Bill Murray Charms Brooklyn
The Brooklyn Academy of Music hosted a special evening with Bill Murray on Tuesday night, to kick off its "What About Bill Murray" retrospective (running through May 5); Brooklyn perhaps hasn't seen this much excitement since the days of the Dodgers. Every screening of the several Murray films shown on Tuesday was sold out, as was the Q&A discussion with Elvis Mitchell, held in the voluminous Opera House after the flicks. The museum has been trying to get Murray for three years; evidently the fans were just as eager, as Murray was greeted by a lengthy standing ovation when he took the stage. He drew laughs with jokes about "Meatballs," his story about meeting Hunter S. Thompson poolside in Aspen, and when asked where he got the "zen karma in his performances," replied "Bed, Bath & Beyond." Murray also offered more wise insights into his career and his profession, and talked about the sense of duty he felt when tackling Polonius in "Hamlet" and other more serious roles.
When an audience member asked about his role in Wes Anderson's forthcoming "The Life Aquatic," Murray said the shoot was "an absolute hell" as it stretched from a planned three months to more than five months, and the cast and crew had to deal with the cold Italian winter. But it was evidently worth it: "It's the best movie that [Anderson] has ever made," Murray said. "I'm proud of everything that's on the screen." When an audience member blurted out that Murray was robbed of the Oscar for "Lost in Translation," he smiled and assured that audience, "I'm really okay... I don't care about the prizes. Making movies is the only thing I can do really well in my life that's not a disaster." In closing, special guests told their favorite stories about Murray, from the producer that Murray pranked by putting gravel in his hubcaps to Jim Jarmusch's recollection of walking down the street 12 years ago when Murray recognized HIM and invited him out for a cup of coffee (Murray now appears as himself in Jarmusch's forthcoming "Coffee and Cigarettes.")
Before the Q&A, BUZZ was lucky enough to attend a rare screening of "Nothing Lasts Forever," a little-seen 1984 gem written and directed by Tom Schiller, one of the great SNL writers who happens to be married to our pal (and former indieWIRE editor) Jacque Lynn Schiller. The film is both retro and futuristic (and also perfectly mocks the '80s art scene), exploring a world in which New York City is ruled by the Port Authority and a man searches for love and artistic inspiration by taking a bus (manned by Bill Murray) to the moon. This was Schiller's only feature film, and Murray remarked that renewed interest in this one might spur Schiller to make another one. Murray called the director "one of the few people I think of as being truly brilliant," and also quipped that Schiller's old SNL sketches "come from another planet, like Tom."