Thursday, November 03, 2005
Intrepid Annette gets sneak peek at "Rent"
"Just a note to say that I had the privilege of seeing a screening of RENT last night at Skywalker Ranch! Unfortunately, it was pitch black when I got there so didn't see much of the ranch, but the screening room/theatre is fabulous! ... and so was the movie.
A Q&A with director/producer Chris Columbus and soundtrack producer Rob Cavallo followed the
screening. (Robert DeNiro is also one of the film's producers, but he wasn't there last night.)
Columbus, who has been "obsessed with the music since he saw the show on Broadway nine years ago," passed on the idea to cast some of today's top pop stars such as Justin Timberlake and Christina Aguilera (another studio's idea, who had rights to the film prior to Revolution/Sony Pictures). Along his journey to making this film, he was also told by some that the film wouldn't really be viable in this day and age because "AIDS is no longer an issue." (What were those people thinking?!)
Columbus - in trying to maintain "RENT" creator Jonathan Larson's original vision - had six of the original RENT cast (Adam Pascal, Anthony Rapp, Idina Menzel, Jesse L. Martin, Wilson Heredia, and Taye Diggs) reprise their original Broadway roles. Rosario Dawson portrays "Mimi" and Tracie Thoms is "Joanne." All of them turn in great performances. (for you 42nd Street Moonies - past gala guest star Debbie DeCoudreaux has a cameo role - but ya gotta look fast!)
Columbus thanked recent films like "Moulin Rouge" and "Chicago" for paving the way for "RENT" - this movie is a ROCK musical! Cavallo, known for his work with the Bay Area band Green Day (among other things), makes the music jump off the screen, giving it an edge that wasn't on the original cast recording. I also thought the costume designer (didn't catch his/her name though) did an awesome job. The film opens nationwide end of this month - don't miss it. Here's
the movie's official website."