'Darjeeling' adds front, rear
EmptyWhen Wes Anderson's "The Darjeeling Limited" expands Friday to about 600-700 screens, moviegoers will get two unexpected treats: his 13-minute "Part 1" intro to the film, "Hotel Chevalier," and the first big-screen glimpse of star Natalie Portman's bare derriere.
Anderson shot "Chevalier" on his own dime a year before the feature as the back story for the character of "Darjeeling" co-star/co-screenwriter Jason Schwartzman. Anderson debated whether the tale of a reunion between two estranged lovers should be shown with the film (as it screened during its New York Film Festival premiere) or kept separate. He eventually decided to release it for free on Apple's iTunes Store three days before "Darjeeling's" limited release Sept. 29 and slot it as a DVD extra.
The big-screen "Chevalier" bow capitalizes on Portman's decision to do nude scenes after years spent resisting it. She asked director Mike Nichols to remove the nudity from her portrayal of a stripper in "Closer" and used a body double in Milos Forman's "Goya's Ghosts."
There's nothing prurient about Portman's nudity — aside from the rear shot, there's another that shows her like a statue from the side in a pose that wouldn't be out of place in an Annie Leibovitz photo shoot.
Carl DiOrio contributed to this report.