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Capote Straight Up

Part of: Hollywood , LA , Literati

I saw an AFI screening of Capote at the ArcLight last week. If you haven’t seen it yet, I highly recommend that you do. It was easily one of my favorite films of 2005. After the film screened, there was a Q & A with its charming director, Bennett Miller. I thought that his appearance was that of a typical late-thirties director who probably lived in Silver Lake—longish short hair, jeans and a gray sweatshirt—but Miller apologized at the end, blaming his low-key appearance and lack of complete lucidity on having a bad cold and being medicated. I bet Miller cleans up well. I also love directors who are prone to waxing poetically on spirituality and film.

Miller told the audience that he recently received a letter from Harper Lee (Truman Capote’s friend, research assistant on "In Cold Blood," and famed author of "To Kill a Mockingbird) played by Catherine Keener in the film. He was able to share a couple of lines from that letter with us:

"The film told the truth about Capote. Philip Seymour Hoffman’s performance was an art unto itself."

Capote Facts

--Philip Seymour Hoffman lost 40 pounds to play the role of Truman Capote.

--Bennett Miller and writer Dan Futterman have known each other since they were 12 and have been friends with Philip since they were 16.

--Robert Blake had issues with the performance of Clifton Collins Jr. in the Perry Edward Smith role that Blake played in the 1967 film "In Cold Blood".

--The film took four months to edit.

--It took a month to find the house in the prairie.

--There was a scene in the film where Capote is buying baby food in a store and a boy is playing near him with a toy gun. The following Diane Arbus photo inspired this scene…

Boy with a Grenade


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