Welcome to August, everyone! It's the month where not one single thing gets done at anyone's job anywhere in the world. But just because there is nothing to do doesn't mean you can just sit at your desk and do nothing. Here's a guide to making yourself look busy without troubling with any actual work.
Opening tonight at the Village East in Manhattan is August, the Indiewood tale starring Josh Hartnett of an Internet startup's collapse on the eve of September 11th. The film is an homage to an era of excess gone sour, and we figured we'd sum up the references for those of you who were there to reminisce and for those of you who weren't to get an idea of what you missed. In this clip early in the film former John Hancock Tech Fund manager Marc Klee plays himself as an analyst discussing the fictional company in the film, LandShark, shortly after a gangbuster IPO.
If you go to see August, the Josh Hartnett vehicle/dot-bomb nostalgia trip, tomorrow night, watch the costar carefully. Adam Scott plays Joshua, a mild-mannered techie who cofounds Landshark with his blustering brother as CEO. "Joshua's not clean, either," Scott told me at last night's preview. Watch closely and here's what you'll spot:
"That was probably the most accurate part, seeing Fucked Company at your company while you still worked there," Friendster founder Jonathan Abrams joked at a panel after a screening of the film August. Director Austin Chick assured "that was in the script from the beginning." "It's kinda like Fucked Company," Fucked Company creator (and AdBrite founder) Phillip "Pud" Kaplan shouted from the audience moments later. The latest Josh Hartnett vehicle, produced in part by Josh Hartnett, August attempts to portray tragedy while simultaneously reifying the "Internet rockstar" archetype. But it's dated from the start by Aronofsky-esque visuals and a Fischerspooner soundtrack as Hartnett's character Tom, CEO of Landshark, hears in passing of Internet-video startup Pseudo.com laying off dozens as his own public company is exploding around him.
This one isn't brand new, but the current economic turmoil means it's a good time to watch the trailer for August, the upcoming Josh Hartnett flick dramatizing the dramatic dot-com world of August, 2001-a dramatic time. Josh Hartnett is sitting in board rooms! Delivering speeches! Furrowing his brow! And sexing a sexy woman or three in the process! Enjoy the sight of Web boom 1.0, just as Web boom 2.0 may be going over a cliff with the rest of the economy. Side note: Hartnett, who also portrayed a web guy in 40 Days and 40 Nights, is set to corner the market on playing dotcom heroes. Luckily he bears a passing resemblance to Nick Denton! Watch the trailer below and comment freely.
At the afterparty for his latest film, Josh Hartnett managed to crack a slight smile as he saw Kirsten Dunst tucked away in a corner. Hartnett slowly lumbered across the room and over to an increasingly uncomfortable Dunst. Hartnett expressed his gratitude to Dunst for coming out to the party and in a very faint whisper said that it meant a lot to him. Dunst nodded as she looked for an escape from the conversation. Lucky for Dunst, her Elizabethtown co-star Susan Sarandon walked by at that exact moment. Dunst grabbed Sarandon by the shoulder and began to talk a mile a minute about what happened with the 2005 Cameron Crowe film.
And it's not the kind of zany premise that gets people into theaters. For that, Prendergast put on a puffy blue suit with a giant, round head — the fictional icon of fictional technology company BlueNexion, which hires his character Salman to stand on a lonely stretch of Texas highway and, inevitably, get into hijinx. To its credit, it looks far more entertaining than August.
Hollywood's taking a stab at bringing sexy back to the world of the Valley in August, which posits Tom Sterling (Josh Hartnett) and brother Joshua (Adam Scott) as founders trying to keep their fictional Silicon Alley startup
Razorfish Landshark afloat amidst 2001's dot-bomb. Androgynous rock legend David Bowie even has a cameo as an investor trying to wrest control of the company from the founders. Never have term sheets and board meetings been so exciting! More surprising? Andre Royo, best known for his gritty portrayal of the junkie with a heart of gold Bubbles on HBO's The Wire has a supporting role. And that, more than than the action-packed, fast-paced trailer, actually makes me want to see it.