Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Curse of the "pet project"

Alexander is just the latest in a long Hollywood line of "pet projects" that have failed to meet expectations, argues Caryn James in the New York Times. She includes Beyond The Sea, Battleship Earth and Gangs of New York in her list of unsuccessful films driven by a lifelong passion by an actor or director.
The failure of so many pet projects is more than fluky coincidence. Such films have their own set of problems. Over the years, endless script revisions can drain the life and energy from a movie, which then staggers into the world as if emerging from decades in a dark attic, as withered and creaky as Miss Havisham.

And the filmmaker's passion is often so blinding that he forgets to explain to the rest of us why Alexander was so great or Bobby Darin was such an idol in the Spacey household.

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