Wednesday, 31 October 2007

Spooky Jake, Zodiac fright, Moonlight Mile and Cocktail blues

Happy Halloween everyone and, for all the Celts in Britain and elsewhere, happy Samhain. I'm trying to keep the image of Jake Gyllenhaal dressed as a tube of toothpaste from my mind (which isn't easy as it's an image that sticks), preferring instead to think of Jake in this spooky incarnation.

Jake has made the occasional frightening feature (and I don't just mean Proof), most notably Zodiac, which certainly succeeded in giving me the heebie jeebies, especially in the scene with the lady and her baby in the car. Of course, there was also that 'not many houses in California have cellars' scene. While looking around to see if I could post anything frightening tonight, I came across an interview with Jake for Zodiac on the horror movie website Terrorfeed. This interview isn't new but it is appropriate and the Jake you see being interviewed is Rendition Jake, who is the definitive opposite to anything remotely scary.

While we talk about old videos, Jon Stewart's Daily Show has released film from past shows, including Jake's October 2002 appearance for Moonlight Mile. Jake's confidence and maturity in this interview, when aged just 21, is remarkable and shows how naturally he took to the business. It also explains why Jake is such a good guest for the Daily Show today, five years on. I particularly like the moment when Jake clutched Jon's hand to make Jon feel better about the passing of the years. How bizarre that Dustin Hoffman gave Jake his very own walker - not only can the world be scary, it can also be downright peculiar.

Time for a cocktail

Speaking of Zodiac, as we were, after pleading with Smilesalot to share with us her Aqua Velva cocktail experiences, which she discussed in a comment here recently, I was so happy to receive her photographs of the event today. With her permission, I include the pictures here of Smilesalot and E-stalk, both of whom were also at TIFF (you may remember the video of Jake signing his Brokeback shirt - that video was from Smiles and her friends), even though we unfortunately didn't meet. No fear of that mistake again. I would particularly like to congratulate Smiles and E-Stalker on their creativity with the cocktail umbrella.

As a reminder to us all - at least those of us who would like to experience the blue nectar ourselves - here is the recipe according to Wikipedia. Don't leave home without it.

'A spring of fresh organic mint; 2 cups high quality vodka; 1/4 oz of Blue Curacao

Place enough mint in the bottom of a mortar and pestle and grind with a tablespoon of vodka until it's a green pulp. Put the mint paste into a mason jar with vodka and refrigerate overnight, or over several days until the vodka is a greenish color. The longer you keep the mint in, the stronger the mint flavor will be. Filter out the leaves with a cheesecloth or tea strainer and keep the vodka refrigerated.

Serve several ounces of the green vodka with a splash of Blue Curacao over ice. Add soda water if desired. Garnish with a sprig of fresh mint (or an orange slice). An alternate, but still prevalent, form of the drink (excluding mint) can be made with vodka, blue curacao, gin and lemon-lime soda served over ice.'

Includes pictues from IHJ and Smilesalot.

Tuesday, 30 October 2007

Meet the Stars of Rendition video and Rendition placed in its context

Last night, completely out of the blue (almost), Film 24 on Sky showed a documentary on Rendition called Meet the Stars. This feature included video of Gavin Hood shooting scenes from the film, some of the famous clips (which I'm sure we're all word perfect on by now) and interviews with the cast, recorded on set. Fortunately, because Twisted Logic has her eye on the ball - usually when it's Arsenal doing the kicking - WDWTL Productions is delighted to bring you Film 24's Meet the Stars. Because it's relatively long, this is in two parts: Part 1 and Part 2. Thanks very much TL!

In addition to hearing and seeing Rendition Jake discuss his 'ghost' of a character, who found humanity when events literally and physically smacked him in the face, you can also see interviews with Peter Sarsgaard, Meryl Streep, Gavin Hood, Reese Witherspoon and the exceptional Omar Metwally.

War on film

The New York Times ran an interesting article this week comparing the recent spate of Hollywood films about Iraq and the war on terror and placing them in the context of the foreign and military policy of the US government. Intriguingly, the article includes an audio slide show on the War in Iraq, in which images from these films, including Rendition, are accompanied by a discussion of their context and intention by A O Scott, a correspondent from the New York Times.

Although the films appear on the surface to be coming from an anti-Bush perspective, Rendition, Scott argues, allows the characters to put the other side in good faith. These films respect an argument whilst also raising issues by what they choose to leave out. So while some people may accuse films such as Rendition of being too political, others may well find them not political enough. And maybe that is why, in my opinion, some critics cannot find it in themselves to like Rendition. Thanks Pia for highlighting this article.

Jake and Reese on the beach

Edited to add video of Jake and Reese on the beach.

Includes pictures from IHJ.

Monday, 29 October 2007

Jake out with Robert Downey Jr and yet more talk of yet more roles

If I had to say who was one of my favourite co-stars of Jake's, I would have to say Robert Downey Jr for so many reasons (one including a certain bright blue cocktail), not least because he was the one to coin the concept of Wet Dark and Wild Jake Gyllenhaal. So how wonderful to see new pictures this evening of Jake and Robert looking as close as ever.

The photographs were taken last night in West Hollywood at the Key Club on Sunset Strip where Robert's son, the fabulously named Indio Falconer Downey, was playing with his band Jack Bambi's. And also enjoying the company of Jake and Robert is the lovely Trudi Styler, the British actress and wife of Sting.

Red Sox victory

The Red Sox could have done far worse than have Jake Gyllenhaal as their mascot - this morning in the UK we heard the good news that Jake's team won the World Series. This even made the freebie London papers today - not surprisingly, it also made the Boston papers... And there at the bottom of one article ( Sports), in a discussion of hero Jon Lester, is this little snippet: 'Jake Gyllenhaal is already lined up to play the lead in "The Jon Lester Story," a major motion picture coming soon to theaters near you.' Make of that what you will.

Talking of Jake and associated roles, thanks to UltraViolet for coming across an article in Variety (one of our favourite sources) which refers to Jake and another prospective role: Nailed. In a brief discussion of IM Global's future plans, we hear the 'deal preceded the American Film Market, where IM Global will be shopping such titles as Capco-financed pic "The Prodigy," starring Richard Gere; "Nailed," directed by David O. Russell and starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Jessica Biel; and "44 Inch Chest," starring Ray Winstone, Ian McShane and Tim Roth.' So is it possible for Jake to be too busy? I think not.

Pictures from IHJ.

Sunday, 28 October 2007

Video of Jake Gyllenhaal on The Culture Show and Scary Jake

I'm absolutely delighted to bring you the video of Jake Gyllenhaal on The Culture Show last night, all due to the sterling efforts of Twisted Logic who managed to do this for us despite attending a Hen Party and suffering the consequences. This clip comprises the entire segment by Frank Gardner, who used DVDs and movies as part of his therapy to deal with what had happened to him in Saudi Arabia. As both Frank and Jake agree, Rendition is extraordinarily apposite and shows what is going on right now.

Jake in the Telegraph

When Jake was featured in the Sunday Telegraph a week ago today, I had no idea, being in Rome as I was, that Jake was featured on the cover. I must thank Anouska for her wonderful gift today.

Spooky Jake

Last night, a man and a woman in disguise attended a halloween party in Brentwood hosted by Kate Hudson. I admit that the watch is a bit of a giveaway and I'm willing to own up now that the wig wasn't one of my better efforts.

Here's a very brief glimpse in video form.

Includes pictures from IHJ.

Saturday, 27 October 2007

The Culture Show, Rendition, Cover boy Jake and Donnie's opening night

The Culture Show

I'm afraid it was a case of blink and you'll miss it but, nevertheless, Jake Gyllenhaal's brief interview on The Culture Show was part of a deeply personal and honest assessment of the recent spate of Hollywood movies on the war on terror by someone who has suffered its consequences. Frank Gardner began by discussing Tom Cruise's Collatoral in which there is a scene where a gunshot is followed by the sound of metal (the case) falling to the ground. Frank watched that scene repeatedly so that he could numb himself to the sound that he remembered from his own shooting in 2005.

Rendition was discussed alongside Lions for Lambs (Robert Redford, Meryl Streep and Tom Cruise) and The Kingdom (Jamie Foxx). While the interview was being set up, we saw Frank introducing himself to Jake as someone who is not a film critic but instead a man who has reported on the war in Iraq and on terrorism and paid a price for it. The admiration on Jake's face spoke many words before we were shown a brief interview. In this, Jake discussed the scene between Peter Sarsgaard and Meryl Streep and said that we are now all part of an international community with the responsibilities that brings. We hope to bring you the clip of this tomorrow evening but it was woefully brief. Hopefully, it was long enough to get more people to see a film about something that, as Frank Gardner says, is actually happening.

Incidentally, The Culture Show included an interview with Cate Blanchett who not only talked about Elizabeth, but also about I'm Not There, which stars Heath Ledger as one of Bob Dylan's incarnations. It was good to see a clip of a film I can't wait to see.

Rendition screening and reviews

I saw Rendition again today as part of a very appreciative audience as far as I could tell - there were even laughs in the right places and gasps and tears where they should be. The exception was a man behind me who told his astonished wife that he hadn't enjoyed the film because it was 'serious'.

The other day I posted a link to a video in which Gavin Hood was interviewed by an attourney working for ACLU who represents victims of rendition. ACLU's support of Rendition continues with a special screening taking place on 1 November, hosted by Screening Liberally and ACLU, after which there 'will be a fascinating discussion on the realities of "extraordinary rendition," the current lawsuit being brought against Boeing subsidiary, Jeppesen Dataplan Inc., in San Jose, CA, and the role of art in depicting current politics.' It's not clear where the event is taking place, but I suspect San Francisco.

Rendition's reviews have been decidedly mixed as we know, and covering everything from two to five stars. A review I saw today in the Truro Daily News falls very much into the five star category. In fact, the reviewer hails Rendition as one of the best films she has ever seen. Jen Johnston has this to say about Jake: 'Gyllenhaal is the master of body language, able to communicate volumes without saying a word. (There are moments where, simply by pacing down a hall, he brings out a character who is wound tighter than a spring. His haunted eyes are mesmerizing. His outer shell of machismo exquisitely covers a man desperately unsure of himself. Gyllenhaal executes some enchanting attempts at uncomfortable humour, lightening some of the movie’s darker moments. As Douglas, Gyllenhaal perfectly underplays reactions to extreme circumstances, making the moments where he explodes all the more compelling. His moments of guilt and emotional pain are absolutely heartbreaking. As Douglas, Gyllenhaal is cool, calm, and commanding. He blew me away.'

Jen sums it up by saying: 'However, parents and older teens will have a terrific time at Rendition. It’s intelligent, well written and complex without being convoluted. The subplots are fascinating, the minor characters captivating. The leads performances are Oscar calibre. Rendition is intense, the finale thrilling. It is a literal nail biter of a film and not to be missed. It’s easily one of the best films of the year.'

Jake in Fabric magazine for October

Thans to IHJ for alerting us today that Jake is the cover boy of the London property magazine Fabric. Interestingly, that's an old picture on the cover, so I'm intrigued to see what the interview is about. The challenge is now on to find a copy.

Donnie Darko on the stage

Tonight is the opening night for the stage version of Donnie Darko in Cambridge, near Boston. This is a production I personally would never wish to see for at least one obvious reason. However, you may be interested to read an interview with the person responsible, Marcus Stern, who speaks here with great admiration for the film. He also comments on how surprised he was that everyone recognised Frank the Rabbit when publicity photos were taken outside the theatre. Stern sums up: 'What we're doing is a very faithful rendition of the film; it's a really great film and we're trying to bring that to the stage. We're not trying to do some interpretation or take on the film, we're trying to honor this killer story, killer event.'

Includes pictures from IHJ and Fabric.

Jake Gyllenhaal on the Culture Show Tonight

Just a reminder that, tonight, Rendition is featured in the UK's The Culture Show - BBC2 9.20pm. Also, please note that the time has changed from that originally posted! Jake Gyllenhaal is interviewed by BBC correspondent Frank Gardner who was left for dead - and paralysed - by a terrorist gunman in Saudi in 2004. Many of us have been looking forward to this interview for some time.

So see you all later!

Friday, 26 October 2007

Jake's cartoon, Maggie's horror, Zodiac DVD's length, Reese's ice cream

I had a pleasant surprise this evening, Mr WDW returned home from working away for the week, clutching Jake's Daily Mail for me from Monday which he had saved for me for the entire week with barely a crease. You all read the interview - the one where Jake Gyllenhaal said that women pee louder than men, that movie making turns him on and he took some sound advice from Eminem - but you might not have seen the image that went with it. It made me chuckle and I thought you might find it fun.

Jake also said in the Dail Mail interview that he and Maggie both couldn't look at the other involved in sex scenes in a film. Coincidentally, Maggie is featured in this week's The Brooklyn Paper expressing not a little unease at the famous picture from Secretary, which showed Maggie naked except for a strategically placed fur shawl. The image had been on the cover of a previous Brooklyn Paper and this is what the reporter showed Maggie. And her reaction?
'“This is terrible!” said movie star Maggie Gyllenhaal last week when a Brooklyn Paper reporter handed her a copy of a highly controversial front page our newpaper... The story generated weeks’ worth of antagonistic letters to the editor, but never a response from the starlet herself — until this week, when The Brooklyn Paper caught up with her at a public school fundraising event' in Cobble Hill. “I hate that photo,” Gyllenhaal exclaimed when we presented her with a copy of the issue. “This is terrible!” [The photo had been supplied by the movie company. Then Gyllenhaal went back to serving lemonade and cookies at the charity event in Cobble Hill.'

'Life has settled down for the celebrity couple now that their daughter Ramona Sarsgaard is a 1-year-old, and Gyllenhaal says she wants to give back to the community. “Now that my daughter is older and I have more free time, I want to spend as much of it as possible helping people who don’t have all the advantages I have."'

I must take umbrage at the description of Maggie as a starlet. Has Maggie ever been a starlet in her entire career? - I'd argue No with a capital N.

Zodiac Director's Cut

The long yearned for Director's Cut of Zodiac is arriving in the letter and mail boxes of reviewers. Jeffrey Wells from Hollywood Elsewhere received his yesterday. The debate about exactly how many minutes the new version is carries on but what is unquestionable is how much respect this film continues to receive as we head into award season. You can also see from the accompanying picture what the final DVD may look like - a vast improvement if still not perfect.

Ice cream anyone?

As we all know Just Jared posted no fewer than 65 photos from Jake and Reese's tour of Rome last weekend. I took far fewer myself during my own Roman tour, but then I only had a tatty old map and an MP3 player for company. Two things to note about the pictures - firstly, our friend BG is smiling (I think I may call him Smiler from now on) and, secondly, Reese is a braver woman than I for eating ice cream in those temperatures. I went for the hot brandy and spaghetti option.

Many more here. Includes pictures from IHJ and Hollywood Elsewhere. Cartoon by

Thursday, 25 October 2007

Jake and Heath's One Last Shot photos and Rendition videos

As part of the New York Film Festival there is a display at the Walter Reade Theater's Frieda and Roy Furman Gallery of signed celebrity polaroids taken by photographer Henny Garfunkel. As one might expect, many of these informal photographs, called One Last Shots, show the stars letting their hair down - two of these stars are close to our heart. Henny photographed Jake Gyllenhaal at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2005 where, of course, he was promoting Brokeback Mountain.

Henny tells us: "I shot Jake in Toronto in 2005. He was there for Brokeback Mountain and there was alot of buzz around him," Garfunkel remembers of a playful Gyllenhaal. "Anne Hathaway, Heath Ledger and Michelle Williams were all in the room while I was shooting and someone came in and told them they had just won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival. They were all jumping up and down." The next year Henny took a picture of Heath Ledger, also at Toronto, where Heath was promoting Candy. Heath signed his Monkey Man! Thanks to Jantoinette for this, it made my evening.

Rendition videos

I have three video links to post tonight. The first, which several of you saw last night, shows Jake being interviewed in Toronto by someone who is clearly full of admiration for Jake's films and Jake's 'really good choices'. I enjoyed hearing Jake talk in this interview about the appeal of film festivals, particularly Toronto, as places where everybody who loves movies comes together to watch great films. This was certainly my own experience of Toronto, as opposed to Cannes and Rome. The misspelling of Jake's name in the article that accompanies this video is not easy to ignore.

The second video is from the LA Rendition premiere event and, in addition to a chat with Jake, it includes a little interview with Aramis Knight, the boy (now aged 8, Jake tells us) who played Isabella's son, which is very amusing. Jake offers his interviewer a piece of the beard action.

The final video is also from E! and is a brief look behind the scenes of Rendition - hopefully indicating that there may be plenty of extras ahead for the DVD. It is painful to hear Omar Metwally discuss his worst day of filming.


In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Natalie Portman discusses her music tastes - which includes an appreciation for The Shins. The interview also featured a brief mention of Brothers: Natalie says of the original version of the film: 'I actually haven't seen it yet either. I'm not sure if I will because I'm a little scared. I'm always scared that my whole performance will be dictated by either trying to do the same or trying to do something different than what I see someone else do.'

And finally...

A taste of the Jake and Reese special in People magazine was shown on US TV on E! News and was captured by Stephanie at IHJ. Here are a couple of the pictures, giving us a taster of what we will see when the issue hits the US stands, tomorrow I believe.

Includes pictures from IHJ.

I know everyone here would like to join me in sending heartfelt good wishes to Sass who isn't feeling too well at the moment. We wish you a speedy recovery friend.