Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Troubled Western 'Jane Got a Gun' Rescued as Relativity Files for Bankruptcy (Updated) Troubled Western 'Jane Got a Gun' Rescued as Relativity Files for Bankruptcy (Updated) 'The Witch' Won't Open Until 2016, But Its Sundance-Winning Director Has a New Film 'The Witch' Won't Open Until 2016, But Its Sundance-Winning Director Has a New Film Charles Aidikoff Screening Room Shutters: End of an Era for LA Critics? Charles Aidikoff Screening Room Shutters: End of an Era for LA Critics? How HBO's 'Ballers' Fails Sports Fans How HBO's 'Ballers' Fails Sports Fans Michael Moore Reveals Stealth NSA Project 'Where to Invade Next' on Periscope Michael Moore Reveals Stealth NSA Project 'Where to Invade Next' on Periscope Showtime Chief on David Lynch's 'Twin Peaks' Revival: "It's His Show" Showtime Chief on David Lynch's 'Twin Peaks' Revival: "It's His Show" Toronto Film Festival Lineup: What Did They Get? Toronto Film Festival Lineup: What Did They Get? Discover the Brothers Quay, Identical Twin Animators Who Inspired Christopher Nolan Discover the Brothers Quay, Identical Twin Animators Who Inspired Christopher Nolan Richard Linklater's Untitled New Film Pushed to 2016, Might Direct Jennifer Lawrence Movie Richard Linklater's Untitled New Film Pushed to 2016, Might Direct Jennifer Lawrence Movie Jill Soloway Says "There Is an All Out-Attack" on Female Filmmakers Jill Soloway Says "There Is an All Out-Attack" on Female Filmmakers 'Steve Jobs' Joins Fall Festival Contenders as NYFF Centerpiece Gala: What's Coming Up and What's Not (UPDATED) 'Steve Jobs' Joins Fall Festival Contenders as NYFF Centerpiece Gala: What's Coming Up and What's Not (UPDATED) Top 10 Takeaways: Holdover 'Ant-Man' Tops Blah Week, Summer Slot for 'Southpaw' Pays Off Top 10 Takeaways: Holdover 'Ant-Man' Tops Blah Week, Summer Slot for 'Southpaw' Pays Off Arthouse Audit: Is 'Phoenix' This Year's 'Ida'? 'Mr. Holmes' Stays Strong Arthouse Audit: Is 'Phoenix' This Year's 'Ida'? 'Mr. Holmes' Stays Strong Friday Box Office: Sandler's 'Pixels' Gets Mixed Response, 'Paper Towns,' 'Southpaw' Not Far Behind Friday Box Office: Sandler's 'Pixels' Gets Mixed Response, 'Paper Towns,' 'Southpaw' Not Far Behind Scott Foundas Explains Why He's Leaving Film Criticism--Again--for Amazon Studios Scott Foundas Explains Why He's Leaving Film Criticism--Again--for Amazon Studios Congrats to Monica Bellucci: She's Making History Congrats to Monica Bellucci: She's Making History Watch: The Secret Ingredient to David Lynch's Disorienting Cinema Watch: The Secret Ingredient to David Lynch's Disorienting Cinema First Look: 'No' Director Pablo Larraín Channels 'Neruda' with Gael García Bernal First Look: 'No' Director Pablo Larraín Channels 'Neruda' with Gael García Bernal Why Kevin Costner Paid for 'Black or White' (New Trailer, Sneak Preview Q & A) Why Kevin Costner Paid for 'Black or White' (New Trailer, Sneak Preview Q & A) Gabriel García Márquez and Akira Kurosawa Talk Film, Writing and 'Rhapsody in August' in 1991 Gabriel García Márquez and Akira Kurosawa Talk Film, Writing and 'Rhapsody in August' in 1991

Day One at Karlovy Vary Film Festival: from Mel Gibson to 'I, Origins'

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood July 5, 2014 at 10:04AM

Opening night at Festival Central, the massive underground theatre at the Hotel Thermal featured a performance of "In the Mood" by the Caban brothers, an intro to the brainy Sundance hit "I, Origins" from writer-director Mike Cahill and stars Michael Pitt and Astrid Berges-Frisbey, and the presentation of the Crystal Globe for outstanding artistic contribution to world cinema, after an impressive reel of his movies, to Mel Gibson, who couldn't resist flirting with his award. “It’s just the kind of thing I want, the kind of fantasy I always had: a naked woman holding a ball," the jet-lagged star told the crowd.
3
Mel Gibson
Mel Gibson
Karlovy Vary
Karlovy Vary

I flew from LA to Paris en route to the 49th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival (KVIFF) on a 500-seat double-decker Air France A380 that is the largest passenger aircraft in the world. Lufthansa and Emirates Airlines also fly them. It's the smoothest, quietest flight ride I've ever had, you barely noticed the plane taking off. 

I walked, "Snowpiercer" style, through the economy steerage, up the curved staircase at the tail and back through business and first class, which features ten full sleepers. The three-year-old jumbo jet had video footage of three live cameras mounted on the nose, belly and tail. Cool.

KV party

At Charles DeGaulle, I took an older plane to Prague in the Czech Republic, where a festival driver took me and two other fest attendees through verdant farmland to the vacation destination Karlovy Vary, home of mineral hot springs and mud baths, which the natives still call Carlsbad. The picture perfect town has a river running through the valley, which is dotted with turrets, castles and spas. In the car for the two-hour drive were filmmaker Chad Hartigan, who is returning to the Fest as a juror after bringing "This is Martin Bonner." He's now prepping a German-financed film ("Morris from America") to be shot in Berlin. Toronto academic and critic Adam Nayman gave us tips of what to see and recently published a treatise on why Paul Verhoeven's "Showgirls" doesn't suck

Mike Cahill and Michael Pitt of 'I Origins'
Mike Cahill and Michael Pitt of 'I Origins'

Opening night at Festival Central, at the massive Hotel Thermal featured a performance of "In the Mood" by the Caban brothers, an intro to the brainy Sundance hit "I, Origins" from writer-director Mike Cahill and stars Michael Pitt and Astrid Berges-Frisbey, and the presentation of the Crystal Globe for outstanding artistic contribution to world cinema, after an impressive reel of his movies, to Mel Gibson, who couldn't resist flirting with his award. “It’s just the kind of thing I want, the kind of fantasy I always had: a naked woman holding a ball," the jet-lagged star told the crowd, admitting that he had come to the Czech Republic for the first time, despite an "emergency root canal on the way to the airplane, and I’m not kidding, because it’s hell going up in altitude with your nerves going nuts. I wouldn't have missed this for the world. I'm charmed by the warm reception, and honored to be among the people here: artists, directors, diplomats, statesmen, mayors --and hot looking chicks." He also couldn't resist mistaking the Czech word for "thank you," pronounced "deekee," as another word that rhymes with chick. 

Later that night I ran into Gibson and his long-time publicist Alan Nierob in the VIP basement lounge of the Grand Hotel Pupp, as the opening night party raged through many rooms above, with lavish spreads with everything from roast beef, aspic and deviled eggs to tongue-melting fresh sword steaks grilled on demand. He showed me his latest movie arm tattoo as well as iPhone footage of his walk to the front of a huge outdoor stage holding 3,000 fans before a showing of the movie that made him a star, "Mad Max." Heady stuff. "You should post that on Twitter," I said. They looked at me like I was crazy. We're talking more today. 


This article is related to: Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, Festivals, Festivals, Mel Gibson, Mel Gibson


E-Mail Updates








Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.