Magazine article The Spectator

LIFE - High Life

Magazine article The Spectator

LIFE - High Life

Article excerpt

Cannes It's raining, the stars are hiding, the hacks and paparazzi are waterlogged and frustrated, and the shimmering images of the beautiful people walking up the red carpet are just that, images of glories long gone. The film festival used to be a glamorous affair when I was a young man. I remember the brouhaha when a French wannabe starlet ripped off her bra and showed them to Robert Mitchum, reputed to be by far the most intelligent actor of his time. He raised his eyebrows and congratulated her. He was walking alone on the Croisette without heavies or PR pests clearing his way.

No one bothered him. That was then, and this is now, and now stinks. It stinks almost as much as the Gatsby movie, although some think the latter is the worst thing to come out of Hollywood since Paris Hilton. Who is also here trading on her great talent for, I suppose, having such an ugly horse face.

So why am I here, you may ask. As I wrote last week, my film, Seduced and Abandoned, is being shown a day after I write this, which means a star may have been born by the time you read it. I can see the headline in NiceMatin, 'Une Etoile Est Nee'. Not bad for a 76-year-old, plus I have just finished a documentary for Graydon Carter along the lines of My Dinner with Andre. In my case it's called My Lunch with Reinaldo. And, eat your heart out, fellow Pug member Sir Christopher Lee, I am filming Sex School this summer, playing a janitor. Who knew that Taki would become a major star in his mid-seventies? But back to Seduced and Abandoned.

It is a non-fiction film, a hybrid of an adventure narrative and a documentary. Alec Baldwin is the main star along with Ryan Gosling, Jessica Chastain, Marty Scorsese, Coppola, Polanski and Bertolucci. I play myself, mostly on my boat, and I was described as having an exotic, mysterious eroticism that sizzles. (And if you believe that, you'll believe that political parties other than Ukip will offer the British people the choice of a referendum. ) What has been written about Seduced and Abandoned has been up till now pretty great. The dreadful New York Times called the movie 'A Blast'. The New York Observer said it was 'Just wonderful, a great performance by Ryan Gosling and James Toback reading Updike's poem'. Showbiz 41 writes that 'Toback has made an honest imposing film which is going to be hot stuff'. …

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