Showbusiness Rumors

“These young visionaries and champion athletes epitomize the melding of competitive greatness with purposeful creative genius.” That’s Bill Walton talking about Chris Benchetler’s new film, Fire on the Mountain, which sets the extreme adventures of a skiing and surfing collective to the music of the Grateful Dead. Shot in the unforgiving environment of the North Pole and the blissed out blue water off the coast of Indonesia, it’s a gorgeous piece of work that strives to provide nothing less than a visual manifestation of the Dead’s musical transcendence. Walton’s narration provides the voice to the film, lending an old-world authenticity to the new generation of seekers hooked on the Dead’s mystical aesthetic.
Almost nobody behind “Uncut Gems,” the Adam Sandler/Kevin Garnett drama steeped in NBA lore that opens Friday in New York and Los Angeles (and nationwide on Christmas), wanted the movie to have anything to do with Garnett and the Boston Celtics — unless it somehow involved the Celtics’ humiliation. Josh and Benny Safdie, the writer-director brothers, are diehard fans of the New York Knicks — which naturally means they hate the Celtics. “I hated Boston,” Josh Safdie told ESPN this week. “I hated KG.”
They moved on to Joel Embiid, but working around the schedule of an active player proved impossible. The studio gave them a list of retired players. They met with a few, including Chris Bosh, Josh Safdie said. Garnett’s name was on the list, too. They cringed. They agreed to meet with Garnett anyway. Garnett’s representatives told them they would have an hour. The meeting lasted three hours. Garnett regaled them with stories. He was different in person than he was on television and in media interviews.
“Acting is preparation, just like anything else,” Garnett told the group in New York. “I didn’t want to fail them. They took a risk on me. When I showed up to set, I was ready. It took me back to, ‘OK, it’s Rasheed Wallace tonight. It’s Tim Duncan tonight’ — watching film. I took those same things coming in here.” “He took his lines very seriously,” Josh Safdie told ESPN. “He added a lot of flair, too. He improvised a bit, but he stuck mostly to the script.”
Did your teammates call you? Victor Oladipo: A lot of people called me and asked. Obviously I had to play dumb because I didn’t want to give it away. Everyone has their opinion. A lot of times I would ask, “Why are you asking me?” They break down the clues and then they ask me to sing. So then I have to say, “No I can’t really sing right now. I’m not feeling well.” It was a great time trying to hide it from everybody.