It's not often a movie with Elijah Wood, Juliette Lewis, George Clinton, Wayne Coyne and a host of other big names premieres in Phoenix, so it probably wasn't surprising that The Heart is a Drum Machine's opening at Phoenix Art Museum drew a huge crowd last night. Free wine from the Arizona winery owned by Tool's Maynard James Keenan didn't hurt either. Check out the trailer here.
Serene Dominic wrote an excellent feature on the film last week, so I won't rehash that, but these are my thoughts on the film and the event...
- I've always been partial to Steven Adler when it comes to Guns N' Roses drummers, but Matt Sorum (also of Velvet Revolver and The Cult) provided excellent opening remarks before the start out the 9:30 screening I saw.
- Carl Sagan's wife Ann Druyan talking about the Voyager Golden Record really was the highlight of the film, as hinted at in Serene's story.
- I took Stephen Chilton's advice and listeend to Sagan's Pale Blue Dot speech after the movie, and was as impressed as he said I would be. Quite moving.
- I wasn't digging the part where Keenan gave his thoughts, silent and subtitled while he made facial expressions. I guess as one of the film's financiers of the film he got some creative input, at least when it came to his own part, but I found it disruptive to the overall flow of the film, where the other bits seems to fade nicely in to each other.
- I knew one of the talking heads would get a much larger ovation than all the others but I never expected it to be George Clinton. By the time the crowd calmed down I missed most of Clinton's mumbled comments. Oh well.
- Steven Drozd of the Flaming Lips did an amazing job scoring the film. Minimalistic but perfect.
- I could have used less interviews with actors. Obviously it's a movie, so it makes sense to have actors in it, but I could do without Frodo plugging his record label.
- Fairuza Balk: Still as creepy as she was in The Craft.
- John Frusciante of The Red Hot Chili Peppers did, indeed, kill in his interview. He also may have been in the house last night, judging by the clapping when he appeared, from one corner of the room. "That's you, John!" someone yelled.
- Look, I know this was a fancy premiere and all, but I was disheartened to miss out on trying Keene's wine because the folks in front of me were taking their sweet time getting a glass. Ask for red or white then move aside, people. If you want a tasting with full frills, drive to Cornville.