December 4, 2005|I expected Neil Jordan to be towering, imposing. From what I'd read, he was a taciturn interview given to long silences and confusing discursions--and from the intelligence of his films, I wondered if I'd be able to keep up with his sources and references. But for a man responsible for some of the most challenging, courageous, and beautiful films of the modern era (Mona Lisa, The Crying Game, now Breakfast on Pluto), Mr. Jordan came off as an everyday Joe (with a light Irish brogue) still amazed by the possibilities of the medium and still feeling his way through the business. His pictures always seem to be fairytales: No matter their subject matter, there are princes and maidens, wolves and woods. (Jordan's most underestimated work (and one of my favourites), In Dreams, is entirely an evocation of fugue states.) As he was on the verge of ordering an espresso, I assured him that this place--Denver's four-star Panzano restaurant--knew how to brew tea properly (in a pot, on the table). Amused, he looked me over and said, "I suppose you'd know. Tea it is."