Guest Post By William D. Jackson
Last Friday, I checked into my Facebook account and saw a post from a friend referring to Sidney Lumet, the renowned director of such movies as “12 Angry Men,” “Serpico,” and “Dog Day Afternoon.” I instantly knew he was being memorialized.
I was caught by surprise, actually; the same way I was surprised when Sidney Pollack died. They were both full of energy, even if they appeared worn around the edges. Mr. Lumet certainly appeared to have walked a long way to the stage he was currently sitting on when I attended the TriBeCa Film Fest preview of “Before The Devil Knows You’re Dead” in 2007. I was with a friend who’s a big Phillip Seymour Hoffman fan; he was there with Lumet and Ethan Hawke. My friend begged me to stand up and ask a question during the Q&A afterward, so I stood up and got noticed.
“I just wanted to say two things,” I said. “Mr. Hoffman, my friend here is a big fan of yours and wants to say hi” to which he and the audience laughed as she squirmed in her seat. “The other thing is, being that you shot most of this on location around the city, I wonder if you have any war stories to share concerning that experience.”
Hoffman talked about how while they were filming one scene inside a car with Marisa Tomei, they had to pipe in air because it was so hot inside, that after literally having a fan or an ac in the back seat out of frame that had broken down early on. Sidney spoke about how much give and take there is when you’re on location, but for the most part he loved it. His favorite shooting days were in Astoria, Queens. I sensed a reflective look from both of them, and Hoffman looked at me the whole time as if to say, “Ahh, I know you’re in the biz!”