HOLLYWOOD – Sir Edwin Fluffer recalls working on a whole array of Classic Hollywood pictures and a friendship with Bret Lahr.
When I first arrived in Hollywood I thought the streets were paved with gold. By ‘first arrived’ I mean ‘woke up one morning on the set of The Wizard of Oz’. It took me a few minutes to work out my situation, but a swift hair of the lion with Bert Lahr and I was more than ready for a day’s work. I did Apache Chaps Say Hail Mary in the morning, two Mr Motos and The Road to Milton Keynes in the afternoon, and I was in the bar by 5pm sharp. You had to get there early or the only seat left would be next to David Niven, and to be honest with you I’d heard them all before.
The contract I’d signed with Sammy Goldwyn demanded a fairly stiff work rate, but that’s what it was like in those days. No sooner had I put pen to paper then Sam let go of my throat, put the gun down, and said ‘get to it Limey!’ I was now obliged to do no less than 17 pictures a week, and if I wanted to finish early on a Friday that meant I had to go some. But like Johnny Gielgud used to say, it was better than rep! The studio promoted me as Edwin Fluffer the Talking Typewriter because I was known for the speed with which I said my lines.
The truth is I had to be pretty nippy as with so many scenes to shoot I just didn’t have the time to say them any slower. Gone With The Wind is a very long film, but I did all my scenes in less than four minutes, including hair and make up. My personal record was twelve seconds on The Big Sleep. I only had time to doff my hat to Lauren Bacall, and that was it, on to the next one!
The problem was that I was meant to be playing a lead character who got up to all sorts of blackmail and shooting people and other nasty business so they had to rewrite the rest of the script and fill in my gaps as they went along. That said the picture is still an absolute masterpiece, probably due in no short measure to me hardly being in it at all. Of course it was all good training for these telly things I do these days where there’s no money and you just have to crack on with it. I’ve just been cast in the new series of Twin Peaks, playing the grandfather of the Lady with the Log.
I’ll be appearing as the Twit with the Twig, but that’s another story…
HOLLYWOOD – The Venice Film Festival and the Toronto International Film Festival will be marrying and having children, it was learned today
Alberto Barbera unveiled the lineup to the 72nd Venice Film Festival this morning, and in doing so he also stated that the event will be getting together with its archrival the Toronto International Film Festival and marrying sometime in October:
We want to have beautiful babies and I believe the time has come to put our differences aside and get down and dirty and produce progeny that will shock the world.
The announcement has come as a shock as the two festivals have always competed for movies and often argue about the type of thing a festival should do. Toronto has played the field—a promiscuous beast gladly accepting streams of lovers into her arms without much care for quality. She has also been more than happy to take Venice’s leftovers, but in recent years she has grown jealous and wont to grab anything Venice has written an artful sonnet to.
Toronto chief Cameron Bailey confirmed the news via Skype:
We got together early in the summer to see if we could organize things so we wouldn’t overlap so much. We had some wine. Then some grappa, and one thing led to another. Why always be fighting and grappling? There’s room enough for both of us and we’re both so beautiful. Imagine the gorgeous offspring that will fill the world with cinematic love.
Venice has three adult children from a former marriage with Cannes.
VENICE – The 70th Venice Film Festival is due to begin in less than a month and the director of the festival Alberto Barbera spoke exclusively to Studio Exec about the line up and prospects of the world’s oldest festival.
So Sig. Barbera, what can we expect from this year’s edition?
Pffff. I don’t know. George Clooney’s coming again. We try and keep him away, but he manages to sneak in almost every year. And then we’ve got James Franco again. Kim Ki-Duk again, Myazaki again, Philippe Garrel again, oh and Kelly Reichardt again.
It doesn’t sound like you’ve put much work into it.
We can’t be bothered. I mean 70 festivals. And we had a war in the middle. We’re tired. We just phone the same people. If they say yes, great, if they say, no we go on to someone else. Look at the poster for this year. It’s basically last year’s but we drew something on the foreground in crayon.
So what are you personally looking forward to in the line up?
Me? I’m going to Toronto. Toronto is where the big films are going. And now we’ve got Rome trying to get in on the act as well. Ma va fanculo! I’m going to pretend be ill and then I’m taking the plane to Toronto. It’s going to be great. Though Canadian food isn’t exactly up to much.
The Studio Exec will be covering the Venice Film Festival which is from the 28th of August to the 7th of September, 2013.