‘Seabiscuit’ into stretch

Pic continues to play well with crowds

If aud reception is anything to go by, “Seabiscuit” could go all the way.

Invitation-only crowd at Wednesday night’s unspooling for the Variety Screening Series gave the three-month old film a rapturous response. As the credits rolled, only Chris Cooper beat out helmer Gary Ross on the applause-o-meter.

Ross, who fielded questions from the ArcLight aud during a Q&A with film reviewer and historian Pete Hammond post screening, said he was grateful for the caliber of stars Tobey Maguire, Jeff Bridges and Cooper, as horses proved far more difficult to direct than thesps. “I have fixed more horse races than anyone else in history.”

Capturing the visceral excitement of the race scenes required developing some new camera technology, including adapting a piece of equipment originally designed as a gun mount on an Apache helicopter.

Ross also took the opportunity to put to rest some rumors.

“There’s this ninth generation Internet rumor that I had my bar mitzvah at the horses. What happened was my parents took me to the racetrack on my thirteenth birthday. It sounds like a much more religious experience than it was.”

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