Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Source Code's Soda Can Guy spills, Picture perfect with Brokeback and Zodiac and Jake Gyllenhaal and MV

Little drips of info about Source Code continue to plip and plop their way to us through the leaky taps of the internet. As the puddle of knowledge forms, it becomes clear that it's not all about Jake Gyllenhaal (a'random guy') and a train. There are others are on that train, including Soda Can Guy.

Soda Can Guy, aka Quebec actor Albert Kwan, has been talking about his month on the Source Code set in March. Duncan Jones has been so impressed by Kwan's energy levels, he immediately typecast him as an energy soda drinker, a label he may never cast off. 'In total, there may be about thirty people in the car and there were 13 or 14 actors on the lot.'

Unfortunately, Kwan didn't share a scene with Jake (Colter in the film) but he did get to meet him. 'He was super generous and gave all of us our moment... We talked, but we didn't really have time to sit down and talk. He is caught up in Hollywood, He'll have to retire because he's constantly surrounded by people. When he arrived on set, he was always nice, always courteous and pleasant to work with.' It should be pointed out that Kwan saw Jake on a quiet set in Montreal and not in Hollywood and so he may well be interpreting what he's seen in the tabloids.

'In Source Code, we had to shoot three scenes a day... It takes an hour to light the set, it takes an hour ... there's sometimes a very long wait. We can wait two or three hours doing nothing. There was one day when I left my trailer to eat and that was all.' Sounds like my kind of day (so long as I didn't have to walk too far).

'For his role in Source Code, Albert Kwan pocketed $23,000, the equivalent of half of his full salary last year... The film was shot over nine weeks in March and April. Almost all the scenes were filmed in the Michel Trudel studios, along the Bonaventure Expressway.' More here.

Should Jake's future directors ever require a 'Shiraz Lass' or an 'Ice-cream Gulper', I can send in my cv.

Picture perfect

That fine publication, American Cinematographer has listed the results of its recent poll, in which more than 17,000 people around the world voted for the films they thought had the best cinematography and were made between 1998 and 2008. Amongst the top fifty films are Brokeback Mountain at no 42 and Zodiac at 39.

Way, way back, shortly after WDW began in the Spring of 2007, I put up the scans from a great article in American Cinematographer, which looked at the work of Harry Savides for Zodiac. The article included very revealing insights from visits to the set of Zodiac and I recommend that anyone who is discovering some of Jake's previous great roles should take a look. I've enjoyed a revisit myself tonight.

The cinematography of both Brokeback Mountain and Zodiac is clearly memorable, not to mention excellent, and they stand the test of so much longer than a mere decade. The Dark Knight is placed right up there in the top ten, while another favourite of mine - The Curious Case of Benjamin Button - is at 30. An interesting list, but no Schindler's List. The best thing about such a list is that it opens up a discussion.

And finally...

It looks as if Jake has headed back to that most beautiful and tranquil (except when I go and there's a hurricane) of islands, Martha's Vineyard. Tweets have put Jake (and Atticus) at Woods Hole on the mainland - when you catch the smaller ferry over to the island - and then on the ferry itself.

BBMISwear and I caught the same ferry ourselves last summer - it was cheap, very relaxed and so beautiful - especially if you're used to Cross Channel ferries and Irish Sea ferries like me which are, in fact, the opposite (although they have duty free). It's a very nice thought, thinking of Jake going back to this private island for a holiday (even if I wasn't able to get a single latte there - the one machine at the Chilmark Store was broken and I had to make do with a pizza slice - not the same thing at all).

So I'm finishing this post with a little bit of a WDW/BBMISwear interlude, which involved a visit to Jake's favourite place on earth, Gay Head, with its lighthouse, stunning cliffs and blue seas.

We've heard Jake mention recently that his best friend (Chris) has a farm on MV. We visited its honesty shop and BBMISwear was good enough to invest in a tomato. I think you'll agree, it's a goodie. Very red. I still don't know what happened to it...

Includes pictures from IHJ and WDW and WDW scan.

Tuesday, 29 June 2010

The alternative Prince of Persia diet - and the end of Doug Liman's Unnamed Moon Project?

Jake Gyllenhaal's fitness regime for Prince of Persia is well-known, involving as it does an awful amount of running, a horrendous number of pushups and way too many jacket potatoes with tuna. If you want to get fit and lithe but you can't function on two squares of dark chocolate a day, then there is an alternative Prince of Persia diet. You simply watch it. A reporter for the Independent discovered that by watching Prince of Persia you can work off 0.9 calories a minute. Admittedly, this is not a huge amount of calories and also the article doesn't state if scoffing a big pot of Ben and Jerry's through the film impacts on this amount of calories. I'd argue not.

Therefore, I can enjoy the pictures of Jake going about his workouts whilst smiling to myself and wondering when Jake will realise that he could keep in shape just by looking at himself on the big screen. I do realise that I have to watch a huge amount of Jake in order for the Jaking Health Regime to be effective. It's tough but I can do it.

You can read much more over at the Independent.

Doug Liman is a director who has interested me for a long time, not only because of the long association of Jake with Doug's Unnamed Moon Project (UMP), latterly known as Argonauts, but also because he blogs as he directs. It's been interesting watching the development of UMP from Doug's point of view (all courtesy of the 30Ninjas website) - the desire to get the special effects just so, the importance of allowing Jake's character to develop as Jake would wish and the efforts to get a studio onboard. I wrote more about this at MB.

However, at the turn of the year, the time when Doug said that shooting for Argonauts would kick off, all went quiet. Instead, Doug has been associated with other projects, such as another Musketeers movie and All You Need is Kill, while publicising Fair Game at Cannes. This film stars Naomi Watts, Sean Penn and Brothers' own Sam Shephard. So, what has happened to UMP?

The Playlist, always good reading, today posted an article about Doug Liman, and it raises the very interesting point that maybe the Unnamed Moon Project has been killed by the definitely named Moon. Although UMP has a very different plot and scenario, dramatising a race to colonise the moon, perhaps Duncan Jones' triumph Moon has filled that niche for studios. And just as Knight and Day has possibly been damaged at the box office by comparison with Mr and Mrs Smith and Killers, maybe Doug has taken the hint from studios and has moved on.

Doug's blogs are testament to the amount of work that he - and Jake - has put into creating a project that studios would wish to invest in. A difficulty for Doug was making shots of the Moon believable - to such an extent it even sounded like he was actually prepared to go there! Duncan Jones took the other tack and instead managed to visualise the moon for us on a comparatively tiny budget.

The critical success of Moon, winning Duncan Jones a BAFTA, led to Duncan's first role as Hollywood director, at the helm of the highly anticipated Source Code, starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Vera Farmiga and Michelle Monaghan. Jake can't stop talking about how Duncan is the next great director of his generation and how the scifi Source Code will blow our minds.

One can't help but think that however much many of us, including myself, had longed for UMP, not least because Jake would have an active role in the development of both his character and the project as producer, the path to its demise paved the way for Source Code. But, nothing is ever certain in Hollywood and I still hope that we may get both and may still get to enjoy Jake in Space.

Includes pictures from IHJ.

Monday, 28 June 2010

Updated: Jake out for a Mexican. A smiley Jake Gyllenhaal back at the gym (27 June 2010) and the desert pulse of Prince of Persia

Updated: On 25 June Jake Gyllenhaal went out to dinner at that well-known restaurant Road Construction Ahead - aka Red O, a recently-opened Mexican on Melrose Avenue. Please note how I've not noticed the mark on Jake's shoe but I am enjoying the return of the Zippy Jacket. Thanks to IHJ for the new pics!

Proving yet again that there is absolutely no need for me to go to the gym as long as Jake Gyllenhaal does it for me, Jake was back working out in Studio City yesterday (27 June). This time, accessories included the old sunglasses, a Texan hat, a big smile and a Loomstate shirt, always a favourite with Jake. Smiles are well deserved as Prince of Persia has now taken more than $300 million at the international box office.

Loomstate combines organic products, green awareness and a nifty, attractive design (I should be on one of those shopping channels), such as these dancing horses. I'm sure many of us remember the Power to the People shirt from Paris in 2008, or the lung shirt.

Acting to a beat

Jake Gyllenhaal's films are not only outstanding for their acting, many of them also stand out for the quality of their soundtracks. Brokeback Mountain, of course, won an Oscar for its composer Gustavo Santaolalla, while Jarhead and Brothers shared a composer with Thomas Newman. I can quite happily while away more than a few bus journeys listening to The Day After Tomorrow tunes while BBMISwear and I drove round Massachusetts to the beat of Moonlight Mile. And have I mentioned Donnie Darko? That soundtrack transports me back to my twenties, and then there's Zodiac. The opening sequence of that film to Santana's Soul Sacrifice - amazing. And it also reminds me of Jake Gyllenhaal and David Fincher's first steps onto that pristine red carpet at Cannes.

While, for me, there is nothing quite like the sounds of Zodiac, Moonlight Mile and Donnie Darko, the Prince of Persia score by Harry Gregson-Williams has been a constant companion for me over the last month. Harry may be the composer of the new Shrek movie but he knows a thing or two about recreating an epic desert feast of romantic sand-swirling, fabric-flapping, chest-baring, ostrich-racing, sandglass-smashing, uncle-bashing, fortress-storming, knife-throwing, smashing action. And Alanis Morisette isn't bad either.

Having spent a few weeks listening to my downloaded (and paid for) version, I've now resorted to last century technology and bought The CD, hence the scans. Without doubt, Prince of Persia is my favourite track, containing a little bit of all of the rest, with everything else close behind.

During these hot summer days, you could do far worse than immerse yourself in the sounds of Prince of Persia. You can catch a little piece of studio action at the end of this behind the scenes video. More here.

Pictures with thanks from IHJ and JJ. Scans by WDW.

Sunday, 27 June 2010

[Updated again!] Jake at the gym 26 June. In an (almost) non-sporty post, Jake Gyllenhaal admits 'I'm very theatrical' plus the PoP/NBA promo

Updated update: Michelle Monaghan talks a little - and I mean a little - about her forthcoming project, Source Code. 'I've got a film that's coming up that's called Source Code with Duncan Jones directing. Jake Gyllenhaal, Vera Farmiga, Jeffrey Wright – incredible sort of sci-fi. It's a really incredible ride, and you kind of really don't know which direction it's taking you... She's kind of a girl that's a little bit lost, and she hasn't really found her path in life, and she's a little bit confused. She meets a random guy on the train, and he kind of helps her sort out her life and her future. He's very enlightening to her.'

'Random guy on the train' - A new way to describe Jake.

Update: Jake Gyllenhaal leaves the gym in Studio City, LA, yesterday (26 June), wearing a great Stand up to Cancer (SU2C) hoodie. Please note how I'm not mentiontioning the sunglasses. Many thanks to IHJ, there are lots more there.

On with the post...

Now that I have entered into World Cup denial (what World Cup?), I'm not going to give sport another thought ever again or at least for about 18 hours. Jake Gyllenhaal is the perfect distraction, of course, with Prince of Persia providing the ideal alternative to all these sporting calamitiesoccasions. So welcome to a (not entirely) sport-free post.

Jake Gyllenhaal's penchant for sport (which I'm not mentioning in this post) is well-known and has been made good use of by movie and TV companies, as can be seen in this special promo video which incorporates a whole new element into the Prince of Persia movie. No longer is the film about Dastan and Tamina - it's now about Dastan and the NBA. Evil Uncle Nizam has also got a new job.

Many thanks to BBMISwear, who saw the entire Boston Celtics and LA Lakers game on 22 May, the game where Jake and Chris sat by the court's edge and Jake got an interview while Chris got the beer. In this video you can see the interview, and then there are a few extra minutes in which you can see Jake and Chris by the side, as well as Chris reclaiming his seat after having sat on the floor during the interview.

I did watch quite a bit of the game and I can honestly say I am none the wiser for it. But that's because Jake Gyllenhaal is sitting by the side. Obviously, if he hadn't have been I'd be completely au fait with this game for tall people.

I'm continuing my world tournament of PoP interviews and today here is one from Brazil (recorded in London). Bearing in mind that my Portuguese is even worse than my ancient Greek (and I can only speak two words of that), I'm relying on The Internet for my translation. Hopefully, any Brazilian readers can fill us in. Rather disappointingly, for a post which is avoiding sport at all costs this evening, Jake does again compare Prince of Persia to a grand sporting occasion. He also doesn't go abroad too much on holidays as that would mean going to bed early.

On the film being hard work: 'True, but not as much as it seems. With the whole team generating this kind of energy, it's impossible not to be infected by adrenaline. I like making movies of all kinds and sizes, but this was almost like a sporting event, where I had to jump, run, fight ... Yes, it was tiring.'

'I still have all the muscles, but not at the same size. Well, I felt good .... I don't want to spend all the time describing what I felt, but it was great, because I felt he was capable of anything... I feel sexy when I feel good inside.'

Was the hair real? 'Almost all of it, yes.'

'As a young person - I think I still feel young - I am still laughing about it [the project]. And perhaps because I had already done more serious roles, I realized I could make a movie that would give me the opportunity to enjoy myself more. There are people who think they have to be very serious to be a good actor, but I totally disagreed with the idea as I gained more experience.... I don't think torture is the best path to creativity...' [Flashback to Rendition interviews.]

On how well-liked Jake is by audiences: 'I do not know what I can say, but I can tell you that some people don't like me, I already knew a few. And I don't like that very much. I think it's important people don't like me (laughs). Of course, taste, it's taste whether they like me. I am an actor ... But I also think it's healthy to make choices that make people upset or uncomfortable. It would be depressing if one had to please everyone.'

'I just love my sister and I was always impressed with her work. This is despite us not speaking much to each other about what we're doing. That doesn't mean I don't know what she's doing. She was recently nominated for an Academy Award (Crazy Heart), which seems only right, because I felt embarrassed because I'd received this recognition and she hadn't. Maggie is an amazing sister. And an incredible mother. TWhat makes me love her even more.'

Is Jake an amazing uncle? 'An uncle incredible !?... Let's say I'm not (laughs). I guess I'm a good uncle. I'm working on it. But an uncle's not supposed to be awesome (laughs).'

Jake's best friends: 'I have a number of friends who grew up on the island where I lived with my parents called Martha's Vineyard and in Los Angeles. My best friend is a chef and he lives in Martha's Vineyard.'

What does Jake would like to do: 'What I'd like most to do is ride a bike around the world and surf with my friends.'

Holidays? 'Every once in a while. But more often when I'm abroad, I have to go to bed early.'

'Which was the last CD you downloaded?' 'I like the Kings of Leon very much, and I think I did download Eminem'

Did he pay? 'I paid, I paid!'(laughs)

'Yes, I played the original [game], I must have been about eight or nine years old. Then, just recently I played the latest Sands of Time game and I got a little addicted. This allowed me to see the differences between game and narrative history in a film.'

Watching his parents on set as a child: 'I think I was more interested in playing Prince of Persia than being an actor. Of course, I grew up knowing very well the different departments of a film. And I remember my dad giving me a walkie-talkie and running errands between the various departments. Later, I realized it was fun and it could make money (laughs).'

'My sister was much more involved than I was in plays at school and she sang a lot. I remember returning from school in her car and she sing very high! I was always very theatrical.'

Is it easier for men to be successful in Hollywood? 'I think that's something that's changing. Maybe the past it was like that. For example, Meryl Streep is becoming a serious case of longevity. But it also has to do with talent. And I think my sister has the same talent, although that may be presumptuous. I do not think it's important whether one's an actor or actress.'

How would Jake assess his work in Brokeback Mountain? 'It was a very interesting project, although we never would have dreamed the recognition that it got. That was a movie with lots of action, ie, it had some action (laughs) but it wasn't quite the same as in Prince of Persia, for example. The film conveys a certain rigidity and an intimacy unlike anything I've ever done. It was an intimacy between myself, Michelle and Heath. It was very special.' More here.

And there we go, a whole post with (almost) no mention of sport in it. Includes pics from the non-sporty Vampire Weekend video and IHJ.