Ana de Armas was at a photo shoot in Malibu yesterday and Ben Affleck was seen visiting her on set. At one point they were on a balcony together and kissed. They left together later on, I guess to save money for the production so they didn’t have to send her home in car service, LOL. This isn’t the first time Ben’s been around while Ana’s at work. A few weeks ago she was also shooting something (a commercial perhaps) in Portugal and he travelled with her there too.
Do you remember him being this present in any of his previous relationships? He may have been but there just weren’t photos to show of it. Now, though, as this relationship has been one of the big celebrity stories of 2020, and during the pandemic no less, it’s Ben the attentive, at least until he doesn’t have so much free time. Because Deadline reported recently that he’s found his next project to direct. And the paps actually tipped us off about it back in June – I wrote about it here!
At the time, Matt Damon was seen at Ben’s house with a book, Sam Wasson’s THE BIG GOODBYE: Chinatown and the Last Years of Hollywood. As I mentioned in that post, probably the two were discussing an adaptation. And now we know – Ben will be directing and writing the script; it’s a movie about the making of a movie, inside baseball sh-t. Given Hollywood’s love affair with itself, and Ben’s track record as a director, this is totally Oscar bait. For him and for the performers who will be cast to play Jack Nicholson, Faye Dunaway, writer Robert Towne, and of course, Roman Polanski. Lorne Michaels is co-producing.
Chinatown, as I’m sure you know, has been glorified up and down all over Hollywood. This, however, is a film about power and corruption – and a dark lesson about the poison that can result from that potent combination, both on environmental and human resources. Can you make a movie about Chinatown then without acknowledging the mirror that it holds up to Hollywood itself? The villain in the film rapes his daughter and, at the end, has possession of his daughter’s daughter, who he fathered, and is still standing. Now remember who directed it. Now remember everything that’s been exposed about Hollywood – and what has yet to be uncovered. So, again, can you simply glorify this movie and this time in the industry, the “last years of Hollywood” through the lens of what we now know about it? Or will Ben Affleck be interrogating Hollywood through one of its classic films that itself was about interrogating “Chinatown”, a metaphor for Hollywood’s own hypocrisy? Ben is a cinephile and this is a cinephile’s book about what’s considered a cinematic masterpiece, made during a period where Hollywood studios serviced the artist in the story instead of corporate interest. This, at least right now, seems to be the nostalgia that they’re after. But I’m so curious what the conversations will be when it actually comes out.