Starring: Alec Baldwin, James Toback, Martin Scorsese, Ryan Gosling, Jessica Chastain, Francis Ford Coppola, Diane Kruger, Roman Polanski, James Caan, Bernardo Bertolucci, Berenice Bejo

Directed by: James Toback

Synopsis: An exploration of several interconnected subjects: The Cannes Film Festival, cinema art, money, glamour and death.

Seduced and Abandoned is an HBO documentary about the near impossible task of getting funding for a movie. It is set during the Cannes film festival and features some impressive interviewees. It’s an interesting documentary for anyone who is into film’s and also a thoroughly depressing and predictable film for anyone who has tried to make a film or would like to.

Baldwin and Toback come up with an idea for a erotic romance set in Iraq starring Baldwin and, bizarrely, Neve Campbell. I presume this film is made up, which would mean Neve Campbell is in on the joke. If she wasn’t, then I can only imagine she would be extremely hurt that this film exists, as it does nothing if not let the world know that Neve Campbell hasn’t been in a decent movie in about fifteen years. Seriously, the amount of producers who are willing to invest their money plummets as soon as her name is mentioned.

Baldwin and Toback talk to old school directors like Scorsese, Polanski and Coppola about trying to get funding, and they all agree it is nigh on impossible now. Well, Scorsese seems to be doing OK, but the others, no chance. And these are guys who have made some of the best films of all time. The stereotypical money men cliche’s such as ‘it needs more guns, it needs more car chases, it needs more sex” are all present and correct. At one point Baldwin is asked if they could perhaps put a submarine in the movie because he is associated with Hunt For Red October.

Baldwin and Toback have a riot trying to get these billionaires to part with their (not so) hard earned cash. All the time they get to carouse on luxury yachts, eat fine food and drink expensive champagne. It looks a lot of fun, and there are some good stories to be heard. Ryan Gosling is a particular highlight, as is Jessica Chastain who is genuinely cheerful. It is the old brigade like James Caan who appear to be most tired, bitter and hacked off with the industry and it’s limited use for older actors.

Whether Seduced or Abandoned was ever intended as anything more than a mockumentary I have no idea, but it’s certainly an interesting look behind the scenes at film festivals and film financing. That coupled with some big name contributors and you have a film that should appeal to most movie fans.

3.5 clappers

About thomasjford

I like Movies and Music and most things popular culture.


  1. Nice. Totally going to check this one out!

  2. I love it! I’m completely curious and I bet you are right–it’s a mockumentary that’s completely legit. Thank God for Indy films. Just as the writing industry has completely changed, so too, has the film industry.

  3. Thanks for this introducing this film, Tom! Added it to my TBW list.

  4. A curious sounding film. Neat review.

  5. Never heard of it – sounds intriguing though!

  6. Wow man…this actually looks brilliant. Since I do want to get into film-making and all…I find this stuff incredibly interesting!

    • It’s a solid, funny documentary, with some real good interviewees. Mind you, if you wanted to get into film making, this might put you off. It doesn’t offer a lot of hope that you would ever get funded!!

      • My screenwriting dreams will come true one day….OKAY THOMAS!

        (Reality sucks)….

      • Hah, same here man. One day. For sure. Why wouldn’t they? 😉

      • Speaking of! How is that screenwriting idea you had coming along? (I should go check the post but I figure why not just ask here…)

      • The second poll closes on Monday, I will then do a new post asking for ideas people have for characters. These can be suggested in the comments section. After that, another post where people can contribute any ideas for scenes, dialogue and just about anything else they can think of. Just see if we can form anything even slightly cohesive!

      • Oh yes…closing dates slipped my mind! Really have to go take a look again haha!

      • Get voting man! At the moment, I think (I also need to look again!) we are heading for a high school set comedy.

  7. I’ve been repeatedly told that the only way to get a film made these days is to go out and shoot it yourself on an i-phone….

  8. Huh interesting! I hadn’t heard about this documentary. It definitely sounds depressing.

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