For the love of cinema
Celebs recall early film favourites at CinemaCon
Sin city looked a bit more like Tinseltown last week, as some 5,000 folks from all walks of the film universe gathered for the theatre operators’ convention known as CinemaCon.
Among attendees were dozens of major and emerging movie stars who like to meet and greet exhibitors in hopes of getting their new releases into more cineplexes.
Actor-musician Tyrese Gibson of Transformers fame was there for another reason — to mentor eight student filmmakers with dreams of getting their own films shown on the big screen.
Oddly enough, Gibson’s first cinema memory came not in a cinema but at home, on videotape. “I don’t remember going to the theatre,” he said at the theatre operators’ closing-night gala. But he noted his first favourites on VHS were Back to the Future (1985) and Ghostbusters (1984). “These were, somehow, the only two VHS tapes that we had in our house. So, I must have seen Back to the Future over 150 times. We knew all the words to both the movies.”
Actor Taylor Kitsch, who appears in Battleship, also cited Future as “the first movie that I saw in a cinema that really knocked me out,” he said. “You were taken away. It was done so well, especially at the time. And that’s what movies do. That’s what it’s about. Escape.”
Actress Jennifer Garner, pushing August’s Disney family dramedy The Odd Life of Timothy Green, recalled going to the theatre to see the Lily Tomlin comedy, The Incredible Shrinking Woman (1981). “It was such a big deal that we went,” recalled Garner. “It was my older sister’s birthday, and I got to tag along. I thought it was the coolest thing I’d ever seen in my life.”
The Lion King (1994) was the first film fave for Diego Boneta of the June musical Rock of Ages. “Until this day, I always cry when (the father) Mufasa dies, and my favourite animal is a lion and I wish I could be (the cub who would be king) Simba.”
“One of the movies that I watched over and over was Space Jam (1996),” remembered Josh Hutcherson of The Hunger Games. “And I think the movie that changed how I viewed movies was Fight Club (1999). It just blew my mind. It’s a big leap, from Space Jam to Fight Club, but just bear with me on that.”
Anna Faris of May’s The Dictator said, “My mum took me to the movies to see Annie (1982) when I was four or five. And she bought me some candy, those candy orange segments, which were amazing. I remember being terrified at (Carol Burnett’s villainous) Miss Hannigan, and then later on I came to admire her very much,” Faris added, with a sinister smile.
“I never saw it in a theatre until my 13th birthday,” said Chloe Grace of the forthcoming Dark Shadows. “But it’s the movie that struck me the most, as a young girl and as an actress, Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961), because I saw Audrey Hepburn on the screen, and you wanted to be in her world, you wanted to be beside her. You wanted to be walking down Fifth Avenue with her, sharing that croissant.”
Charlize Theron of June’s Snow White and the Huntsman revealed she “learned everything from love, watching Splash (1984), and that’s why I’m still single,” generating big laughs from the audience. “So, thanks Tom Hanks, Daryl Hannah, for that.”