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Seduced and Abandoned (2013)

Not Rated | | Documentary | 8 November 2013 (UK)
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An exploration of several interconnected subjects: The Cannes Film Festival, cinema art, money, glamor and death.

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Storyline

SEDUCED AND ABANDONED combines acting legend Alec Baldwin with director James Toback as they lead us on a troublesome and often hilarious journey of raising financing for their next feature film. Moving from director to financier to star actor, the two players provide us with a unique look behind the curtain at the world's biggest and most glamourous film festival, shining a light on the bitter-sweet relationship filmmakers have with Cannes and the film business. Featuring insights from directors Martin Scorsese, 'Bernando Bertolucci' and Roman Polanski; actors Ryan Gosling and Jessica Chastain and a host of film distribution luminaries. Written by Anonymous

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The movie business is the worst girlfriend in the world. You are seduced and abandoned over and over again.

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8 November 2013 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Elcsábítva és elhagyatva  »

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Alec Baldwin: The movie business is the worst lover you've ever had in terms of, you go back again and again and again. And you go back seeking to recreate this experience you want to have. You go back with another chance to do something that you want to do, in movie-making and movie-going. You are seduced and abandoned, over and over and over again."
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Featured in At the Movies: Cannes Film Festival 2013 (2013) See more »

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Great for film nuts and young filmmakers....
22 March 2014 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

The fact that I liked "Seduced and Abandoned" should be no surprise. After all, I write about films and love films, so of course I'll like a documentary that talks about films and how they are financed. Additionally, it's a great movie for film students and young actors, writers and directors to see. However, I really am not sure if it has an audience beyond that. Are more of the regular folks out there ready to watch a film like this? I assume the answer is no, but the film is informative and entertaining and probably won't bore you.

This documentary from HBO Films stars Alec Baldwin and his partner in this venture, James Tobak (a writer and director who directed and wrote this film). Most won't know who Tobak is, though he's respected in the film industry and was quite enjoyable to watch in action at Cannes. As for Baldwin, I loved him in this film as he and Tobak interviewed so many interesting people. But, I am also afraid that while his presence in the film provides a 'big name', recently this unpredictable actor has alienated just about everyone (especially gays, flight attendants and the folks at MSNBC)! Still, he does know films and he is very personable in the documentary.

This film is about this team trying to convince a lot of rich financiers to invest in an upcoming project—one Baldwin jokingly refers to as "Last Tango in Tikrit" (Iraq)'! Much of the time, as they talk to the rich money-men, I felt surprised that these behind the scenes folks would allow themselves to be on camera. Less surprising were the interviews with filmmakers (such as Martin Scorsese and Bernardo Bertolucci) and actors (such as Ryan Gosling and Jessica Chastain). After all, exposure for these filmmakers and actors is usually a very good thing.

The setting for all this is the Cannes film festival. While it used to be all about the movies, this festival has come to mean FINANCING—and over the last few decades the financiers are the important folks here. So what does it take to get financing? Well, according to this film, the script is apparently NOT important! What is important are the marketable stars associated with the project. This, to me might explain the bizarre casting of such films as "The Butler" (where John Cusack played, of all people, Nixon and Robin Williams played Eisenhower!). An interesting observation is how today films are really financed by committees—and committees tend to make timid films because it's practically impossible to reach consensus with risky ventures or strange ideas. It was also fascinating seeing the many, many countries that sent representatives to the festival to sell their country as a setting for the productions. All in all, this is a wonderful little film. It's also one that might best be enjoyed by total film snobs and folks in the know. So, if you don't know what "Cahiers du Cinema" is, who Henri Langois was or what the French New Wave was, then try to watch this movie with a complete film snob like myself! Interesting viewing and a totally unique little film.

By the way, some folks might blanch at a couple of the film clips (particularly the one from "Last Tango in Paris"). It IS very adult on a few occasions. Plus, I felt uncomfortable when Roman Polanski was being interviewed—as will many others due to his very famous conviction for raping a 13 year-old (and the victim's testimony of what occurred was brutal). Because he was in the film, I scored it an 9 instead of a 10. Call me narrow-minded if you'd like.


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