Pop culture from Southern California and beyond.

Val Kilmer as Mark Twain — real genius?

val kilmer mark twain

Photo by Lisa Brenner

A limited run of Val Kilmer's one-man-play, "Citizen Twain," comes to an end Wednesday, leaving audiences to wonder a while about hair glue, racial slurs, mouth sounds and the curiosity of Churchillian drift.

Kilmer's Masonic Lodge series at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery was designed for feedback, and a post-show Q & A included a viewing of the actor becoming unglued, literally, as he was taken out of hair and makeup.

But even with the public unmasking, the show itself remained a mystery. Kilmer clearly knows more about Twain than we do, yet he chose not to share it in the dialogue, waiting instead to create a compelling character portrait after the main event spectacle.

With a perplexing storyline, stand-up comedy awkwardness, lo-fi imagery and jarring contemporary references, the teleprompter-guided Twainfest did just about everything thinkable to hide the actual show from the audience.


Francis Ford Coppola's 'TWIXT': Director as DJ, allowing live movie editing

The trailer just came out for Francis Ford Coppola's new movie, "TWIXT":

It may look like a standard suspense/horror flick on the surface, but I saw Coppola show off what's really interesting about this movie at Comic-Con. He pulled out a tablet computer and showed the crowd that he could rearrange the scenes on the fly.

Coppola explained that, for example, if things were going well, he could go with the long version of a scene, or if he wanted to speed things up, he could go with the short version of the scene. He demonstrated this by playing an extended trailer, then making all the scenes with Val Kilmer, who was also there, a bit longer with some added footage.

Composer Dan Deacon was also there to provide variations on the film's score. Coppola and Deacon plan to tour the film to 30 cities this fall, giving live performances of the movie with 30 cities potentially getting 30 different cuts of the movie.