So How is the Icelandic Volcano Screwing Up Hollywood Today?


How do you say "international clusterf*ck" in Icelandic? That's easy: Eyjafjallajokull. This language lesson is brought to you by the country's volcano of the same name, whose ongoing eruption has frozen air travel into, out of and around much of Europe. And today, by extension, the movie business is experiencing a bit of a pinch.

The biggest such development yet to come out of the Eyjafjallajokull eruption occurred this morning in Hollywood, where Marvel and Paramount made the executive decision to relocate their Iron Man 2 premiere and junket from the even ashier- and sootier-than-usual London to the milder climes of Los Angeles. In the more immediate term, Magnolia Pictures' plans to promote its new drama The Good Heart in New York on Tuesday were complicated by lead actor Brian Cox's inability to get a flight out of the U.K. His co-star Paul Dano and director Dagur Kári (an Icelander! Crazy!) will now do the press and premiere rounds on their own.

Also in New York, a delegation of filmmakers in town for Lincoln Center's ongoing Swedish cinema series are marooned in Manhattan; a member of the country's film commission says she's is traveling to meet them, but none of the Swedes have any concrete dates or times to return home.

Speaking of national film commissions, the 25th Association of Film Commissioners International convention is underway in Santa Monica, with this instant-classic exchange overheard near the Icelandic group's table:

"Your volcano is keeping our DVDs from getting to the Cannes office!" one woman bellowed to two Icelandic commissioners, who already were in the middle of explaining the eruption to an attendee.

"It's a natural disaster; there's nothing you can do," says Hlyner Gudjonsson, shrugging. "It's a once-in-200-years event."

That's precisely the point! Obviously by now you should have figured out how to host volcanic eruptions with minimum disruption to the international community. Get it together, already.