Hollywood apparently isn't impressed that the new Los Angeles Times thinks the cutting-edge way to cover Sundance is to give a print reporter a cheap cellphone camera and have him ask inane questions — like all the bad TV reporters who've covered the festival through the years, but with worse video. Director Armando Ianucci, in his Sundance diary for the Guardian in the U.K., describes an encounter while doing press for "In the Loop," his new film.
Next day, I team up with James Gandolfini and Mimi Kennedy, two of the US cast. They play a Pentagon general and a US state department politico doing their not-very-best to stop a war happening. Mimi is hilarious and James is always charming and generous, and very patient with the press. Just as well. The first interviewer is from the LA Times. That's an important newspaper. We all have to be on our best behaviour.
The reporter places a small mobile phone on a tripod. We look at each other, and get ready for the smart incisive questioning. "If you had to lose one body part to frostbite, what part would it be?" Somewhere out in the digital ether, there's footage of the three of us all looking at each other thinking, "What in arse's name has happened to the LA Times?"
Ouch. Here's the video on the Times' website.