Breaking Baz @ Cannes: "Barbie's Michael Cera Brings Christmas Cheer to Cannes and Has Two Features in Development That He Will Direct." - Latest Global News

Breaking Baz @ Cannes: “Barbie’s Michael Cera Brings Christmas Cheer to Cannes and Has Two Features in Development That He Will Direct.”

EXCLUSIVE: Michael Cera saw Tyler Taormina’s feature film debut as a director Ham on rye After a friend suggested he check it out. He was so impressed that he signed on as a sort of “cheerleader” for the filmmaker’s latest film Christmas Eve at Miller’s Pointwhich screens on Thursday as part of the Cannes Film Festival’s Directors’ Fortnight.

Cera is quick to point out that Krista Minto, co-writer Eric Berger and others did the heavy-duty producing work on the film, which almost feels like a fly-on-the-wall exploration of an extended family’s holiday reunion on Long Island.

“They are the ones who actually made the films,” he emphasized.

The film’s Cannes screening comes at a time when Cera, who has made short films, has two films in development, both of which he will direct. One of them is called Rubbery, the other is untitled. The untitled film will likely be the first, and that would be his debut as a feature film director.

Later more.

Let’s come back Christmas Eve at Miller’s Point.

The family reunion in “Christmas Eve at Miller’s Point”

courtesy

“My role as a producer was to be a cheerleader and kind of help in the early stages, help Tyler connect with people and just help get the movie off the ground,” he said Actor. He’s calling me from Berlin, where he’s been filming Wes Anderson’s latest film for the last two weeks The Phoenician Schemewhich he describes as “a story of intrigue,” alongside Anderson regulars Bill Murray and Benicio del Toro, as well as new members Riz Ahmed and Mia Threapleton.

RELATED: Photos from the Cannes Film Festival

He thinks for a moment and prefers the term “spiritual producer” to “cheerleader.”

I asked Cera if his duties included getting actors and executives to respond to Taormina’s phone calls and emails.

Laughing, he said, “If only I could be more helpful.”

But then he admitted that “we got a few actors on the phone at the beginning, and I don’t know, when you’re trying to make a movie and at the beginning you just have your own excitement and enthusiasm.” A script and that Dream of manifesting it, it’s kind of just about getting people to join in and talk about it like it’s a real project and not a fantasy.

“That’s how things germinate. You start with a grain of sand and you have to turn it into a snowball, even though that’s a terrible seasonal analogy, but do you know what I mean?”

Cera got to know Taormina better after seeing it ham on rye, which he appreciated “just because of what it was and what it was for, and because for a first feature film it was beautiful and kind of poetic and lyrical and funny and strange and strange and impressive.”

The two eventually met in person and Cera was told how they did it Ham on rye for $20,000.

Sorry, I interrupted, I misheard. You meant $200,000, right?

He reiterates the extraordinary figure of $20,000 and admits, “I kind of couldn’t understand it, and I still can’t, to be honest.” What it basically boils down to is that Tyler has everything within an inch of his life plans. He works on the schedule himself for a year before this shoot, which lasts a few weeks, begins, securing locations based on goodwill and by explaining to people that we have no money.”

They simply ask for a favor, he says, “and then Tyler has a plan A, a plan B, a plan C, like on this day, if this fails, if this actor fails, if this place fails, everything.” All of these things will fit together so that nothing will ever…the film will never fall apart. And he just put together this whole feature film for $20,000, and it doesn’t look like a $20,000 film.”

Now of course I want to know how much Christmas Eve at Miller’s Point cost.

“Well, so this film was also micro-budget.

“Compared to Ham on rye, it’s huge. But they released this movie for less than half a million dollars,” he tells me.

In disbelief, I ask a simple question. How did the film come about, which is far more ambitious than Ham on ryecome in at $500,000?!

“It’s a micro-budget, but that means a lot more money for Tyler to play with. But of course when you work with this money you have very little time and everyone only works with the bare essentials. I mean, there are no frills, there are no amenities. You just show up,” he says matter-of-factly.

But everyone wanted to help with the film.

There’s a scene where a fire truck drives by with all of its Christmas lights on. The film was shot in February and March last year, but “the fire department provided all the decorations. They said, “Okay, we’ll do the truck like we do at Christmas time.” So the favors and the goodwill, and then of course the entire creative team doing everything they can to bring every kind of Christmas lights to the set, that is only possible,” Cera told me.

Another case in point involved him and Gregg Turkington, who played two none-too-smart cops who had intimacy issues. “We were completely frozen. It was like we were wearing those old polyester police uniforms from the 1970s that were unable to keep the wind away from our bodies. It was like the coldest night of the year, at four in the morning.

“But you just say, ‘Well, I don’t know.’ Somehow you think, ‘This is exactly where I should be right now.’ This is where I belong.’ “

The goodwill also extended to the craft businesses, who gave the cast and crew “basically a hamburger for dinner that had nothing in it and was wrapped in aluminum foil,” Cera adds.

Michael Cera in “Christmas Eve at Miller’s Point”

Their suffering was not in vain, as the result is a film full of “generational struggles,” as Cera puts it, and full of hilarious and heartfelt moments, but they are observed in an ironic way; While watching the film, there were a few moments where I sat upright and the name Frank Capra came to mind, perhaps in the sense that for me anyway, the film has an effortless, timeless quality to it because it captures few moments, that ring true.

The whole relationship started with a simple question from Cera to Taormina. “I asked him, what do you want to do next? And he was like, “I want to make a snow globe Christmas movie, which is what I’ve always dreamed of.” And at that point he had basically developed the entire movie, and that was what he had dreamed of, and it was easy so beautiful, and I love how he managed it. And he did a great job with non-actors in this film too. He really sees the charm in people and he sees something in them. He sees her vulnerability, he sees her nervousness. He is able to produce these very pure performances. He makes everyone feel somehow childlike and pure because I don’t know how he does it. It’s really a unique talent of his to work with non-actors in this way.”

Now Cera has become “just a big champion and a big fan of his” and told him: “I want to do something with you and I love you.” I think you’re great. I really believe in you.”

And from there, Cera, Taormina and Berger have written a feature film “that we want to make, that I’m going to direct, that we’ve pushed forward and hopefully will get over the finish line, but we’re in the middle of it right now.” So we just created this team. I mean, basically, I’ve kind of gotten used to their existing team and we all just have a really good feeling of working together.”

The new film they wrote together is called Rubbery, the one I mentioned before. “It’s a film I’ve been looking forward to for a long time, and well, it’s kind of a family story with a kind of mystery element and a kind of sci-fi thread. We’ve been pushing it forward and I’ve been trying to get it off the ground as my first film, but I think I could do another film before that, actually now, hopefully if everything comes together, which hopefully just adds something to that easier for others because it’s a challenge to make things.”

The Rubbery The project is now running at “Square Peg, Ari Aster’s company that produces it, which was a big incentive for us that they really believed in it and wanted to do it.”

“Then the writers’ strike and the actors’ strike slowed our momentum a little, because that was right at the time when we wanted to start looking for financing. But in the end it was a good thing because in the meantime I had this other project that I developed that I think is easier to implement. So I’ll try to push that forward and then try to make the other one a big success after the first one.”

This movie, not Rubbery, has no title. He won’t elaborate, other than to say it’s “contemporary.”

Cera is thrilled Christmas Eve at Miller’s Point to be in Cannes, even though the actor can’t take the time to stop filming in Germany to be here himself.

But he is really happy about Taormina, “because it was a dream come true for him and everyone who worked on the film.”

Tyler Taormina on set

Cera noted that cinematographer Carson Lund, Taormina’s frequent collaborator, also has a film at the festival titled Eephus.

“It’s a really wonderful moment for all of us who worked on it Christmas Eve at Miller’s Point,” he said.

We didn’t ignore Greta Gerwigs Barbie intentionally; We simply ran out of time.

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