As the U.S. line producer for A Life Less Ordinary, filmed in and around Salt Lake City, I advised producer Andrew Macdonald, and the director, Danny Boyle, to take a look at Utah. Once they scouted Salt Lake City they agreed to base the film there. At no time was the Utah decision based on ”plenty of cheap nonunion labor.” The decision was reached using creative criteria alone, and, as an added bonus, plenty of talented and ethical labor was available. There was never a need to ”bus in” anyone. I found it most distressing to read such an ungrateful article (#402, Oct. 24), and I hope that the people who worked on this film are not as offended. The darlings of the British film industry should mind their manners.
A Life Less Ordinary Park City, Utah
If the Brits can’t handle a little Utah culture shock, I know some people who can. Ever hear of the Sundance Film Festival?
Producer Andrew Macdonald was disappointed that Trainspotting grossed only $17 million on U.S. soil, and he blamed the American audience for its performance. If Macdonald wants us to give his films a chance, shouldn’t he give us one, too? Ewan McGregor found it odd that in Utah, ”when people come to your house and they see beer or wine bottles lying around, God, you get filthy looks.” Is disapproval toward alcoholism and untidiness unique to Utah? Would the rest of the world walk into a person’s home, see it littered with liquor containers, and say, ”Wow, a heavy drinker! Cool! And I love what you’ve done with the place”? Do you really want to know the secret to successful filmmaking in America? Stop insulting the cultures, lifestyles, and religions of the people you’re trying to lure into the theater.
As a (formerly) enthusiastic subscriber, I want to congratulate you on finally printing the issue we can’t show our mothers, what with the S&M cover, the sleazy Charlize Theron layout, and the titillating remarks about Mark Wahlberg’s genitalia. You have certainly lived up to your name in portraying Hollywood for what it is: sexually delusional, morally void, and pathetically pretentious.
Buena Park, Calif.
Tales From the Set
I really enjoyed the article ”Extra! Extra!” by David Bryson. Truly, the hurdles of failure are more common than the accolades of triumph. I hope that in the end he finds due success. DAVID MONTGOMERY
Keep On Rockin’
While lamenting that a once-revered artist has fallen from grace is all but a national pastime, David Browne’s crying (”The Thrill Is Gone”) seems misplaced. Yes, Elvis Costello and David Byrne have taken radically different creative paths from those that brought them fame. It may even be true that not all of those ventures have surpassed their earlier work, but to me, the best musicians are those who dance on the edge of what is expected and accepted; and albums like The Juliet Letters and Rei Momo are examples of that kind of departure from the norm.
CORRECTIONS: Walking Thunder is rated PG (Video). In the photo of The Mitchell Trio, David Boise, not Joe Frazier, is the singer to the left of John Denver (”Take Me Home”).