Latest news from Being Flynn
Posted by Peter Bowen | March 16, 2012
[Above photo: Melissa Phillip / Houston Chronicle] In the Houston Chronicle, Louis B. Parks' article "BEING FLYNN offered lesson in self-discovery" profiles writer Nick Flynn, who is both the author of the memoir from BEING FLYNN is adapted and its subject. Flynn, who teaches creative writing of the University of Houston, talks candidly about the process of having his memoir turned into a film, and the reaction of his alcoholic, self-delusional dad to hearing Robert De Niro was set to play him in Paul Weitz' adaptation. Flynn recounts that his father Jonathan "managed to be 'on' for the interview, telling long stories about himself for, like, an hour before he even noticed De Niro's in the room. He was completely underwhelmed that Robert De Niro was going to play him." Nick goes on to talk about the long process of writing the book and coming to terms with his dad, a saga lyrically captured in BEING FLYNN. For Flynn, how took more than ten years after his father appeared in a homeless shelter to get the story down on paper, explains: "Certain stories we carry with us, events in our life, they define who we are. It's not a matter of getting over anything; we have to make the best of it."
Posted by Peter Bowen | March 14, 2012
Robert De Niro, the star of Paul Weitz' BEING FLYNN, showed up on THE TODAY SHOW to talk about why making the film was important to him, as well as a hilarious anecdote about what happened when he showed up in character at his own hotel.
Posted by Peter Bowen | March 7, 2012
Jonathan Kim's review of BEING FLYNN on Facebook - "ReThink Review: BEING FLYNN - The Other Parent Trap" -- provides a smart, interesting review of Paul Weitz's adaptation of Nick Flynn's memoir with Paul Dano, Robert De Niro and Julianne Moore. At the end, Kim sums up his glowing review: "BEING FLYNN ... beautifully portrays the difficult, painful work of acknowledging, accepting, and learning to deal with the uglier aspects of our pasts, our families, and ourselves."
Posted by Peter Bowen | March 5, 2012
BEING FLYNN's writer/director Paul Weitz called into IFC's unique series "Call-In Commentary" in which a director gives running commentary over the trailer for their film.
Posted by Peter Bowen | March 1, 2012
BBC Talking Movies VIDEO features writer/director Paul Weitz and star Paul Dano on BEING FLYNN. Great talk about craft and story, especially about the powerful idea at the center of the film about whether we are destined to be our parents or can we be something else.
Posted by Peter Bowen | February 29, 2012
In the Los Angeles Times, Steven Zeitchik reports on the film's history in "BEING FLYNN finally comes into being with De Niro and Weitz." The story of turning Nick Flynn's critically acclaimed memoir into a film seems as heroic as the characters in it. As Zeitchik sums it up, "This weekend -- after 30 screenplay drafts, eight years, three studios and one title change -- a film version of that book, now called BEING FLYNN and starring [Robert] De Niro and [Paul] Dano, hits theaters." The story of how it got made is a real lesson in how powerful the original story is and how much conviction the filmmakers had in it. For Weitz, the story is something everyone one can relate to:
The book felt like a fable of that utterly recognizable circumstance where a guy [is] in a pressure-cooker situation that's destabilized by something...It's also the quintessence of everybody's experience in mythologizing their parents: Are we fated to become our parents, and can we do anything to change that?
Posted by Peter Bowen | February 28, 2012
At ComingSoon.net, Edward Douglas sits down with Paul Weitz, the writer/director of BEING FLYNN. A very smart, wide-ranging discussion that covers the film's development, casting of Robert De Niro, involvement of Nick Flynn (who wrote the original memoir) and the film's unique mix of humor and hard-topic issues. At the end, Douglas asks Weitz about his use of Badly Drawn Boy (aka Damon Gough), who'd previously scored About a Boy, to create the soundtrack for BEING FLYNN as well.
I'd been listening to Damon's albums over the years, and while I was shooting it, I was listening to his most recent album, "It's What I'm Thinking Of." It's pretty funny 'cause I called him up and I said, "How'd you feel about doing another movie with me?" Then I sent him the film and I'd copped some of his songs in there, and also some piano pieces by Bach that would play under De Niro, because De Niro thinks of himself as a classic writer. Damon called me and said, "Well, it seems like very different music from what I write," so I said, "Well, how would you feel about trying to do Bach-ess versions of the themes of the songs that you're going to write for this?" He did it, and even if I'm the only one who feels it, there's some connection between the whole story. When it's following the two characters' stories equally, I think it's a great benefit to have one artist doing all the music. It was a joy, and also I'm just a fan of his.
Posted by Peter Bowen | February 27, 2012
Pam Grady's San Francisco Chronicle article "BEING FLYNN: Mythic father figure drives director" spotlights writer/director Paul Weitz. Famous for such films as About a Boy and In Good Company, Weitz related to Nick Flynn's memoir about dealing with his father, partially because of his own father, John Weitz. A famous fashion designer, John Weitz became a celebrity whose name could be seen on New York bus ads through the 70s and 80s. In dealing with this story about a father and son, Paul Weitz thought, "There were a couple of central things which drew to me to the material in the first place and then became apparent as I worked more on it," he says. "The first thing was this question of whether you are fated to become your parent and whether you can create yourself, and if you're troubled, is it actually fatal to detach yourself from the troubling aspect of your heritage?"
Posted by Peter Bowen | February 27, 2012
In New York Times' article "Long Trip From Skid Row to the Screen," Ari Karpel reviews the remarkable trip from Nick Flynn's memoir of dealing with his father to the making of a feature film based on that story. In some ways the story is about two writers - the dad, Jonathan Flynn (played by Robert De Niro), who believes himself to be a great writer, and the son, Nick Flynn (played by Paul Dano), who is trying to become a writer. The making of the film, as the article points out, is also about two writers - Nick Flynn who wrote the original memoir, and writer/director Paul Weitz, who went through more than 20 drafts of the script to get it just right. What connected both of these writers is their image of their dads. Weitz explains, "My dad was a pretty successful fashion designer...But what he wanted to be in life was a writer, and he was a very loving but fairly tortured fellow. And so I've always wanted to react to that, to try to avoid some of his specific brand of pain, coming from creativity."