Sunday, 31 August 2008

Photographs from Morocco - Gemma Arterton holds on and the Prince of Persia set takes shape

Although, alas, it's not a picture of Jake Gyllenhaal, we do have another picture today from the set of Prince of Persia. Here is Gemma Arterton in Morocco keeping a firm grip on Spanish stuntman Eduardo Gago during a riding lesson. Gemma will now know how to hold Jake tight when riding behind him on his white horse - although one would have thought this would be instinctive and a lesson not necessary.

There are also some new photographs this weekend from the fortified desert city of Aït Ben Haddou, Morocco, taken by a holiday maker. These show the Prince of Persia set taking shape and give us a great idea of some of the buildings and walls over which our prince must scale and leap.

Jake's leading lady, Gemma Arterton, is also in the press today because she is to feature in possibly 98% of all dramas to be shown on British TV this September and October, beginning with Lost in Austen this Wednesday. In this interview for Times Online, it is noted that Gemma is looking more sultry and is pouting more than normal. This, it seems, is because of Prince of Persia: '"I’m a Persian princess," she announces. "So I’m darkened up a little bit."' And yet, when asked how she will deal with all the attention when the dramas air, Gemma replies: '"By going to Morocco and escaping from it all — I’m going to be in the depths of the souk. In a hut," she giggles. "All the reviews will come out and I’ll be in a hut."'

She'll also be in the arms of Prince Dastan, of course... Talking of whom.

Includes pictures from IHJ and links.

Friday, 29 August 2008

Prince of Persian Baths and What should one do if one bumps into Jake Gyllenhaal? Shop, just shop...

There have been comments here which suggest that not every Gyllenhaalic has played the game Prince of Persia: Sands of Time - thereby denying themselves hours of pleasure and frustration in not equal measure. This means they may not be up on the plot, which, according to Zodiac, our resident PoP expert (who is at 98%), is illuminated by the Prince ripping off pieces of his clothing at strategic places throughout the game - it is very hot in Persia after all.

By 80% there is not a lot left and, in the early 90s%, the Prince has a Persian Bath moment with the princess - but was it a dream? So, in order to give non-gamers here a bit of a heads up, particularly in regard to the role of the evil Vizier Ben Kingsley in driving the destiny of Jake Gyllenhaal's Prince Dastan, this video sets the scene for Sands of Time.

I must admit that, when I play the game, the Prince's Powers of Delay, Restraint, Haste and Destiny are severely compromised and, indeed, little evident. Whereas the Sands of Time game may give us some idea of the plot of Jake's movie, the future games may give us an insight into the vision of the film, especially when one considers the look that has been given to Jake.

I wonder how well Jake is doing with game...

Bumping into Jake

So what to do when an unexpected encounter with Jake Gyllenhaal offers itself... Does one become mushy, tongue-tied and statue-legged? Or does one take the easy way out and just pass out at Jake's feet - possibly reaching out for something to hold on to as one falls? Here is a 2005 account (Christmas) of a bumping into Jake situation, which is very funny. One must admire the self-restraint of the lucky guy here, who managed to stay compos mentis (well, a bit) when faced with this sitution: 'Well, at one point, I turned the corner... and came face-to-face with Jake Gyllenhaal... sitting on a bed... STARING AT ME!---No. Freakin'. Joke. (Yeah. I know that it was purely "accidental eye contact with a stranger," but still... My. Gawd.)'

I must admit that I did have to look up what Magic 8 balls are and I did wonder who the four lucky recipients of the balls were - never mind the laundry tin boxes...

Telluride Film Festival

Following yesterday's feature on David Fincher it seems very appropriate to mention that the 35th Telluride Film Festival, set high in the mountains of Colorado, opens tonight and, on this opening night, there is a tribute to David Fincher. He will be presented with the festival's Silver Medallion and will show his cut of Zodiac, followed by 20 minutes of Benjamin Button.

'"Here's a guy," festival co-director Gary Meyer said of Fincher, "who is making what might be perceived as big studio movies with big stars. But each one of his films has a signature -- he's an artist."' It's good to think that, well over a year on from its release, festival goers will again be watching Zodiac.

Includes pictures from IHJ and Just Jared.

Thursday, 28 August 2008

Happy Birthday David - Jake Gyllenhaal and David Fincher on how to paint a picture

Today is the birthday of David Fincher and, as someone who has justifiably been descibed on more than one occasion as a Fincher Fangirl, I cannot let the day pass without a Zodiac post. The UK and Europe - or at least those parts of it without multi-region DVD layers - have still to wait until the end of September before they get their Director's Cut edition of Zodiac and this is yet another indication of the way in which Paramount has (not) promoted this fine film. Nevertheless, despite or because of his well-publicised foibles - such as the take fetish and microscopic attention to detail - Zodiac is a film Jake Gyllenhaal et al should be rightly proud of.

David Fincher's compulsion to have every scene perfectly realised has been reflected upon and groaned about by more cast members than Jake and this was exemplified in the DVD extra in which Jake is shown repeatedly throwing down a book in his car until, after about 40 takes, he got the angle just right. It did make me happy that Lisa discussed this outtake with Jake during the Ted and Lisa lunch with Jake back in April - it's a favourite moment of mine, amongst many.

Chloe Sevigny reflected that Jake grew frustrated by David's attention to background details until Jake began to do what comes naturally to him but surely is an abhorrence to David Fincher - he improvised (or made up his lines), thereby prolonging the process even more for himself and everyone else.

Most famously, Jake was quoted as saying that David 'paints with people' and 'It’s tough to be a color.' Elsewhere: '"There are two very difficult dreams that you learn a lot from as an actor," Gyllenhaal says. "One is a Shakespeare and the other is a David Fincher. Someone said to me, 'He paints with people.' The word 'perfectionist' is oversimplifying it."'

Robert Downey Jr, in the commentary to Zodiac, shared the joke with Jake about the takes they endured and also said: 'I just decided, aside from several times I wanted to garrote him, that I was going to give him what he wanted. I think I’m a perfect person to work for him, because I understand gulags.'

And again: 'We promise you that in the course of filming Zodiac no animals were hurt," Downey says with a laugh. "That's where the humane behavior ended. No ego was left untarnished. We're doing a scene and I realized after we'd done it about 40 times, I was tied to the mast. Dave's like, 'Everything that Downey has just spent the last six hours doing? Let's delete that, go to lunch, and start over.' But that's the shit, dude. It's — Fincher.'

Nevertheless, despite all that, despite the extra long shoot, Jake's fondness for his Zodiac director, who got out of him such a performance, was very evident by the time Cannes came along and there was chemistry: 'The screening of the 158-minute film was full and well received, with star Jake Gyllenhaal the main attraction at the light-hearted briefing afterwards. The star may have bridled on the set at the perfectionist director's demand for take after take, but whatever their past differences, they were all mutual admiration.'

'One two-part question posed asked Fincher if he felt Gyllenhaal was one of the best acting talents of his generation -- Fincher said he was -- with a follow-up to Gyllenhaal about working with co-star Robert Downey, Jr. Gyllenhaal at first deflected the question: "I'm sorry," he said. "I was still thinking about being one of the best talents of my generation."'

Not all directors are the same and no two films are the same - thank heavens - and so Jake must have expected to learn a great deal from a director who pushes technology to its limit and knows exactly what he wants and will fight studios to be allowed to express that: 'But as we’ve worked together I feel like he really does like actors, and he knows what’s really good in acting, too. I have a real, real growing fondness for David and his relationship to actors. To work with, though, we do on average 30 takes, and we do have up to 80. But I also think that’s great, too. Every director seems to have a different, especially when they’re really great, a real personality and style of making their film. And they’ve all been so different and so wonderful in all these different ways. I just hope that I’ve taken in as much as I can from them because who knows when the opportunity will come again to work with people like that. I don’t know, it’s kind of amazing.'

Fincher, in turn, wanted Jake for the role right from the very beginning. He enjoyed Jake as Donnie Darko ('I really liked him in Donnie Darko... and I thought, He's an interesting double-sided coin. He can do that naive thing but he can also do possessed.') but he was also encouraged to hire Jake by Jennifer Aniston, who, at the time, was married to one of David's most favourite actors, Brad Pitt.

In the UK MTV Zodiac special, David and Jake shared an exchange, beginning with David: 'Jennifer Aniston cast this movie because she was saying 'Oh my God! Jake! You'll love him. he's fantastic! He's so charming, he's so great!' Jake: 'She can be one hell of an influence.' David: 'I had seen Jake in Donnie Darko and I'd seen Jake in The Good Girl and I liked that he could be part of something that was dark without having to play dark.'

Of course, back in October 2007, David interviewed Jake for Interview magazine and the interview, conducted over the phone, revealed much about both. At this site, you cah hear a snippet from it.

David Fincher never stood much of a chance of awards success with Zodiac - the release date was pushed from pillar to post due to David's fight to keep everything in the film. Let's hope that 'The Curious Case of Benjamin Button', with Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett, fares better and has the fates behind it (not to mention the studios).

Happy birthday, David - you're truly a gem and thanks for the Cannes smile. Includes pictures from IHJ and Just Jared.

Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Taking a breath: Jake Gyllenhaal in Montreal and Morocco

As I am forever saying here (and not just to put a certain tune in your head), it's a small world after all, and today that saying seems peculiarly appropriate and excusable because there is a Disney connection. It turns out that the screenwriter of The Day After Tomorrow, Jeffrey Nachmanoff, is also involved with the screenplay for that other small movie, Prince of Persia.

With Jeffrey's directorial debut, the thriller Traitor, about to be released, he may be looking for the next project: 'Obviously, The Day After Tomorrow and Prince of Persia are on this really big Hollywood scale — I don't think that's probably what I would go to next as a director. But, I like good story-telling.'

Although I am a big fan of TDAT (it was Sam Hall who first fluttered his eyes at me), one can't help but wonder if it was Jeffrey who was responsible for such memorable lines in The Day After Tomorrow as: 'I think we've hit a critical desalinization point' and, my personal favourite, 'I couldn't let you guys leave New York without seeing the Natural History Museum'. In the words of Jake Gyllenhaal: 'I like sitting in a tank with 700 extras going in the bathroom in it, and then reusing that water to then shoot another scene where you're drowning in water, that's disgusting, and it's hard, but it's not as hard as like trying to make a line like 'He will come' work. [Laughter] That's really hard.'

Jake goes on to say that not being able to speak English is not a handicap with this sort of script: 'No, but this is a movie that reaches a lot of people in a lot of different countries all over the world who don't all speak English, and who don't all understand 'Americanisms' and things.'

Jake did have a not entirely appreciated tendency on the set of TDAT to try and rewrite his lines: '"I probably annoyed the s -- - out of them because I really don't like the generic way things go,'' Gyllenhaal says. 'I rewrote scenes myself and brought them in, which, much to my dismay, they didn't... really... appreciate. But they listened. It's nicer to be heard out and then be thrown out than just be thrown out immediately.'' The aspiring scribe was particularly piqued over classic movie cliches: ''Any time I'd see that, I'd be like, 'That just seems like bulls -- -,'' he says. 'And some of it still is, and some of it isn't.''

Elsewhere Jake said: 'There were a couple of instances where I said, 'No way am I saying that line!' and they rewrote it. There won't be any subtitle saying, 'Sorry, these guys don't sound like real human beings, but they just didn't have the balls to say the dialogue sucked... Coming from a family where my mom is a writer, I just respond to how people speak. I thrive on the process of getting this stuff right. It drove them crazy, but it was fun. You have to entertain yourself when you're spending seven months in Montreal.'

But when all is said and done 'I'm really tired of people taking big summer movies too seriously, you know? We should all have a little fun' and 'Sometimes it's nice to lose a little subtext... Take a breath... for seven months... in Montreal.' I couln't agree more. This also seems like a good place to post another little soundbite for Jake from his promotion for this 'damn cool' movie.

Jake spotted in a North African garden

Jake has been spotted - last Sunday Jake was seen arriving at Yves St Laurent's Jardin Majorelle in Marrakesh. Just the idea of Jake strolling around and enjoying the heady scents and colours of a North African garden is enough to make me want to see Prince of Persia right now. Hopefully, the film will capture something of this world. It's also good to hear that Jake is getting the chance to play the tourist.

The Unnamed Moon Project is out there

This isn't really news as such, but it does indicate that The Unnamed Moon Project is ticking along, still with Jake's name attached, and possible getting closer by the day - even though no-one will give this poor film a name. Alli Shearmur has been hired by Lionsgate to be its president of motion picture production. In passing, the article comments that Alli is producer of UMP and, not only that, she was also an overseer of that masterpiece Zodiac. Good news indeed and these sound like safe hands.

Includes pictures from IHJ and the Jardin Majorelle.

Tuesday, 26 August 2008

Meeting your every Jake need - Your Jake Gyllenhaal Store for all things Jake

A couple of Jake-related things made me laugh today - first off, Jake has a mention in the September issue of Blood: The American Journal of Hemataology. Yep, Jake Gyllenhaal was poorly used by an extremely ill-informed (actorwise) scientist as an analogy to try and explain the unexplainable. But it did make me laugh...

Your Jake Store

Secondly, Defamer brought to light the store 'Un Jake Pour Vous'. In this store you can buy everything Jake and turn your man or yourself into the moviestar of your dreams. This store is clearly not on my doorstep and so I am left to my imagination to try and figure out just what the shop contains and what it is that you need to create your very own Jake.

Casual Attire

The essential requirements for your Jake comprise the standard Jake casual uniform: white t-shirt (preferably v-neck), combined with blue jeans (slightly loose and little too long) and either boots or Nike. The boots should be well worn and a bit scuffed. By contrast, the Nike should be pristine and replaced at regular intervals. Occasionally, the intensity of Nike colour can be too much so it is best to rely on well tried and tested colour schemes and offset the effect with Shox absorbers. And sometimes, the strength of design means that the t-shirt does not have to be white.

Sometimes a t-shirt is not suitable, especially for dinner, in which case the jeans can be worn with a shirt (not tucked in) and a jacket. Clearly, Nike would be inappropriate here. Also, for family occasions, a smart cashmere sweater would be a good choice.

Slacks are also an option and can look good when paired with a see through shirt. This look is to be encouraged.

For hot days, long trousers can be replaced by shorts. Just below the knee is an ideal length for the street whereas above the knee is more suitable for the beach.

And it goes without saying that no Jake Wardrobe should be without a hoodie.

Formal attire

If a red carpet is the name of the game, then a suit is your best bet. Jake has a number of high impact suits for such events, including the infamous BAFTA 2007 shirt (quite possibly THE best shirt ever worn by a man) with black tie and suit, the supercool dark blue for Cannes and the grey and purple of Rome. The tie should always reflect the colour of the leading lady's dress. The exception is when a bowtie is judged necessary, in which case it's best to stick with black.

For interviews on television, a slightly quirky tie is desirable. As before, Nike is not appropriate and should be replaced by smart shoes, possibly Italian and always extremely polished (by someone else).


Boxer shorts and briefs will be placed prominently in Your Jake shop.

Outdoor clothing

North Face is one of the sponsors of Your Jake store and so North Face jackets, body warmers, raincoats and bags will be found throughout. Whilst all of these should not be worn at the same time, when worn individually North Face performance clothing will get you through the most severe Californian winters (and we're talking 18 degrees centigrade here, seriously).

If North Face is unavailable, a Parker will do at a push but only for short intervals.

For lesser wintry hazards, a blue jumper with a toggle is desirable and will be kept well stocked. Scarves will also be found at regular intervals throughout the store.


Your Jake shop will have a strong section for hats, focusing on two types: the beanie and the cap. Once selected, a hat can be worn for many years as a dearly loved favourite so choose carefully.

Sunglasses are essential and easy to lose so you may need more than one pair. Aviators are on their way out (hopefully) and so be prepared for the look of 2006/2007 to make a comeback.

Bags of all sizes will be featured, ranging from light and portable camera bags to heavyduty baggage for flights - just what you need for carrying MacBooks and lollies to your chosen destination.

Sports section

The sporting section of Your Jake store will focus on the Nike and LiveStrong names. It is encouraged that you select items that will emphasise every muscle and sinew in your body - better too tight than not. And if you have to have the zip undone then so be it.

Pet Toys

While Your Jake store will not sell actual animals (because that woud be silly - and smelly), it will sell bizarre items for entertaining yourselves and your pet. The Orange Thing is a particular favourite.


Why have one phone when you can have two or three? A wide choice of phone and blackberry will be available, not to mention Apple laptops and iPods. These items will come with a warning - they are not to be chewed.

Discontinued lines

This season the discontinued lines include thick plaid shirts with or without (but especially with) the flock of birds decoration. Other outs include crocs (the shoes not the reptile) and orange/beige ties. It is still to be decided by management whether the cardigan will join the other items in the 'not to be seen again' department.

Coffee shop

It goes without saying that Your Jake Store will contain a coffee shop, but we strongly encourage customers to have their coffees to go.

Includes photos from IHJ, Just Jared and Your Jake Store's Catalogue (now available from WDW).