Monday, July 23, 2007

DVD extras shine more light on ‘Factory Girl,’ ‘Premonition’

Those who enjoy looking “behind the scenes” should check out the DVD extras for “Factory Girl” or “Premonition.”

The “Factory Girl” DVD partly touches on the delays and reshoots that marred this movie’s release. During his DVD diary, Guy Pearce touches on how the Weinstein Co. pumped money into the project months after it wrapped here.

Guy Pearce’s video diary is made all the more interesting when you read this New York Times article (subscription needed), which describes the bad blood between director George Hickenlooper and LIFT Productions. Apparently, there was a major disagreement regarding the need to shoot more footage outside of Louisiana.

Weinstein Co. is essentially described as the hero that saved the movie at the 11th hour. (Saved probably isn’t the right word since “Factory Girl” flopped.)

Hickenlooper suggests (very briefly) that finishing “Factory Girl” was as difficult as finishing “Apocalypse Now.” That’s both hilarious and heartbreaking if you know Hickenlooper directed “Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker’s Apocalypse.”

You’ll also get to see Sienna Miller and Jimmy Fallon writing their lines on the fly. (A tad scary, but fun.)

The DVD doesn’t clearly explain why a film with incredibly high hopes ultimately tanked. (Rewrites and conflicts between directors and production companies are nothing new.) But it does, in the end, show you how Hickenlooper’s verve was channeled into a portrait of an out-of-control Edie Sedgwick getting lost in an out-of-control era.

The DVD extras for “Premonition” are pretty standard, but there are two pieces worth looking at.

For one, director Mennan Yapo presents the film’s series of events in chronological order. To my eyes, it inadvertently confirms that the plot doesn’t make a lick of sense however you look at it – chronologically, narratively, symbolically or religiously.

The second notable extra shows us how the crew literally took apart a home on the 800 block of Gladstone Boulevard to shoot most of the film. They shot in the house for three months, ripping out walls, a roof and more just so they could get every any angle.

Yapo goes a little bit "Hitchcock" in the way he works to add mystery to a mundane space. (See "Dial M for Murder" if you don't believe me.)

If you've watched the DVDs, let me know what you think.

PHOTO 1: Director George Hickenlooper on the set of “Factory Girl. (Jim Hudelson/The Times)

PHOTO 2: The home where the movie "Premonition" is located at 831 Gladstone Blvd. in Shreveport. (Courtesy of Angela Mullins/Special to The Times)


Anonymous said...

I got a kick out of Jimmy Fallon's reference to El Chico's in Guy's video diary.

Also I am not sure about Premonitions claim in regards to filming chronologically. I was on set as an extra for the "Tuesday" day (at Wray Ford) and clearly recall several people talking about being on set for the scene in which Sandy B awoke to the wake in her house which is "Thursday". Apparently the wake scene was filmed before the "Tuesday" shoot.

Otherwise cool DVD moments from about town. I was on the set of factory Girl apparently at the half way mark. When the day wrapped George took the crew out for drinks.

Alexandyr Kent said...

Did you catch Pearce's sideways reference to Shreveport when they were filming in N.E.? It's hard to judge what he meant by it, but he sure seemed to prefer Connecticut.

Perhaps Pearce's vision of Shreveport was colored by Fallon's choice of restaurants.

Anonymous said...

yeh i caught that. you can't please them all i guess. Funny the way Fallon called it El Cheeeeeeco's.

I listened to Sandy B's commentary in Premonition. They gave Shreveport a quick and pleasant review. She said something to the effect that "the people of Shreveport were great...". She mentions this at the point of the movie when she is walking down the stairs and sees Julian for the first time after being told he was dead.

I also loved her comment on how that house made so much noise as they were trying to film. They were most peculiar about outside noises. I even had to take my shoes off during one scene because the director could hear me walk.

I made Sandy laugh in between takes when I tossed out a joke. She almost snorted her landmark laugh/snort. That was kinda fun and Amber Valetta was a blast.