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James Toback & Alec Baldwin Reveal Details Of The Film They're Trying To Raise Financing For

The Playlist By Simon Dang | The Playlist May 31, 2012 at 1:58PM

Just before the Cannes Film Festival, it was revealed that James Toback and Alec Baldwin were teaming for an under-the-radar, Cannes-set documentary about film financing known as "Seduced and Abandoned." The movie is an attempt to document the duo's efforts to raise financing for an actual movie they are looking to make together (more on that in a second). While some reports suggested it was a mockumentary, the "30 Rock" star has now explained the project's evolution, revealing that he and Toback's motivations quickly changed as they realised they weren't there "to make fun of people. That doesn’t do us any good. I thought let’s come here and let’s ask people a very simple construction which is: What was the movie business like before? What happened? And what is it like now in your lifetime?”
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Toback Baldwin

Just before the Cannes Film Festival, it was revealed that James Toback and Alec Baldwin were teaming for an under-the-radar, Cannes-set documentary about film financing known as "Seduced and Abandoned." The movie is an attempt to document the duo's efforts to raise financing for an actual movie they are looking to make together (more on that in a second). While some reports suggested it was a mockumentary, the "30 Rock" star has now explained the project's evolution, revealing that he and Toback's motivations quickly changed as they realised they weren't there "to make fun of people. That doesn’t do us any good. I thought let’s come here and let’s ask people a very simple construction which is: What was the movie business like before? What happened? And what is it like now in your lifetime?”

“The movie business is the worst girlfriend in the world. You go back again and again and again. You go back with another chance to do something that you want to do in moviemaking or moviegoing. You are seduced and abandoned over and over again,” Baldwin elaborated, revealing the title's genesis.

So, not exactly the "I'm Still Here"-style mock-doc we had envisioned, which is a bit of a shame (we'd kill to see Baldwin taking the piss out of the industry). But at the same time, Toback warns us not to expect anything like a conventional doc, promising that "no one will be able to say ‘This reminds me of…' That’s exciting to me. It’s unlike anything I’ve seen before." Names like Francis Ford Coppola, Nicole Kidman, Roman Polanski, Marion Cotillard and festival head Thierry Fremaux are already part of the project with a two-hour conversation with Martin Scorsese already shot last time we checked in, while there were also plans to involve Brad Pitt, Robert De Niro and Ryan Gosling, among others.

Despite the change in approach, we're sure there's still a boatload of insight and entertainment to be had from the brewing doc -- a hope affirmed by one anecdote from Baldwin and Toback's ventures. Approaching Hyde Park Entertainment head Ashok Amritraj, Toback proclaimed, "I didn’t know what you looked like, but you’re very elegant and magnetic and have a very strong, distinct aura and presence. You look as though you should be an actor" before propositioning that "if you can arrange the financing for this next movie that we’re talking about doing, you are in the movie. It’s a condition of me taking your money. I know a star when I see one.” So what is that movie they are actually trying to get funded?

Baldwin describes it as a "psychosexual political thriller" that's now going by the working title of "Last Tango In Tikrit." Toback notes that he's still "in the process of writing the script. I write fast, I write beautifully, I write convincingly. You’re going to see a script that is irresistible." Sounds promising, so here's hoping the financing side of things go well. And if they don't, at least we'll get a documentary out of the attempt. [THR/NYMag]

This article is related to: James Toback, Alec Baldwin, Seduced and Abandoned, Last Tango In Tikrit


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