Thursday, November 19, 2009

Director gives Nicolas Cage space to improvise in 'Port of Call New Orleans'

This is a great story about The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans which opens Friday November 20,2009 and filmed in New Orleans. Nicolas Cage will be back in Louisiana filming The Hungry Rabbit Jumps in New Orleans and then in Shreveport for Drive Angry.


The Los Angeles Independent
Story Published: Nov 19, 2009 at 4:38 PM PST

Werner Herzog creates an unpredictable universe in “Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans,” where he puts audiences on a trip at least as intense as the one taken by its drug-addled protagonist.
Opening Nov. 20, the film is set in the mean streets of The Big Easy and follows the story of Terrence McDonagh (Nicolas Cage), a local police lieutenant who always, secretly skims a little bit of the evidence off the top.
Terrence is literally high on a smorgasbord of drugs throughout the movie as he pursues the killer of a family of five.
He gets by with the support of his girlfriend, Frankie (Eva Mendes), a hooker and fellow addict who freeloads off of whatever he brings home for the night in his goody bag.
But the drugs eventually catch up as Terrence begins to notice things that aren’t there and lands in trouble with just about everyone he meets thanks to his erratic behavior.
Some critics are already hailing Cage’s performance as his best in years, mainly because he nailed the portrayal of an addict.
His gradual decline depicts him as an occasional user in the beginning and by the end, his voice is shaky and cracks and his posture becomes noticeably deformed.
Cage said he got drunk for his role in 1995’s “Leaving Las Vegas,” where he played an alcoholic who plans to drink himself to death, a role for which he earned an Academy Award.
This time around he says was completely sober and credits Herzog for giving him the leeway to play Terrence the way he wanted to.
“I just felt I was in the zone,” Cage told a group of reporters at the Four Seasons in Beverly Hills. “I came in prepared knowing I had to do what I to do and I thank Werner for letting me go. I didn’t need to be pushed or pulled.”
Outside of Cage’s performance, the whole film is filled with surreal moments that seemingly blend what Terrence is experiencing in his head with his day to day encounters.
You’ll know when you see the lizards.
The end result is a movie that hearkens back to the style of 1998’s “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.”
“It is a demented fantasy which I liked to create,” Herzog said.
The German director said much of that motif came from allowing for improvised dialogue from his cast.
“We always kept things open for the unexpected,” Herzog said. “Nic Cage had complete liberty to have his own voice to improvise. Those are the really convincing and strong moments of the film.”
When asked about his experience about shooting in New Orleans, he said the city that was ravaged by Hurricane Katrina in 2005 was filled with a “strong sense of recovery.”
“I remember very often when we were filming outdoors, people would come by and were like ‘Are you making a movie? Welcome!’” he said. “It’s wonderful, the music is coming back and movies are coming back. … There was a void in New Orleans, it was culture, vibrant culture, that will be the guiding light for New Orleans’ recovery.”
The past few months for Cage have been the toughest in a while for the 45-year-old actor.
Amid a personal financial crisis, his father, August Coppola, died on Oct. 29 at the age of 75.
Many of his other demons are caged in Louisiana, according to Cage, and shooting an entire movie there last year let him “face his fears.”
“I wanted to go back there and confront it,” he said. “I knew I would channel that and it would either be a disaster or something beautiful, so I was up for the challenge.”

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