HOLLYWOOD — Movies often provide remarkable contrasts between past and present, as was the case at Tuesday’s bow of Par’s “Four Feathers” at the Village in Westwood.
Director Shekar Kapur expressed bemusement at the difference between the post-perf party at the ultra-modern Armand Hammer Museum and the gritty settings in a Moroccan jail for prison footage. Frankly, he said, the latter gave him the creeps.
“What I was trying to do was convey the angst of that environment,” the helmer said. “We waited until the very end of the shooting schedule to film it. I really didn’t want to go in there, but now I’m very glad I did.”
Kapur also gave a generous nod to Zoltan Korda’s original “Four Feathers,” noting that the 1939 release was one of the few war flicks actually shot on location in those days. “I was very impressed with the sense of a sweeping adventure story taking place in wide-open settings,” he added.
Kapur didn’t alter the basic story — a Brit officer resigns in 1898, days before a battle in the Sudan — but strove to strike a more ambiguous tone than the original, focusing on key questions of honor and cowardice. He admits the pic also differs from the original by offering significant ambivalence on the issue of Brit colonialism.
Par vice chair Robert Friedman said the studio has high hopes for “Feathers” as an awards season contender, noting, “It really feels like an epic.”
Among those partaking in the bow’s epicurean pleasures were pic’s stars Kate Hudson, Heath Ledger, Wes Bentley and Djimon Hounsou; Par’s Sherry Lansing and Jonathan Dolgen; Miramax’s Harvey Weinstein; producers Stanley Jaffe and Robert Jaffe; and guests Goldie Hawn, Chris Robinson, Naomi Watts, Macy Gray; Jessica Capshaw; Topher Grace, LeeAnn Rimes, William Friedkin and Britney Spears.