Posts Tagged ‘Gus Van Sant’

The Slate: Twilight, Jean-Luc Godard and Mountain Goats

March 17, 2010

Gus van Sant, Sofia Coppola, Bill Condon … are any of them crazy enough to say “yes” to directing an installment of Twilight: Breaking Dawn? Probably not. Y’know, van Sant just might do it. (EW)

The line-up of this year’s 32nd Cinema du Reel Film Festival in Paris will include Godard/Mieville’s The Old Place and Reportage Amateur, as well as Richard Dindo’s promising Gaugin in Tahiti and the Marquesas Islands. Fest kicks off on March 18. (Cineuropa)

Speaking of Godard: “His devotion to the concept of the archive—including archival footage—is based in a sense of the object’s relic-like, totemic power that transcends evocation and memory to achieve a quasi-metaphysical incarnation of the past that restores its force through mythopoetic power, through the fact of its iconic contact with the past.” Right. (The Front Row)

Rian Johnson’s Life of the World to Come, starring the Mountain Goats’ John Darnielle, is released on DVD on Record Store Day, sounds a lot like that Jonsi doc, Go Quiet. (Pitchfork)

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Fist of Film: Matt Damon’s Bottom Five

March 12, 2010

Matt Damon has enjoyed quite a ride. The game-changing Bourne trilogy transformed him from the only Oscar-winning Bruce Weber pin-up into a muscular box office behemoth. The WMD thriller Green Zone reunites Damon with director Paul Greengrass and looks set to reap further millions this weekend. It wasn’t always, thus, however. Here’s a look at the Cambridge-born star’s least profitable earners, written in the hope hidden gems will be uncovered and bitter laughs had. Box office figures are kindly taken from Box Office Mojo.

Geronimo: An American Legend (1993)
Box office: $18,635,620
A beardless Damon tags along as part of a party led by Robert Duvall, who applies his best grizzle to the role of an Indian hunter. Duvall’s white whale is the legendary Apache renegade Geronimo (Wes Studi). Released after the success of Unforgiven, the film doesn’t so much revise history as honor the facts. For Damon’s teen following, it moved with all the pace of a three-legged horse. Genre expert Walter Hill (The Warriors) directed a script from John Milius (Red Dawn) and Larry Gross.

All the Pretty Horses (2000)
Box office: $15,540,353
Pairing director Billy Bob Thornton with the 1992 National Book Award-winner seemed like a good idea at the time, as the Sling Blade star had yet to go full lunatic. The material is Cormac McCarthy, so there’s the inevitable run by a Texas teen (Damon) ‘cross the border, where he breaks some horses and falls for a simmering Penelope Cruz. It was all too elegiac for the studio, who hacked Thornton’s original three-hour cut and left the film to languish at the box office. What’s left is a great novel with palsy.

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Gus Van Sant Gets on the Bus

April 13, 2009

electric-kool-aid-acid-testTime Out New York‘s breezy Frame-Up breaks the news that Gus Van Sant will direct the movie of Tom Wolfe‘s Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test. Alas, the story of how the blog found out is about as convoluted as the Sargossa Manuscript. It apparently involves a Tweet about a Tweet from Gus Van Sant. Van Sant had no sooner written that he was directing the movie, when his Tweet disappeared into the cybernetic void. This also describes several acid tests we’ve enjoyed in the past.

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Punch Drunks: Sean Penn to Play Larry Stooge?

March 25, 2009

the-three-stooges
Buried in the rear of the Milk DVD is a clip where Sean Penn‘s Harvey Milk dresses as a clown and canvasses a streetcar. No context is given for this bizarre behavior, but the deleted scene may give an indication of where Hollywood’s moodiest sonuvabitch is headed. Now Variety is reporting that Penn is going to play the immortal Larry Fine in the Farrelly Brothers’ Three Stooges.

No, you didn’t just imagine that. Feel free to read the first paragraph again.

There’s no doubt that Penn can do comedy–Exhibit A: Shanghai Surprise Fast Times at Ridgemont High. Is there any room for drama? Not exactly. Before Larry Fine joined the Stooges he was a fiddler. As Wikipedia notes, “in many of the Stooge shorts, Fine did more reacting than acting.” Stooge director Charles Lamont said, “Larry was a nut. He was the kind of guy who always said anything. He was a yapper.” He also loved gambling so much that when the plug was pulled on the Stooges shorts in 1957, the spendthrift Fine was left nearly penniless.

We’re in. Dammit, WE’RE IN. With Penn’s kudos attached to the film, the Farrellys may also be able to score the next two pieces of the puzzle. MGM are negotiating with Jim Carrey to play Curly and Benicio del Toro has been asked to play Moe.

No, you didn’t just imagine that. Feel free to read the last paragraph again. Yes, April Fool’s Day is about a week away.

Carrey is reportedly going to gain 40 pounds to play the nyuk-nyuk-nyuk half of the bunch, who many fans believed was indeed clinically insane. Variety prefer the term “seminal physical comedian.” The article also stresses that rather than telling the Stooges’ life story–which judging from what we now know of Larry might be a non-starter–the film will be “a comedy built around the antics of the three characters that Moe Howard, Larry Fine and [Curly] Howard played.” Cameras are set to roll in fall 2009, unless someone wakes up and realizes that this could well be the nuttiest movie since Gus Van Sant decided to remake Psycho shot-for-shot.

So we’ve got Harvey Milk, Andy Kaufman and Che Guevara. Anyone for Shemp?

Jon Hamm Defends the Best Minds of His Generation From Being Destroyed By Madness (Slight Return)

March 25, 2009

jon-hammAll of a sudden, everything’s coming up Allen Ginsberg. Why? Are we envious of the man’s ability to free his spirit in a conformist age? Is it because there’s a bit of a gay, Jewish, quasi-communist, beat poet inside all of us? Is it because it’s still possible to get a chill down the spine when we hear the opening lines of Howl, while “My love is like a red, red rose” just doesn’t cut it anymore? At any rate, now we’ve got not one but TWO upcoming Ginsberg projects to track. Oh, the dharma of it all!

We already know about Kill Your Darlings, the story of David Kammerer’s 1944 murder by Lucien Carr, the young Adonis who brought the various players in the beat scene together in one dysfunctional melange. Now Variety is reporting that Jon Hamm is joining the cast of Howl. The film will follow the 1957 obscenity trial against Ginsberg’s signature work. Bookseller and poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti was tried for peddling a poem that included references to drugs, sodomy and all other manner of behavior that makes Sarah Palin’s toes curl.
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Zach Efron Talks Orson Welles With Gus Van Sant

March 18, 2009

me-and-orson-wellesYes, we could link to a magazine article which includes pictures of Zac Efron rolling around in the mud. And in fact, that is exactly what we aredoing. But it’s because Efron chats to director Gus Van Sant about, among other things, his first serious role in Richard Linklater‘s Me and Orson Welles. The drama looks at Welles‘ 1937 production of Julius Caesar(the one where he updated the action to fascist Italy) through the eyes of Efron’s teenage thesp. Welles is played by Christian McKay and Eddie Marsan plays his partner-in-crime John Houseman. We’re anticipating egos, ballerinas, and lots of eating.

VAN SANT: I wanted to ask you about this Richard Linklater film. Is it Orson and Me?
EFRON: Me and Orson Welles.
VAN SANT: Where did you shoot that?
EFRON: Rick was brilliant, because he found this great theater on the Isle of Man, which, after a little bit of work, looked a whole lot like the Mercury Theatre did in 1937. We took a beautiful theater and made it look rusty and old and dusty, and, once we filled it with extras dressed in 1930s attire, the place was very believable. It even smelled like an old theater. It was pretty neat because we were basically stuck there—you know, we couldn’t leave. There was nowhere to go on the Isle of Man. So we lived in that theater for several weeks. It was fun and exciting, but it was also kind of maddening. I went a little bit insane.

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