Saturday, January 24, 2009

Kate On The Carpet

Sometimes I have my doubts about working the press line on the red carpet at the Film Fest.

First of all, a lot of standing around and waiting is involved. When the honorees finally arrive, there's more waiting as they slowly work their way up the press line. Then if you're lucky, really lucky, you might get to ask one question.

It's hard to find out anything new or insightful with one question and the corresponding answer.

But you do get to get this close to Kate Winslet.

Photo credit Chuck Cagara /

And, she shook my hand! Which, in my book, immediately put her ahead of Scott Steepleton.

As for my question, I had figured since this was at least her second trip to Santa Barbara (she's the only actor to have been honored twice by the festival) she must have a favorite place to spend time at when she's in town, so I asked where it was.

She laughed and replied, "the hotel room."

Unfortunately, I was not permitted to ask a follow-up question.

Having much better luck, not to mention much more time to talk to Winslet, was film critic Leonard Maltin who interviewed her before a packed house at the Arlington.

Leonard Maltin and daughter Jessie

On stage, the woman Roger Durling considers to be "the greatest actress working in cinema today," was relaxed, charming, and talkative. Maltin could ask a simple question and Winslet would take it and run with it. And yes, I'm a push over for a woman with a British accent.

* * *

My picks for Saturday at the film fest:

Racketeer (РЗKETИР) (10:15 am Metro 4) Had the pleasure of talking to Timur Zhaksylykov, one of the makers of this movie at the opening night party. He's visiting here from Kazakhstan.

Viktoriya Filippova, who interpreted for me, and Kazakhstani filmmaker Timur Zhaksylykov at the opening night party.

The Screenwriters Panel. (2 pm at the Lobero) After a one year hiatus (due to the screenwriters strike last year) it's back!

Inventing LA: The Chandlers and Their Times. (4:30 pm at the Lobero) People in this town know a good newspaper story when they see one. Wonder if any of the Chandler children, at least one of whom lives in town, will show up for the screening?

Penelope Cruz will receive the Outstanding Performer of the year award at 8 pm at the Lobero Arlington.
Need I say more?