Monday, September 14, 2009

Jim Carroll: The Meta Post

So Scott McLemee blogs about Jim Carroll's untimely death here, swiping (with attribution, permission and wild encouragement) a small moment I had with Carroll that I mentioned on Facebook. We've passed some kind of border here -- at least for Balkans via Bohemia.

The junket where I met Carroll was one of the strangest weekends of my life. It was a joint junket for The Basketball Diaries and The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill But Came Down a Mountain. The movie company put us up in a swanky Upper East Side hotel. (Omar Sharif was hanging around in the lobby, trolling for ladies or a bridge game.) The PR people ruthlessly herded us to the screenings, and then through the in-person interviews with cast members and other people associated with the films.

As a novice at these things, I was frankly appalled at the slippery and toxic combination of cynicism and sycophancy in my alleged journalistic colleagues. They would knife these actors and directors with words behind their backs, while unctuously sucking up to their faces. (Guessing that the same dynamic was at play for the movie folks.)

Anyway, I insulted Hugh Grant by asking him why he made so many costume dramas. ("You mean 'frock flicks?'" he hissed back at me.) I really liked Leo DiCaprio. (The angst about Leo's turn to "gay" roles --both in this film and in Total Eclipse, his next film about the affair between Rimbaud and Verlaine -- was a source of much agita among these critics.) And I bonded with Jim Carroll, who pretty much acted like I was the only person worth talking to at the table.

My tablemates didn't know who Jim Carroll was, really, and thus didn't care. They were busily preparing for Lorraine Bracco's appearance at our table. I never went on another film junket again.

1 comment:

Markus said...

This is cool, but I'd like to also hear your impressions of J.C. based on that evening.