You’re known as one of the most provocative filmmakers in the world (James Toback). Your lead actor is one of the most celebrated thespians working in America (Alex Baldwin). So who wants to finance “Last Tango In Tikrit” (the working title), your would-be erotic political drama set in the Middle East where two journalists from opposing viewpoints have a torrid sex affair during the middle of the Iraq War? Turns out not too many people. And this is all hilariously documented in “Seduced & Abandoned,” Toback’s documentary made with Baldwin about their travels to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival trying to drum up money for this movie (read our review of the film here).
Why “Seduced & Abandoned”? Well, that’s what Baldwin and Toback both say about what the film industry does to anyone trying to make a film these days: seducing them into thinking it’s possible and then leaving them for dead with nothing to show for it. Notably, Toback insists it’s not a documentary, though to be fair, perhaps he just has issues with that what that verbiage means these days.
In an interview with Toback that The Playlist will run soon, the director hoped that people will take a shine to film as New Republic critic David Thompson did, describing the movie as “an entirely new genre of film.”
“The thing that has not been said about any movie recently and maybe even ever is it’s an entirely new genre of film, which this to me is. It’s not a documentary, not a fictional film, not a non-fiction film, it’s what it is. [Martin] Scorsese says in this [movie], these categories are now meaningless. They’re the walls are tumbling down,” Toback told us. Who are we to argue with him?
With appearances by Jessica Chastain, Ryan Gosling, Diane Kruger, Martin Scorsese, James Caan, Roman Polanski, Bérénice Bejo, Francis Ford Coppola, Bernado Bertolucci, and more, “Seduced & Abandoned” airs on HBO and screens at the Savannah Film Festival tonight. Watch the trailer and check out a few recent posters below. (U.K. poster via Bleeding Cool) – Additional reporting by Rodrigo Perez.