Crowe Looks Back and Ahead..

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Posted by Greg on February 1, 2011 at 1:09 am
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NY Post film critic Lou Lumenick catches up briefly with Cameron via email to celebrate the Blu-ray release of Almost Famous – The Bootleg Cut. Cameron also touches on Elizabethtown, Pearl Jam Twenty and We Bought a Zoo. Here’s the choicest quotes:

On Almost Famous, The Bootleg Cut & Support from Fans and DreamWorks

“It’s the one movie I’ve done that I hear about the most,” Crowe tells The Post. “Wherever I am, it seems, somebody comes up and says something about ‘Almost Famous.’ ” “Often it’s a button-down business type who looks like somebody’s accountant uncle, and they take you aside and say wistfully, ‘I followed Deep Purple to 25 cities in the early ’70s. ‘Almost Famous’ is my life,” says Crowe, 53. “And we have a moment talking about music, and vinyl. It’s the reason I made the movie.”

“We had the commercial capital, thanks to DreamWorks, to make the movie with all the love and time to get it pretty right,” Crowe recalls. “Big props to the cast, too, who really felt the movie as we were making it. Kate Hudson dancing on that arena floor will always be one of the favorite things I was very lucky enough to be behind the camera and watch happen. Movies tend to communicate the spirit of the people who made it, maybe that’s why it lasted.”

Crowe calls the 162-minute “Untitled” version, which adds 40 minutes and was previously available on DVD, “the full movie. The theatrical cut of ‘Almost Famous’ was honed through public screenings. On the big screen, I think the cross-country tour was a little exhausting for some people (just like life) . . . but for home viewing, ‘Untitled’ is made for you to put it on pause, grab a beer, and then back on the road to visit the next city. “Also there are some sub-plots in the longer version that I do miss in the theatrical version — for example Jeff Bebe (Jason Lee) has a secret coke problem and other little side-stories that I will always love. Either version is there for whatever mood you’re in, or how long you want to tour with Stillwater.”

On Elizabethtown

“Elizabethtown,” Crowe says, “was a big, open-hearted movie that worked for some people, maybe not for others. But for me it will always be about the final road trip, and the music of My Morning Jacket and Tom Petty and Ryan Adams. Also it was a chance to film in Kentucky and pay a little tribute to my Dad, who grew up there.”

On Pearl Jam Twenty

Crowe calls it “our equal-part tribute to Bob Dylan’s ‘Don’t Look Back’ and The Who’s ‘The Kids Are Alright.’ When I first moved to Seattle in the mid-’80s, that now-hallowed music scene was starting to come together and I was fortunate to have a front-row seat to the formation and the early shows of Pearl Jam. We gave them jobs on ‘Singles’ to keep the band afloat.”  “They became good friends of mine, and about 10 years ago we started talking about a project that would use all the archival stuff the band had never shown to the public. The time finally came to tell that story. Jeff Ament, the bassist and creative architect of the band in many ways, said to me, ‘I’m expecting to learn things about our little band that I never knew. I hope it’s a little bit like group therapy.’ ”

On We Bought a Zoo

Crowe e-mails that it’s “probably closest to ‘Almost Famous’ or ‘Jerry Maguire’ in the mix of comedy and drama. It’s a fun movie with a smokin’ cast, and I think everybody is bringing something new to it. We’re almost two weeks in, and every day has been a blast. It’s also a little bit of a tribute to the great Bill Forsyth comedy, ‘Local Hero.’ I’m really excited . . . tomorrow Peter Riegert, the star of that movie, is playing a juicy part with Matt Damon. Should be good.”

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