iN’i i. Wit \.'.’ BOB GIRALDI

Filmmaker, wise-guy, ball-buster

Bob Giraldi isn’t your archetypal US indie director. He’s 63-years—old, directed nearly 3000 TV commercials and music videos (including Michael Jackson’s ‘Beat It’) and he owns ten restaurants. And one of those establishments, Gigino, served as the central location for his new

film, Dinner Rush.

‘lt’s autobiographical,’ says the Italian- American filmmaker. ‘lt’s a sarcastic look at what I deal with in my everyday life. There’s metaphor after metaphor of my life in the film. It’s set in my restaurant, in my neighbourhood, of my culture, of my denomination, about my businesses. It’s about what happens when a nice quite restaurant becomes trendy and popular in the New York restaurant scene, which is challenging and

wonderful and pretentious and bullshit all rolled

into one.’

A self-styled ‘wise-guy’ and ‘ball-buster’, whose own mother, Minnie, is a famous chef, Giraldi suffered a rare (for him) career setback in

the mid-19805 when his first film, the comedy know.”

Hiding Out, sunk without trace. Why, | ask, did he decide to return to filmmaking with Dinner Rush

after such a long interval?

‘Well,’ he says, ‘this screenplay landed on my desk.’ What you gonna do? | feel like asking him. ‘It was,’ continues Giraldi, ‘written by two guys, Rick Shaughnessy and Brian Kalata, and it was set in this Chicago restaurant, and it was about young people who work in a restaurant and how they have sex in the kitchen and take drugs in the bathroom. After a year or so trying to get it


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New York’s restaurant scene: challenging and wonderful and pretentious and bullshit

made in Hollywood, I said to the guys, “Why don’t I take you back to New York to rewrite it and adapt it with you? Write it about something I reference to the attacks on the World Trade

‘And that’s my own restaurant and that’s my own life and my own people and my own food. It apartment, has since made a five minute short, was easy,’ says Giraldi, ‘to take what they had and for me to give what makes the most sense to the events of September 11. me. I found a producer and casting director Lou DiGiaimo, who brought me Danny Aiello for the lead role. And the rest of the casting was easy because Danny is so respected as a movie actor. The Godfather Part II, Once Upon A Time In America and Do The Right Thing being among the 77 films he’s made.


For its director, the self-financed Dinner Rush is a ‘pre-war film, released post-war’, Giraldi’s

Centre. Giraldi, who watched the first tower collapse from the window of his downtown

The Routine, about a family’s changed life after

‘New York is back in full swing,’ he says of the city’s mood. ‘Families don’t go out as much, but young people who feel invincible do. Nightlife is booming in New York.’

80, too, the restaurant business, it would seem. (Tom Dawson)

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Frank Darahont's first two films as a director '.'.'ere li‘e attii'rni g; wise" dramas based on Stephen King tales. His third. set l". 195‘ \ unashamedly sentimental table that celebrates the patriotism ofi'\r‘1er'ca'sso- called Greatest Generation. smallto-sxn mow: theatres and Il‘-’: U.‘ ::<:i‘.stitiition.

At the Outset. ll()‘.'./(}\."(}l'. the film's protaétorrst <::>.ild"'t l:-:: tzi'tl‘e" "-::'no‘.'ed from those values. Jim Carrey's Sltét|l()‘.‘.'. self-seeking; lloil‘, mood " t-::-'. i’ete' Appleton. is on the verge of the big; time. His f3‘.'.'£if§lll).li?i\l.l‘§} l3 'nox ie. I'M} firm: Pirates Of The Sahara. has Just opened on a>l-::- i:--i '.'.'tl‘. it"s," x'i‘urxs" Usher: and his girlfriend is a hot young starlet. Then nemesis str'kes. lle city-stand“. ‘ails foul of the era's Communist ‘.'.'itch-~hunts and is ordered to appear lJ-(E‘iflé‘ the l louse Un» American Actmties Committee. Instead. he takes flight o'ie stcmj. '1 am ii: his Mercedes con\.’ertil)le. drunkenly crashes h s ::a" aid was lil’ :t .'".-."7.".

us s:i'iiarl. Lil? "3"1-112 an

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long}. Peter finds himself enthusiastica -.2 if“. "sf l time's lather, Harry iMartin Landaiii. o‘.'.'ner s" t'ie ti:'.'."';; ;)t*{T-'i:lt'. .: E"~;: Exilaiestic. and then. more ll(353li£llli|‘:,'_ l7», lukes iorme' ‘a'xtee Ade-e '.;‘-...i -.- l Mitre-'1. . ‘.‘.’l‘.at \‘Jlll happen when he regains his men‘oi‘, ’5

In Me. l‘i/iyse/f (8’. //‘ehe. Carre‘,’ played the t‘.'.':: sdes -::‘ 4‘: s:: i'. ire'sar‘aitp. \‘x’iiliout recourse to rubber faced giirningi. he does something similar here. as sellish. apolitical Peter gradualh, takes on the attributes of the heroic I Like. It's a subtle peiformance. full of cai'etin nuances. hut Darahont's lilm doesn't really do it Justice.

Darahont is seeking to iecaptiiie the spirit of l‘rank Capia's populist filinsi 7' the late 30s and early -'l()s. ‘.‘.'li.‘l (:{ll’ilfl as a latter day .James Stex'xait oi (tan, Cooper. Nothing wrong; ‘.'./lill that. although The i‘»./i.'i,iestic's simple minded Idealism sits less happily 'l‘ t'ie more politically (lllll)l\’£tl(,lll McCait'i‘, period. But a more serious tailing; is the film's sluggish pace. [)arahont i‘ia‘;. share Capra}; dewy eyed optimism. but he lacks his sci'e‘-.'.’l>all /es'.. i.Jason Best I (Eerie/'a/ ie/e.'ise flow / Ii 1’5) .'\. Sir.

Lacks Capra-esque screwball zest

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