Waiting For the Moon


1h 28m 1987

Film Details

MPAA Rating
Release Date
1987
Production Company
Channel 4; Channel Four Television; Corporation For Public Broadcasting; Film4 Productions; Sundance Institute
Distribution Company
CBS Video
Location
Paris, France

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 28m

Synopsis

Film Details

MPAA Rating
Release Date
1987
Production Company
Channel 4; Channel Four Television; Corporation For Public Broadcasting; Film4 Productions; Sundance Institute
Distribution Company
CBS Video
Location
Paris, France

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 28m

Articles

Waiting For the Moon - Gertrude Stein & Alice B. Toklas on Film - WAITING FOR THE MOON on DVD


The made-for-PBS film Waiting for the Moon (1987) tells the story of expatriate writer Gertrude Stein and partner Alice B. Toklas. Rather than a factual biography, Waiting for the Moon is more of a mood piece; it opens a small window into the pair's life in France in the 1930s. Stein, who left the U.S. for France in 1902, regularly entertained writers and artists in her salon at 27 Rue de Fleurus. Ernest Hemmingway, for example, as depicted in the film, was a frequent guest.

Waiting for the Moon stars English actress Linda Bassett in an uncanny re-creation of Stein and Linda Hunt (The Year of Living Dangerously (1982)) as Alice B. Toklas. Also featured is '80s teen star Andrew McCarthy; he plays Henry Hopper, a young American off to fight the war in Spain who thumbs a ride with Stein & Toklas. The film won the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival and debuted on the PBS series American Playhouse.

The DVD release of Waiting for the Moon includes a 30-minute interview with director Jill Godmilow. In the segment, Godmilow basically interviews herself, posing and then answering questions like "what was the inspiration for the film?" She discusses the creative license taken with the story. Godmilow admits that Waiting for the Moon is all fiction and there is only one "true" biographical fact in the movie – that "On the Trail of a Lonesome Pine" was Stein's favorite song. She also talks about time being compressed; all the celebrities Stein encounters in Waiting for the Moon were not in her life at the same time.

One of the most interesting parts of the interview focuses on casting Waiting for the Moon. The director set out with the intention of not casting famous names or look alikes. There's a joke made about asking Ben Kingsley to play Stein as he was used to playing famous figures. Originally Godmilow wanted Linda Hunt to play Gertrude Stein. Hunt, however, had other ideas. She wanted to play Alice. Godmilow agreed, if Hunt could find her a Gertrude.

Godmilow also discusses the title of the film. The working title had been On the Trail of the Lonesome Pine. But there was a hitch; another film with the same name was about to be re-released. So Godmilow had about 48-hours to find a new title for her film. During production, a shorthand description had been used to name each scene. Waiting for the Moon had been shorthand for the movie's final scene. Out of desperation, they went with it. Godmilow admits she always hated the title.

While reviews for Waiting for the Moon seemed to agree on its pacing – they ranged from the negatively-phrased "slow"to the more positively-spun "chamber music"-- the film holds interest as a character study and Stein fans will likely be intrigued with Bassett's performance. Godmilow's interview also makes for nice supplemental material. It does just what a bonus feature should – encourages a second viewing of the film.

For more information about Waiting for the Moon, visit Facets Multimedia. To order Waiting for the Moon, go to TCM Shopping.

by Stephanie Thames
Waiting For The Moon - Gertrude Stein & Alice B. Toklas On Film - Waiting For The Moon On Dvd

Waiting For the Moon - Gertrude Stein & Alice B. Toklas on Film - WAITING FOR THE MOON on DVD

The made-for-PBS film Waiting for the Moon (1987) tells the story of expatriate writer Gertrude Stein and partner Alice B. Toklas. Rather than a factual biography, Waiting for the Moon is more of a mood piece; it opens a small window into the pair's life in France in the 1930s. Stein, who left the U.S. for France in 1902, regularly entertained writers and artists in her salon at 27 Rue de Fleurus. Ernest Hemmingway, for example, as depicted in the film, was a frequent guest. Waiting for the Moon stars English actress Linda Bassett in an uncanny re-creation of Stein and Linda Hunt (The Year of Living Dangerously (1982)) as Alice B. Toklas. Also featured is '80s teen star Andrew McCarthy; he plays Henry Hopper, a young American off to fight the war in Spain who thumbs a ride with Stein & Toklas. The film won the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival and debuted on the PBS series American Playhouse. The DVD release of Waiting for the Moon includes a 30-minute interview with director Jill Godmilow. In the segment, Godmilow basically interviews herself, posing and then answering questions like "what was the inspiration for the film?" She discusses the creative license taken with the story. Godmilow admits that Waiting for the Moon is all fiction and there is only one "true" biographical fact in the movie – that "On the Trail of a Lonesome Pine" was Stein's favorite song. She also talks about time being compressed; all the celebrities Stein encounters in Waiting for the Moon were not in her life at the same time. One of the most interesting parts of the interview focuses on casting Waiting for the Moon. The director set out with the intention of not casting famous names or look alikes. There's a joke made about asking Ben Kingsley to play Stein as he was used to playing famous figures. Originally Godmilow wanted Linda Hunt to play Gertrude Stein. Hunt, however, had other ideas. She wanted to play Alice. Godmilow agreed, if Hunt could find her a Gertrude. Godmilow also discusses the title of the film. The working title had been On the Trail of the Lonesome Pine. But there was a hitch; another film with the same name was about to be re-released. So Godmilow had about 48-hours to find a new title for her film. During production, a shorthand description had been used to name each scene. Waiting for the Moon had been shorthand for the movie's final scene. Out of desperation, they went with it. Godmilow admits she always hated the title. While reviews for Waiting for the Moon seemed to agree on its pacing – they ranged from the negatively-phrased "slow"to the more positively-spun "chamber music"-- the film holds interest as a character study and Stein fans will likely be intrigued with Bassett's performance. Godmilow's interview also makes for nice supplemental material. It does just what a bonus feature should – encourages a second viewing of the film. For more information about Waiting for the Moon, visit Facets Multimedia. To order Waiting for the Moon, go to TCM Shopping. by Stephanie Thames

Quotes

Trivia

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States January 21, 1987

Released in United States March 1987

Released in United States March 20, 1987

Released in United States September 1990

Released in United States Spring March 1, 1987

Shown at Museum of Modern Art, New York City in the series "American Playhouse Ten Years of Independent Filmmaking" September 21 & 22, 1990.

Shown at United States Film Festival Park City, Utah January 21, 1987.

Broadcast over American television on June 15, 1987.

Released in USA on video.

Began shooting July 7, 1986.

Released in United States January 21, 1987 (Shown at United States Film Festival Park City, Utah January 21, 1987.)

Released in United States March 1987 (New York City)

Released in United States Spring March 1, 1987

Released in United States March 20, 1987 (Los Angeles)

Released in United States September 1990 (Shown at Museum of Modern Art, New York City in the series "American Playhouse Ten Years of Independent Filmmaking" September 21 & 22, 1990.)