Friday, May 05, 2006

New Cannes Award: Best Filmmaker Held By US Authorities

From Cinematical:

Apparently the State Department isn't convinced that director Richard Kelly (Donnie Darko) isn't a terrorist. According to Jeff Wells at Hollywood Elsewhere, Kelly's passport has been held "under review" in good old Washington, D.C., bastion of freedom, because some guy named James Kelly is on their terrorist watch list, and Kelly's full name is James Richard Kelly.

All this means that Kelly, whose film Southland Tales premieres at Cannes, which opens May 17 -- and is in competition for the top prize at the fest -- may not be able to be there to enjoy his moment in the spotlight. Now, I'm all for keeping terrorists from blowing up planes and committing other dastardly deeds, but really, doesn't it seem there ought to be some easier way for the State Department to differentiate between a (relatively) well-known film director and a potential terrorist than making his mom dig up his junior high yearbook?

In what is surely an unintentional case of irony -- if only because it's hard to imagine government bureaucrats being that clever -- Southland Tales is about the government (what -- our government?!?) imposing a police state in the wake of a second major terrorist attack. It all kinda makes me wonder how many other people with common names get caught in this kind of snafu -- and makes me ever so thankful I chose to stick with my uncommon maiden surname rather than changing to my husband's very common one.

Fortunately, I doubt there are a whole lot of James Rocchi's out there, at least on terrorist watch lists, so hopefully our esteemed Editor-in-Chief won't experience a similar hold-up getting himself to Cannes to give you all the French film festival coverage you can stomach.


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