Thursday, 22 October 2009

[251] The Men Who Stare At Goats Press Conference Report

The second - and final - report from my two days as an accredited journalist at the London Film Festival is yet another installment of 'Clooney Fest'. This time, he was joined by Grant Heslov, Kevin Spacey and Jon Ronson to talk about The Men Who Stare At Goats.

After the initial barminess that was the Fantastic Mr. Fox press conference, in which the 7-strong panel were mostly snubbed in favour of lead actor George Clooney (with Bill Murray and Wes Anderson making gracious efforts to participate), the conference for Men Who Stare At Goats had a lot to live up to.

From the beginning, though, things were a little weird. In stark contrast to the dignity of the ballroom of the Dorchester Hotel, the Goats conference was held in Screen 5 of the Vue West End, in London's Leicester Square. This set up a bizarre situation of sitting in a cinema seat, staring at real-life actors, in front of a movie screen, while a bank of photographers and film crews (sitting in the audience) are furiously snapping and recording away.

In attendance at this conference were director Grant Heslov, co-star Kevin Spacey, and Jon Ronson, writer of the original non-fiction book upon which the film is based. And Clooney, always Clooney, the black hole for crazy questions and inane stabs at banter from the journos.

But do read on, as there are some enlightening gems about the genesis of the film - and book - among the recurring conference characters and tabloid rag antics. Including an epiphanic moment, in which Spacey and Clooney talk about the cult of celebrity.

Read the full article here.

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