Isaac Likes, a final review of James X, interviews with the two forces behind All Things To All Men, and more!
To get everyone in the holiday spirit, here is a heart-warming story about a chance encounter with Gabriel Byrne. I am not being sappy. It is really heart-warming. I was kinda knocked over by it. It is so cool when stuff like this happens, isn’t it?
Isaac Likes is a blog by Isaac Hindin Miller, whose Blogger profile states that he is a Gemini, works in fashion, and lives in New Zealand. I can also add that he is a good writer:
Saturday, December 10
Regular readers of this blog will be well aware that I have a small obsession with celebrities – I’ll stop them for a photograph and a chat at any given opportunity, and I’m not discriminating in my targets. But Gabriel Byrne is an actor with particular significance to me: In 1988, when I was four years old, a movie named A Soldier’s Tale was released worldwide. Set in World War II, it told the story of a British soldier (Gabriel Byrne) who falls in love with a Frenchwoman (Marianne Basler), and saves her life when members of the Resistance come to arrest her. My Dad, Grant Hindin Miller, wrote the script. I was shooting a What’s in store for the New York Times this morning when Gabriel Byrne came and stood next to me. I looked at him, he looked at me, and I started talking.
“Do you know what?” I said. “No, what?” he replied. “About 25 years ago, you were in a film written by my Dad,” I said. He asked which one, and when I told him, he shook his head in surprise. “That’s so strange,” he said, “I’ve just been writing about that film. It was one of the first that I ever did.” He called his friend over to introduce me, told her the story and kept talking for a while. Before leaving he shook my hand and told me to send his regards to my father. Amazing.
I LIKE YOU!
We like you, too, Isaac! And here is the picture that accompanies his post (what, you thought I would not grab it and put it right here where you can enjoy it? Well, here it is and I hope Isaac does not mind–they look good together, color coordinated and all):
Happy Holidays from two men who coincided over a great distance of time
And here is the equally warm and fuzzy follow up to this–if you want to get something for Gabriel Byrne for the holidays, take Isaac’s advice:
Come for the corduroy, stay for the knitwear, but it’s the button-down shirts that’ll have you returning again and again. However, Best in Store goes to that forest green lambswool polo. The actor Gabriel Byrne stopped for a chat while we were shooting and glanced down at the sweater more than once — didn’t hurt that it perfectly matched the green corduroy blazer he was wearing. I guess it’s like they say: You can take the boy out of Ireland, but you can’t take Ireland out of the boy.
the claddagh ring
We are mentioned in the New York Daily News! Be still our hearts! Also, Gabriel Byrne is not married! Ah!
Maybe there’s some hope for the ladies at Byrneholics.com who consider Gabriel Byrne their dream doctor. The former “In Treatment” star, who’s currently directing Gerard Mannix Flynn’s child-abuse play, “James X,” at the 45 Bleecker Theater, was hanging at the NoHo performance hall early last week along with his slender and beautiful girlfriend Hannah Beth King, who’s also a director.
Interestingly, a source tells us Byrne still wears the world’s biggest Claddagh ring with the heart pointed inward, which in Irish tradition means he’s “loved up.” But when asked about it, Byrne said,“Ah, but it’s on my right hand.”
all the news all the time for All Things to All Men
First up, Screen Daily provides Just the Facts, Ma’am on the film, plus an interview:
Synopsis: A contemporary London-set thriller about a crook caught between a maverick police officer and a crime lord.
Writer/Director: George Isaac
Producers: Pierre Mascolo and George Isaac for their company Cipher Films, which they set up in 2003 to make the BAFTA winning short film Nits. They went on to co-produce/finance Kidulthood and Adulthood.
Cast: Gabriel Byrne, Rufus Sewell, Toby Stephens, Julian Sands, Elsa Pataky, Pierre Mascolo, Leo Gregory, Terence Maynard, James Frain, David Schofield.
Financing: Financed entirely through Cipher Films with backing from Toni Mascolo.
Filming location: London
Status: Currently shooting for seven weeks
Release date: Autumn 2012
Check out that release date! And remember that name: Pierre Mascolo!
This is a very good interview with director and writer George Isaac and also producer Pierre Mascolo.
Gabriel Byrne and Toby Stephens
On the inspiration for the film:
GI: I have taken influence from The Driver, French Connection, Marathon Man and visually, from Layer Cake and The Long Good Friday. This is very much an old school ’70s style character-driven thriller, but it’s set in contemporary London, and it lets the characters drive the story.
Layer Cake and The Long Good Friday. Oh, what fun.
On the A-list cast:
GM: I was nervous the first couple of days, but now I’ve found my rhythm. And it makes it easier to communicate with the actors, because I’ve written the words. We really wanted to keep it quintessentially British. That’s why we have stuck to a British cast. I wrote Gabriel Byrne’s character with him in mind.
We knew it! We just knew it, didn’t we?
On shooting in London:
PM: We wanted London to be one of our leading ladies. But we wanted to stay away from the gritty, gangster, Lock Stock route, because it’s been done. This is glossy London. But for some reason these glossy, swish movies aren’t being made in London. We are great for our period dramas, or our gangster films, or Love Actually.
We’ve got 84 locations including the London Eye, which I believe has never been filmed before. Going inside the pod, we got some beautiful shots. And we’ve got Canary Wharf, with its blue sheen. It’s looking swish and sparkly and glamorous.
Now, here is the follow-up to the interview above, which included remarks by PM (Pierre Mascolo):
My 2012: Toni Mascolo, from Real Business Magazine:
The next big thing for 2012 is… All Things To All Men, a thriller film. It’s based on a real cop and is a real thriller. There are two cops. One is the unpenetrable, strong cop played by Gabriel Byrne, and they can’t get to him, so they go for his son, played by my own son, Pierre Mascolo. It shows the real London and has a great cast, including Julian Sands, Elsa Pataky and Toby Stevens. The script is very good and you’ll hear a lot of it next year. I’ve even got a little cameo myself, sitting in the background of a restaurant. Look out for me!
Keep your eyes peeled for Pierre’s dad!
Not too sure about Gabriel playing a cop in this film, but whatever he plays, we are there.
The last of the James X reviews, I think, is one of the best. From The New York Observer:
The play is as exhausting as it is brilliant. Throughout his harrowing monologue, Mr. Flynn writhes on the floor, runs in circles and loudly clenches his teeth.
In drama, subjects like child abuse often tend to devolve into pathos, but James X never strays into that territory. Mr. Flynn’s breakneck delivery is almost rap-like in its cadences: “We are fretting, crying, upset. Half-awake, half-asleep. Scattered sheep of Little Bo Peep. My little Brother’s got his shoes on the wrong feet. Me sister forgot to put her knickers on. Her communion dress is in the pawn. The bell for school is long since gone.”
You can almost smell the black smoke and feel the wind in your face as he recalls running through Dublin and hopping on the backs of trucks: “I run and I dash. Run faster than birds. Faster than the fastest fast.”
All reports from Byrneholics who attended indicate this was a spell-binding,
heart-wrenching, and amazing experience.
It’s fitting that a play dealing with some uncomfortable facts of Ireland’s past should be directed by Mr. Byrne, the country’s cultural ambassador. “If you want to connect with an audience you can’t go down the road of using sentiment,” he said, in a telephone interview, of the play’s rawness. (Presumably he would know a bit about psychological nuance, from starring as the therapist protagonist in the HBO series In Treatment.) For James X is the latest in a long line of work that he has helped create in his ambassadorial role, including conceiving and curating the first Irish film retrospective at The Met. It is a job that Mr. Byrne does virtually for free, taking only a small stipend for travel expenses.
Various incarnations of James X have existed down the years, including a stand-up routine, Mr. Flynn believes that at the core it’s “the honest truth of the story that’s most important.” After performing this piece over an extended period of time, in hindsight does art help fill a gap in any small way, where the Ryan report and others have failed? “Art passes the message on to the public,” Mr. Flynn said. “It’s a companion, but art doesn’t heal you.”
Mr. Byrne puts it more directly. “When I go to see a play, most of the time I say to myself ‘Yeah it’s a good performance but its not the truth.’ What you got last night [at the play] was the truth. That’s what people want from theatre. They want to come out saying: ‘Fucking hell what was that?!’”
What was that?! That was the end of an incredible year in the Irish arts in America, that’s what!
I am adding a few new goodies now, with one or two to follow, including the official Byrneholics Holiday wallpaper, which should be ready shortly.
Thanks to Det. Logan who provided alerts on some of this cool news!