EW’s CapeTown Film Fest should only ‘Live Long & Prosper’!
It’s been one hell of a couple weeks for nerds across the board.
Marvel Studios once again struck rich with its second-highest grossing production, Iron Man 3. Saturday offered a double dose of geek fun with Free Comic Book Day and annual Star Wars event, May the Fourth (Be With You). And, last but certainly not least, Entertainment Weekly blasted off on all cylinders with its first ever Capetown Film Festival.
It was awesome.
And extremely hard to cover.
But that’s okay.
Cause it was awesome.
Thankfully last night, no cell phones were taken away (thanks, Universal Pictures), no guests failed to show up, or show up late (Mark Ham.. *cough* Mark..), and, this writer finally had the time and resources to spread the word from Nerd Heaven.
Yet, despite the historic Egyptian Theater providing sold-out audiences with the most abnormal conditions on Hollywood Boulevard (Scott Pilgrim? Colder than the dumping of Knives Chau. Star Trek? As blazing as the Romulan supernova), the non-profit American Cinematheque did offer the absolute highest quality presentation possible and one hell of a sound system. Witnessing John Carpenter‘s The Thing on the silver-screen for the first time, under the guise of a shivering, wintering helluva perfect 35 MM, was insane. Carpenter may have also been the funniest Q&A guest I’ve witnessed.. ever.
Just ask the self-proclaimed “Horror Master” about that Thing of a remake. “I don’t really have any comment on [2011’s The Thing]. They worked real hard on that movie…” Or about those darn British Columbia shooting conditions. “It was miserable — there were no girls!”
Carpenter certainly wasn’t the only guest providing entertainment at others expense.
After a rare big-screen showing of 12 Monkeys and a near half-hour delay (surely there were some of those, but we’ll forgive you, EW; at least for this year), Terry Gilliam delighted audiences with plenty of inside knowledge and candid thoughts, particularly on his own deplorable movie-going experiences: Michael Bay’s Transformers (“There’s no gravity anymore!”), Steven Spielberg’s Close Encounters (“Don’t let the little kids with the rubber suits come in!”), and Justin Lin’s Fast & Furious 6 (“It’s important to keep repeating things…like a McDonald’s cheeseburger.”)
I had no idea Gilliam, who I sadly confused for another Terry earlier — telling a friend he directed The Thin Red Line and Tree of Life. Doh! — was close to directing Harry Potter, either. Perhaps then I would have given the franchise a chance. And, thankfully for my sake, Gilliam often referenced and compared his lyrical shooting style to good friend and peer, Mr. Malick.
It was Sunday night, though, where one man rose above all. EW reporter and Cape Fest show-runner, Geoff Boucher — who’s own work schedule could only be rivaled by the beauty appointments of a young Hollywood starlet — had the opportunity to interview the legendary Leonard Nimoy. Yup, Spock.
The festival’s final night screened 2009’s Star Trek, which this writer found to be a highly engaging and underrated remake, and even nicer refreshment before the sequel, Into Darkness, hits theaters next week. Following a humorous video presentation from Trek director, J.J. Abrams, and new Spock, Zachary Quinto, the regal Nimoy entered the Egyptian Theater to a tremendous standing O.
“I don’t remember that far back,” clowned Nimoy in reference to the last time Boucher live Q&A’d him.
“I’ve been on a lot of airplanes the last few weeks, but I’m here. [And] three years from now we will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of Star Trek.”
Cue even larger applause.
In regards to the new generation Spock, Nimoy denounced any need for self approval. “I had consultations after seeing the footage from J.J. [Quinto] had the talent, looked right enough.
He had what I call the ‘interior life.'”
Nimoy and his new protege would go on to have conversations about the philosophy of Star Trek and the human conflict and character of Spock. But “no advice. No ‘do that, do this.'” At their initial meeting in an elevator at San Diego Comic Con, Nimoy merely warned a then space-green Quinto of his forthcoming Trek Life.
“Do you have any idea what you what you’re getting into?”
When Boucher asked Nimoy if he had any idea what he was getting himself into those 40-semod years ago, the actor/director had “noooo idea! I was [only then performing] small roles. My number was still listed in the Los Angeles phonebook and [crazy fans] would call. I couldn’t go into restaurants, movie theaters.”
After a funny story about a pair of Midwestern gals who got a hold of Nimoy’s digits.. this happened:
No, seriously. Spock sang “The Hobbit” to our live Egyptian Theater audience, which left Boucher damn near speechless. This wonderful “you had to have been there” moment led to our interviewee interviewing the interviewer about the new Star Trek, since Nimoy didn’t get the chance to preview it himself and Mr. Boucher did.
“I can’t talk about [Into Darkness]. J.J. has snipers.”
- Who was Leonard Nimoy’s BFF in the original Star Trek cast? “I loved them all, even though [William] Shatner tried to drown me (during a scene shot at Paramount during Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home). He knew was he was doing.” Boucher asked if they should seek revenge, to which Nimoy sarcastically — we think? — declined, “No. He has enough problems of his own. [Shat’ pushed Nimoy into the water because] he has his own agenda. He has certain needs.. as they say.”
- Nimoy didn’t realize a film he directed, the Tom Selleck-starring 3 Men & A Baby, was the highest grossest movie of 1987. “Then I should be getting a check!” After such a spocking discovery, I was going to ask about that infamous house “ghost.” But, as luck would have it, there was no audience Q&A portion of the program.
- Spock also fought the power. When the “Star Trek” animated series (1973-74) failed to provide voice-over gigs for two of the original cast members in order to save a few bucks, Nimoy declined his presence until that was changed. It changed. And now you can watch a spoof of the cartoon — sort of — on the new “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.”
- After being given a Fathead wall-sized sticker of Spock from Entertainment Weekly, Nimoy then declared his next problem: finding a place “visible enough where everyone can see it!”