Kumar Pallana, the source of many charming characters in Wes Anderson films, passed away yesterday. I know he's better known as Gene Hackman's assistant in The Royal Tenenbaums, but my favorite role of his comes from Bottle Rocket. His entirely nonplussed demeanor as the heist goes to hell, coupled with his line reading of, "I don't know man, I don't know" as Owen Wilson screams at him has me in tears every time. He had excellent roles in other films, like Another Earth, and his sweet face will be missed.
In happier news, and a piece that makes my childhood heart soar, a documentary about the creation of the wonderful novel The Phantom Tollboth is about ready for release. I love the cutout animation that's telling the story, and writer Norton Juster along with illustrator Jules Feiffer look pleased to have their story told. If you aren't familiar with the source material you can watch the Chuck Jones adaptation here, or you should get to the library and pick up the book.
Tomorrow Ryan has some thoughts about Alfonso Cuaron's Gravity, and the In Appreciation series returns this Sunday.