On The Road, in the rain in Louisiana
10 September 2010
I always feel a little ashamed to be a journalist when I read or hear "it's a real needle in a haystack." There is only one reason to re-use this cliché, and in Louisiana on the third day of filming On The Road, I'm going to do so. Just narrate the day in reverse.
A football game
Starting at dusk, when many of the crew had deserted the stage. This travelling film employs local technicians at every stage. And tonight, in New Orleans was the first game of the city's Saints football team, winners of the Super Bowl. So it was not crowded for the last scene - wordless - between Kristen Stewart and Amy Adams in
the kitchen of the plantation.
A tropical storm
At midday, heavy rain enhanced the sound of an idle discussion between the couple Jane and Bull Lee (Viggo Mortensen and Amy Adams) and their traveling visitors (Sam Riley, Garrett Hedlund, Kristen Stewart). While Bull Lee held forth on the good old days (the 1910s), when morphine was freely available, while at the same time his wife rambled on about the end of the world, the rain fell in buckets, it's pouring on the plantation. Patrick Rousseau, the sound engineer (the oldest member of the crew, French, based in Quebec, who has worked with Chabrol and Zack Snyder) has placed a microphone outside to collect this music. At the same time a train passed and the endless disturbance of its whistle was added to the mix. The moment was perfect.
What was less perfect was the delay that the flooding caused. Today, Thursday, Sept. 9, Sam Riley and Kristen Stewart had to film the only sequence that occurs outside the slightly sinister presence of the Lee couple. But it was already late and dusk (which falls fast in these latitudes) has caught up with the team and the actors before the scene was canned. They will do it again tomorrow.
An orgone accumulator and a plantation of marijuana
In the morning, Bull Lee made a visit to his orgone accumulator with Sal Paradise and Dean Moriarty. From a distance it looks like a log cabin latrine. Convinced by Wilhelm Reich, William S. Burroughs and his fictional version Bull Lee believed in the anti-cancer properties of this cabin, built by the designers next to a marijuana plantation. Police in New Orleans are not as easygoing as in the days of The Big Easy, and it was impossible to convince them to allow the planting of cannabis plants. It is a related species, unfit for consumption, which takes the role of Marie-Jeanne. Opening the orgone accumulator, Bull Lee discovers a cat.
A pair of cats
In the U.S., we can not film with animals without the presence of an organization that protects them. Today two ladies from the Humane Society closely monitor the treatment that is reserved for the cats in the orgone accumulator. Because there are two. As soon as you put one there, it runs away. They can't put his colleague to work before the fugitive has been caught and put in a safe place. Just as one can not implement special effects using gunpowder without having held a security meeting at which the first assistant invites participants who have doubts about the operation to confer with him (which is also a way to prevent against litigation.)
While they were chasing one cat at the bottom of the meadow they saw another figure that could be a cat. If it was not standing on its hind legs to contemplate the general agitation through a black mask. Ignoring haughtily the ladies of the Humane Society, the raccoon has turned his back on them and disappeared into the bushes.
Last edited: 8 November 2011 07:54:09