Combustible Celluloid

Interview with Joe Carnahan & Jeremy Piven

'Ace' Under Fire

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

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Joe Carnahan and Jeremy Piven are gamblers, but not in the most traditional sense. Carnahan, whose new movie Smokin' Aces opens in U.S. theaters this weekend, had never even visited Las Vegas until he was in his 30s. Driving into town with a friend to see a fight, he rolled down the window, breathed deeply and remarked, "that's the smell of human despair."

Nevertheless, Carnahan admits that he loves Vegas for all that it is. "I look at Las Vegas and I see the absolute best of what we are as Americans and I see the absolute worst, in the same city. You can't stand at the Bellagio and watch these seven story fountains and not go: 'that's something of extraordinary man-made beauty.' And at the same time, go down and get a deep-fried Oreo for a dollar on Fremont Street and realize that this is the end of Western civilization."

Please read my entire interview at

(January 8, 2007)

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