Tuesday, 20 October 2009

[249] Fantastic Mr. Fox Press Conference Report

Sometimes you've just got to laugh. The two George Clooney-centric press conferences that I attended last week were definitely sub-par in terms of probing questions and enlightening answers, but they were quite amusing in their own way. So I decided to go with the humorous route with my two reports. Here's the first part of 'Clooney Fest'.

You know, press conferences are usually quite mellow, chilled out affairs. In the past, I've likened them to lectures, intimate (en masse) conversations, and fan-squee love-ins. They're part of the promotional machine, sure, but they are usually firmly focused on the film at hand, as well as the art of filmmaking, the inspiration behind the work, and other cultural-artistic concerns.

In the space of two days, I had the pleasure of attending two press conferences being held at the London Film Festival, for Fantastic Mr. Fox and The Men Who Stare At Goats. No doubt due to the international scope of the festival, and the world-conquering stardom of the lead actor of both films - George Clooney - these conferences were more like entertaining hyperactive, cheeky children. They were bizarre and, for the most part, wholly unenlightening - with some noted journos loudly proclaiming afterwards that they would never attend a press conference again. They might be over-reacting, because it is actually splendid, absurd entertainment (even if it is, in a way, a mockery of their profession).

Below are some of the choice bits of chatter from the Fantastic Mr. Fox press conference - or, as I now tend to call it, Clooney Fest #1 - which was held in the packed-out ballroom of the Dorchester Hotel on London's Park Lane. The impressive panel of guests included writer-director Wes Anderson, and actors Bill Murray, Jason Schwartzman, Wally Wolodarsky, and Eric Chase Anderson, and beardo-musician Jarvis Cocker. Oh, and that Clooney fellow, who, unsurprisingly, was the magnet for most of the questions.

Luckily, both Clooney and Murray were on top form - with the latter especially flying off the handle at opportune moments.

Read the full article here.

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