Gwyneth Paltrow and Jude Law take audiences on a roller
coaster ride in Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow
By Chris Betros
Its taken Gwyneth Paltrow a long time to make her first
official visit to Japan. Now that the 32-year-old Oscar-winning
actress has visited these shores, it might be a while before
we see her again. Having given birth to a baby girl named
Apple just five months ago, Paltrow said she intends to make
fewer films and concentrate on being a mom. She certainly
looked in good shape during her visit, along with co-star
Jude Law, to promote Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow.
I walk for hours each day, pushing the pram, and I do
yoga to help me get back in shape, she said, somewhat
embarrassed when Japanese reporters asked for her beauty secrets.
After Sky Captain, shell be seen in Sylvia, then Proof
and thatll be it for the time being. Law, on the other
hand, is everywhere. Since Cold Mountain earlier this year,
he has made six films back-to-back, among them Alfie, I (Heart)
Huckabees and The Aviator (in which he portrays Errol Flynn).
Its coming all at once. I chose those parts because
I like to do something new, but on the other hand, maybe there
is a little piece of me in all of them. I think I learn from
all my roles.
In Sky Captain, he is an old-fashioned superhero. Its
1939 and giant robots are attacking New York. The alarm goes
out for ace aviator Sky Captain, who teams up with intrepid
reporter Polly Perkins (Paltrow) to travel the world in search
of the evil mastermind Dr. Totenkopf, who has abducted the
worlds leading scientists. Debut director Kerry Conran
piles on the special effects. Both stars spent most of their
time performing in front of a blue screen, replaced later
with computer-generated images.
You really have to use your imagination, said
Law, 31. Sometimes it was like being in an avant-garde
empty-space theater production where we just sat beside each
other and had nothing but a script to hold on to. Its
like going back to being a child and play-acting in your bedroom.
For Paltrow, who lives in London with her husband, Coldplay
frontman Chris Martin, Sky Captain was a big change from a
lot of the theater work shes been doing. I think
the theater is the area where youre pushed the most
as an actor and learn what you are capable of doing. Its
like a masters class. Then you try and bring those skills
back to your film work. In between her film promotion
work in Tokyo, Paltrow also was unveiled as the new spokeswoman
for jewelry firm Damiani, an interesting choice, considering
her ex-boyfriend Brad Pitt is one of the designers of the
Photo credit: Chris Betros
Digital film artists gather at Harajukus LaForet to
launch the Tokyo leg of the festival
|Clockwise from top to
left: Resfest organizer and Nowonmedia Representative
Director Motoya Kurihara, MC Yuki Mikami and Warp Visions
Steve Beckett, Actor, model and The Lost Samurai
co-creator Jai West (left), his collaborator Dean Whiteside
(right) and Resfests Aya (center), Human beatbox
artist AFRA with Hifana duo Juicy (right) and Keizo Machine,
Animation artist Kenji Arakawa, The artists discuss their
works on stage
Photos by Carlo Niederberger
Making TV commercials in Japan can be a bizarre experience,
especially if you're a foreigner. Australian Matt Canham
has done that among many other things. When he's not
acting in TV ads, he's making films, writing e-books,
doing IT-related work and other odds and ends at Marinerblue,
his own Tokyo-based company that specializes in DV production,
script and copywriting.
Before you started your own company, what did you do?
I've taught English, worked as a writer for a few ill-fated
English magazines, worked as an export car agent, been a headhunter
and worked as an actor.
What are you currently doing?
A combination of acting, filmmaking, writing and IT-related
What sort of acting?
Mainly TV commercials, the last one being for Flets ADSL.
I've done a lot of jobs around the Kanto area, met
a lot of great people and had some interesting experiences
I recently did a commercial for Livedoor. We did the same
scene three times; once in a suit, once in swimsuits and once
naked, with only gauze and surgical tape to protect our modesty-the
women included. I was the only foreigner on the set and my
recommendation is don't do it.
Tell us about your e-books.
The whole thing started from a small guide I wrote about importing
a car from Japan to Australia. For people new to Japan, information
like acting/modeling or wedding minister agents isn't
the easiest to find, so I offer impatient people the opportunity
to cut straight to the chase.
What do you think of "wedding ministers?"
Some people argue it is morally wrong for those other than
real men or women of the cloth to conduct weddings, but since
most Japanese people aren't Christian and the weddings
don't take place in a real church, I don't see
what all the fuss is about.
What's next on your agenda?
I'll continue to develop Marinerblue.com and hope to
move into producing making-of documentaries for DVDs. I also
recently launched a site for helping creative people called
Photo credit: Matt Canham
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