
‘If you’re pissed off by that precious little heart in the title meant to be pronounced I Heart Huckabees, then this ad-spinning fourth film from the prodding, risk-insensitive David O. Russell (Spanking the Monkey, Flirting With Disaster, Three Kings) may drive you up the wall. Trying to balance mirth and metaphysics, Russell walks a tightrope and tips recariously into incoherence. But how do you not heart a movie that breaks ranks with tight-assed formula and gets dissed by The New Yorker as an “authentic disaster” What’s it all about? Don’t ask. It sounds silly to say that Jason Schwartzman, in his richest role since Rushmore, plays Albert, an environmentalist et tormented with questions about the meaning of existence, especially his own.’ –– Rolling Stone
Behind the scenes
Nora Ephron Bewitched (2005)
‘The funniest thing in BEWITCHED is an oddly touching attachment Will Ferrell’s character, Jack Wyatt, develops for a bottle of ketchup he picked up during an off-screen interlude in New Mexico. It’s barely mentioned, but there it is in a couple of scenes, clutched tenaciously the way a kid clutches his blankie in times of trouble. It’s classic Ferrell, silly and yet moving in a way that is at once Dada-esque and childlike. The second funniest thing is Jason Schwartzman as Jack’s agent who, whether by chance or design, is doing a surprisingly credible impression of Tom Cruise. Apparently it is all about the hair and the jawline. Beyond that, what wants to be an affable homage to the spirit, if not the exact storyline of the original television series of the same name, is, instead, an effort that appears to be held together by baling wire and chewing gum. That would be an off-brand of both items.’ — Killer Movie Reviews
Anand Tucker Shopgirl (2005)
‘Shopgirl is a 2005 American romantic comedy-drama film directed by Anand Tucker and starring Steve Martin, Claire Danes, and Jason Schwartzman. The screenplay by Steve Martin is based on his 2000 novella of the same name. The film is about a complex love triangle between a bored salesgirl, a wealthy businessman, and an aimless young man. Produced by Ashok Amritraj, Jon Jashni, and Steve Martin for Touchstone Pictures and Hyde Park Entertainment, and distributed in the United States by Buena Vista Pictures, Shopgirl was released on October 21, 2005 and received generally positive reviews from film critics. The film went on to earn $11,112,077 and was nominated for four Satellite Awards, including Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay.’ — collaged
Sofia Coppola Marie Antoinette (2006)
‘Marie Antoinette the movie is a lot like the real Marie-Antoinette must have been. It’s pretty to look at, but ultimately pretty meaningless. The real Marie-Antoinette was only 14 years old when she married Louis XVI of France. Kirsten Dunst is 24. Louis XVI was 15 when he married and Jason Schwartzman is 26. This wouldn’t be so much of a problem if one of the few actual plot points in the movie wasn’t the fact that Louis won’t have sex with Marie when they first marry. At 15 you could excuse this behavior by saying he was too nervous or inexperienced to make a move, but at 26 you start looking for other reasons. I was waiting for it to be revealed that he was either gay or mentally challenged. The movie also covers 20-plus years and neither character seems to age or mature a day.’ — Three Movie Buffs
Behind the scenes
Behind the scenes on MTV’s ‘Cribs’
Wes Anderson The Darjeeling Limited (2007)
‘Three stooges antics mingle with subtler silliness, painful life-wisdom, bittersweet vicissitude and his trademark whimsy in this unmistakable Wes Anderson special. Anderson again explores the sad peculiarity of a dysfunctional family, in what could be viewed as a companion-piece to The Royal Tenenbaums. But he enters new territory by removing the quirky siblings to colourful Rajasthan, where heady exoticism and atmospheric alien culture (plus the local, opium-rich cough mixture) all have their effect on the damaged Whitman brothers and their tragi-comic personal journeys.’ — Empire
Wes Anderson – Jason Schwartzman Talk Darjeeling Limited
Wes Anderson Hotel Chevalier (2007)
‘As an extra treat, The Darjeeling Limited is preceded by a Wes Anderson short film in which Schwartzman’s heartbroken Jack is holed up in a Paris hotel when his ex-lover (Natalie Portman) turns up. It’s a more apt prologue than it initially appears, the incident paying off dividends aboard The Darjeeling Express. Watch for a stunning last shot that goes straight to the heart.’ — collaged
the entire film
Todd Louiso The Marc Pease Experience (2009)
‘In a squandered lead performance, the adorable, winning Schwartzman plays the non-adorable, non-winning title character, a myopic dreamer who never recovered from freaking out and humiliating himself during a high-school performance of The Wiz. Eight years later, Schwartzman still hasn’t moved on. He hangs out at the high school, where he’s dating senior Anna Kendrick and badgering would-be mentor Ben Stiller, a musical-theater phony who’s fucking Schwartzman’s girlfriend when not ducking his calls. Schwartzman has finally raised the money to record a demo for his a cappella group, but would-be producer Stiller has no interest in further encouraging Schwartzman’s fantasies of a music career. Stiller and Schwartzman look like long-lost brothers. Even more disconcertingly, they seem to be playing variations on the same character, both smiling cheeseballs who’ve internalized the smarmy artificiality of the musical-theater world to the point where even their true selves are phony. The difference is that Schwartzman is a sweetheart/true believer and Stiller is an oily cad, though neither character is developed enough for the pathos of having pathetic dreams crushed to have any resonance.’ — The A.V. Club
Wes Anderson Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009)
‘What Wes wanted to do, which was incredible, was … typically, an animated film is made over a long period of time and the actors all record their lines separately over the course of many years, with very little interaction. The voices are recorded cleanly, and there’s a sheen to it. What Wes wanted to do was make it a little more rough, with more interaction, and make it feel more like a movie. So he had actors overlapping, cutting each other off, really giving us a sense of the people who were in the room together. He got all the actors at one point — although Meryl Streep couldn’t come — but most of the actors, myself, Bill Murray, George Clooney and many others together. We all spent a week living together in a house, and the days were spent acting out the movie like a play. There was one guy running around with a boom microphone — none of us were mic’d — getting the sound in a crude, realistic, field-recording way. And that’s how we did the majority of the film.’ — Jason Schwartzman
Jason Schwartzman Becomes Fantastic in Mr. Fox
Edgar Wright Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010)
‘Part video game, part teen romance, part postmodern collage experiment, Edgar Wright’s sui generis adaptation of Bryan Lee O’Malley’s graphic novel is so visually ADD, I was expecting the Universal reps to be handing out Adderall after the screening. Install a camera in a pinball and you won’t approximate the whip-pan visual acrobatics at work here. Contemplative cinema this is not (duh), but it’s hardly worth picking on the pace and narrative. Let’s face it: it’s not the film that has an attention-span problem, but the new generation. Scott Pilgrim is just one in a string of recent pictures geared toward pixilated youth, which want to conflate the moviegoing experience with the synesthetic dispersion of the video arcade. Not my idea of a good time at the cinema per se; but then again, the inherent non-linearity of this movie may find the new kids getting experimental despite themselves.’ — Film Comment
Michael Cera & Jason Schwartzman Interview for SCOTT PILGRIM VS THE WORLD
Wes Anderson Moonrise Kingdom (2011)
‘Cousin Ben is a very fine man with a moral centre. Otherwise, I would have obviously refused to play him. No, but to me he was like the Han Solo of the scout world, a man with a sense of humour who could be tough and bend the rules. Everyone needs a cousin Ben. I gave Moonrise Kingdom, er, three days. Which doesn’t sound very much, but I didn’t want to go home after. Wes is got so good at establishing this vibe on set. It’s much more efficient than when we started, very nimble and agile. There are no trailers for actors to hide in, no nonsense. Most movies are like coffee, herky-jerky, spike and drop, action then nothing for hours. This was more like afternoon tea, but from first thing in the morning.’ — Jason Schwartzman
Cousin Ben Troop Screening with Jason Schwartzman
Wes Anderson, Jason Schwartzman ‘Moonrise Kingdom’ Cannes 2012
Roman Coppola A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III (2012)
‘A film is a terrible thing to waste. For Roman Coppola to waste one on A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III is a sad sight to behold. I’ll go further. For Charlie Sheen to waste a role in it is also a great pity. I stop not: For Bill Murray to occupy his time in this dreck sandwich is a calamity. Of Charlie Sheen, we’ve seen more than enough, at least until he gets his act together. But there’s a sad shortage of Bill Murray performances, and his work here is telephoned in as if Thomas Alva Edison had never been born. Every detail has been pushed to 11 on the Spinal Tap scale.’ — Roger Ebert
John Lee Hancock Saving Mr. Banks (2013)
‘In the Disney movie, Saving Mr. Banks, Jason Schwartzman plays one of the songwriting brothers tasked with charming P.L. Travers (Emma Thompson) into giving up the rights to Mary Poppins to Walt Disney. Schwartzman got the chance to meet his real-life counterpart, Richard M. Sherman, whose sunny optimism (along with Walt Disney’s) persevered over Travers’s fierce negativity. (His brother, Robert Sherman, played in the film by B.J. Novak, passed away in 2012.) “I got home that night from the [Moonrise Kingdom] premiere and there was an email from him: ‘Hey, bro. I’m doing a movie with John Lee Hancock called Saving Mr. Banks. He’s going to contact you soon. It’s a great script, you’re going to love it. It would be really fun if we could maybe work together.’ But then it was another week before John Lee Hancock got in touch with me. I describe it as “you will be visited by three ghosts…” I was like, “When is it gonna happen?” But when I read it, I was so interested in it because I love Mary Poppins and I love anything that’s the “making of” in the creative process. And I loved [Hancock’s previous film] The Rookie, which my brother had shot and told me John Lee Hancock was so nice. So when I went to meet him, I felt comfortable with him.”‘ — moviefone.com
Alex Ross Perry Listen Up Philip (2014)
‘Written and directed by Alex Ross Perry, Listen Up Philip looks like the kind of movie film classes would study in the 1970s. Perry swings his hand-held camera so close to the faces of the actors it feels like he might clip one of them in the nose. Narrator Eric Bogosian has a wonderful, offbeat and almost cheerful delivery as he details the latest horrible behavior by Philip or Zimmerman, to the point where we’re rooting for the women in their lives to pack up their dignity and run. Run! Philip is one of the most unlikable but also one of the most fascinating characters of the year. Schwartzman is an expert at playing whip-smart, socially awkward misfits who seem incapable of being in the moment. Even when he’s saying “that’s great” to his girlfriend, he feels compelled to tell her she doesn’t understand him and how he feels right then and there. Another time, when a student shyly asks him for a letter of recommendation for an internship, he tells her why he won’t do it while he staples a blank piece of paper, and he concludes the conversation by saying, “Here’s a piece of paper with staples in it.” OK.’ — Chicago Sun Times
Wes Anderson The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)
‘If you’ve ever watched a precocious niece play with a dollhouse, you know what it’s like to sit through a Wes Anderson movie. It’s soothing to see a world so organized, where even the problems are curated by its god. Wes Anderson has taken the appeal of orderly minutiae and fetishized it into a cinematic aesthetic, if not a genre: His dollhouses are inhabited by melancholy adults who are stymied by their inability to escape established patterns and energetic children who don’t understand why their elders are such assholes. The Grand Budapest Hotel offers yet another character who never changes, this time Ralph Fiennes as the gay manager of the titular hotel who sleeps with rich older women for the twin purposes of making them happy and getting presents. He peppers his Queen’s English with fucks and goddamns and, like Anderson, is particular about his surroundings. The hotel and the boxes that house bonbons and prison escape tools baked into cookies are the same cool, chalky pink, and the baker is a lovely young woman with a port-wine stain shaped like Mexico on her right cheek. Bill Murray is a member of a secret upscale concierge syndicate. Willem Dafoe is a Eurotrash fixer. Tilda Swinton is an old-ass lady who is serviced by Ralph Fiennes.’ — Esquire
Jason Schwartzman explains the plot of Grand Budapest Hotel
Tim Burton Big Eyes (2014)
‘Jason Schwartzman will get artsy in Tim Burton’s upcoming film, Big Eyes. Schwartzman, who starred in Rushmore, Spun, I Heart Huckabees and The Darjeeling Limited, will play a San Francisco art gallery owner named Ruben.’ — The Hollywood Reporter
p.s. Hey. ** Jeff Coleman, Hi, Jeff. That’s funny, I made that gig post about six days ago, and since then I’ve gotten quite into that very Trupa Trupa album you mention, and I almost slipped a track from it in the gig at the last minute. Yeah, it’s a real intriguer. Thanks for thinking of me and for your always excellent radar. ** Armando, Hi. Oh, I was joking. I think my comical-skewed phrasing was off. You can be melodramatic, no issue. I’m very, very sorry to hear about your grandfather. Hugs. And also to hear that your life and consequent feelings are treating you disrespectfully at the moment. I don’t know what a p.s. can do to help, but know that it’s wishing it could. ** David Ehrenstein, Hi. Ha, nice. Well, I’ll see ‘BPM’, so I’ll find out. Cute actors are never enough to sway me into liking a movie if that’s its biggest plus. I think porn has spoiled me, ha ha. It sucks being in France only in the sense that you are continually reminded that Alain Delon has evolved into a far-ish right asshole of a person, but HBD to him anyway. ** Steve Erickson, Hi. Very curious to read your review, and I’ll ‘clap’ when I do. Oh, I have go join the site to read it? Hm, I’ll sort that out. Everyone, Mr. Steve Erickson in his own words: ‘Here is my review of CALL ME BY YOUR NAME. While this is technically “members-only,” people who aren’t Medium members can read up to 3 pieces on that portion of the site a month. As I warned, this contains spoilers. Along with my review of the beloved Turkish cat documentary KEDI, this is the most contrarian review I’ve written this year. By the way, if you like my CALL ME BY YOUR NAME review, please click “clap” on the Medium website. I need people to do this in order to get paid for it.’ Be sure to “clap”, you guys. Yes, the actor in your film seems really immersed in the delivery and physicality. Really excellent. I’m glad you liked some of the music in the gig. The Elucid record is real good. It was stuck on repeat here for a while. Thanks! ** Dóra Grőber, Hi! If only I could pop in. Xmas over there sounds pretty nice, but I fear I’ll be stuck in also nice Paris for a while. How did everything go today? Thanks for enjoying my talk about the film work. I like talking about that. Well, one of the only things I don’t really like about making films is that a finished film has to begin its life by being only shown at film festivals for quite a while, and that only the people who go to those festivals get to see it for too long a time. When it will debut depends on how soon a festival accepts it. We’re hoping that it will get to premiere early next year at the Berlin festival, but we have no idea yet if they’ll want it. That’s the soonest it would get to start its life. If Berlin says no, then we have to wait until another big festival says yes. It’s nerve-wracking. Ideally, the film would get distribution deals at the festivals, and then it will get to play in movie theaters and so on like films do. I’m anxiously awaiting a phone call from Gisele to get her report on the ‘Crowd’ premiere. I’ll let you know. Your yesterday sounds to have been awesome. Mine was another quiet, work-y one. Today Zac gets back from his travels, happily, so I’ll maybe see him, and I’m meeting up with a young writer who’s visiting Paris. Should be okay. How was today? ** Sypha, Hi. My pleasure about your writing. I admire your work a lot, as I hope you know. I feel a little about filmmaking like you do about book writing because getting a film you’ve made out to the public is such a weird, slow, disempowering process that I don’t understand. I love that questionnaire you used to make your dad fill out. How cool would it be to get one’s readers to do that, although I guess it would be pretty scary too. ** B.R., Hi there! Excellent to see you and your excellent avatar too. I only discovered Machine Girl just recently. Yeah, very exciting stuff. I did like the recent Blanck Mass record quite a lot. Cool you like it too, and thanks for thinking of me. You were so right. I’m good. How are you? ** Amphibiouspeter, Hi! Yeah, right, about the Ziur track. The whole record is pretty good. Yeah, all the dark is weirdly good. And it makes every day feel kind of depressive, and it makes life’s shortness more inescapable-feeling or something, which I like too for some contrary reason. What happened last night? I want to hear your things to say. ** _Black_Acrylic, Hi, Ben. Cool, glad you liked those tracks. Yes, I too am a fan of that Carla dal Forno. I think I had something from it in a recent gig? Hm. If not, I’ll cue something up. ** Misanthrope, Hi. Yeah, I’ve ‘seen’ as in noted the existence of those videos. They’re too willies-making for me. But I have wondered why I’ve yet to come across a slave who’s into that. Yeah, but maybe half of the people who were disappointed that I went back to being gay were gay themselves. Strangeness. Actually, while the ‘age gap’ in relationships is not as much of a tenable outrage-generator over here, true, I think that has as much to do with how much more discrete Europeans tend to be than your usual blathering, expository-prone American. ** Right. I decided to restore Jason Schwartzman Day for some seemingly perfectly good reason. Have at it. See you tomorrow.