Posts Tagged ‘Woody Allen’

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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Authorexecobit: Steven Bach

March 31, 2009

Heaven’s Gate is one of those legendary Hollywood disasters that actually lives up to its reputation. Yep, it’s ambitious, telling the story of a Wyoming range war in the style of Soviet social realism. It looks like money has been thrown on the screen: writer-director Michael Cimino built a town complete with working street-car. It’s incredibly long, clocking in at nearly four hours. At times it’s inexplicable, as when half-an-hour is spend watching a Harvard graduation scene that was actually lensed in Oxford. It’s also unbearable.

Steven Bach was the United Artists studio executive who fell on his sword when Heaven’s Gate was released in 1980. Its $7.5 million budget had nearly quintupled. Cimino’s magnum opus was jeered out of theatres. Its failure led to United Artists’ collapse, and the death knell was sounded for the second golden age of Hollywood cinema. But Bach had the last laugh with 1985’s Final Cut: Dreams and Disaster in the Making of Heaven’s Gate, an account which has become a textbook on how not to make a film. Bach died of cancer in Vermont last Wednesday, aged 70.

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Woody Allen’s “Tails of Manhattan”

March 29, 2009

woody-allenWe heard this a while back and decided not to post about it because it was assumed the Showers following would not be interested. Then it was remembered that we had no following and could do what we liked. Now that your blogger has paid tribute to Isadora Duncan with a naked dance around the apartment and eaten three bowls of chocolate chip ice cream, here is Woody Allen’s latest piece of fiction for the New Yorker.

The Slate: Nicole Fiddy Barcelona

March 26, 2009

nicole-kidman

  • Nicole Kidman must have read our foaming over Freida Pinto and thought to herself, “I remember when Squally used to do that to me.” So she’s also decided to sign up for Woody Allen‘s London-set latest. Among the others trying to get her to unfreeze her face are Josh Brolin, Antonio Banderas, and Kidman’s BFF Naomi Watts. The average age of the cast is 44, boding well for fans of adult film. (Variety)
  • 50 Cent was all excited about appearing in The Expendables when … oh wait, seems 50 Cent has NO intention of being in Sylvester Stallone‘s tribute to steroid-ravaged flesh. His rep says that Curtis Jackson is too busy finishing his latest album. So Stallone has gone straight back to the Bad Actor Well and pulled out Terry Crews as a replacement. Which leaves only Brian Bosworth to sign on the dotted line … (MTV News)
  • After Mel Gibson’s adrenalized Christ, it was only a matter of time before other Biblical heroes got in on the action. Now Methusaleh will be doing a little Assyrian-kicking. The long-lived Hebrew is the subject of a forthcoming “elevated action thriller” from Warner Bros. and director James Watkins (Eden Lake). Now if only someone will listen to our Judas Maccabeus pitch. (Variety)
  • We’ve had news of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, Monopoly, Candyland, and Ouija. So why not Major Matt Mason? Tom Hanks has expressed an interest in a film based on the 1960s astronaut toy line, to be written by Graham Yost (Speed). Mason and his team worked on the moon, but lived on a space station. Must have been a helluva commute. Hanks is serious–he even brought his Mason toy collection to the meeting. Strewth. (Variety)
  • Fools rush in where angels fear to tread, and your blogger has never set foot in Gossip Girl‘s world. But the news that Brittany Snow and Jessica Szohr will star in indie drama Walks is bound to make somebody go “OMG!” The RZA, Emmanuelle Chriqui and Bruce Willis’ daughter will also appear in the film, about a group of New Yorkers eagerly awaiting a graffiti legend to emerge from prison. (MTV News)

New Directors, New Films, Old Themes

March 25, 2009

ndnf-2009A few months ago, NPR ran a rather gratuitous item of how reviewer/jester Mike D’Angelo was raising money through his blog so he could go to Cannes. Why he couldn’t just stay at home and wait for the good movies to come to the United States like the rest of us was beyond this blogger, but we came to understand his dilemma on finding that there’s a Hollis Frampton retrospective on at the Anthology Film Archives this weekend. Anybody want to lend a broke blogger $9 to see Zorns Lemma? Thought not.

All of which is a way of saying that reader, we are poor. Hence, reader, we will not be attending the New Directors/New Filmsseries running at the New York’s MOMA and Walter Reade Theatre until April 5. Much to our shame, we didn’t even realize the festival was on. Fortunately, other writers are paid to pay attention. What follows is a summary of what to see if you’re seeing ND/NF 2009.

In the Village Voice, Nick Pinkerton looks at the 39th edition of the fest and decides yep, it’s old. And that you never know what you’re gonna get. But you can get a good idea via the paper’s useful interviews with film directors Ondi Timoner (We Live in Public), Esther Rots (Can Go Through Skin), So Yong Kim (Treeless Mountain), Sophie Barthes (Cold Souls), and Louie Psihoyos (The Cove).

Other writers take a more structural approach. In the New York Times, Stephen Holden wants him some of that A.O. Scott/Richard Brody bloodbath, boldly affirming what he calls “social realism” as “humanistic art with an educational frisson.” That’s the keynote of this year’s fest, with something of an “internationalist tone.” Indiewire’s Howard Feinstein identifies “home” as a key theme, although the way he expresses don’t half make the head hurt:

Be it a villa or shanty, a dwelling is a sacrosanct extension of our bodies, our psyches, our values, our souls, humankind projected into architectural form.

Grab some aspirin, and take a survey of what to expect (and with trailers) after the jump.
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Freida Pinto: The Next Art-House Babe?

March 25, 2009

Freida Pinto must have a very strong head on her shoulders to keep it from spinning off. Just months ago she was the star of a film destined to go straight-to-video. Now Slumdog Millionaire is an irresistible Oscar-winner and Pinto is the fresh face of the Third World. The 24-year-old unknown, formerly a Mumbai model who didn’t even start taking acting lessons until Millionaire wrapped, also has her pick of projects. Even stranger: she appears to be making smart choices.

Variety has broken the news that Pinto has signed on to appear in Julien Schnabel’s follow-up to The Diving Bell and the Butterfly. Miral could be a movie that causes a lot of trouble. It’s the story of a Jerusalem orphanage which witnessed the tremendous upheaval in Palestine following the establishment of Israel in the 1940s. Pinto stars alongside Hiam Abbas, who will play Hind Husseini.
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Your Hell of Hells: Star Wars Comes to TV

March 11, 2009

star-warsIf before you didn’t know or care who Rose Byrne was, now you will . She’s the actress who has spilt some minor beans on George Lucas‘ forthcoming TV version of Star Wars. According to MTV’s Movies Blog, the actress let slip during a junket for Nicolas Cage’s latest gift to the world, Knowing, that casting for Leave It to Georgehad indeed begin. One can imagine a horde of sleepy junketeers shaking themselves back awake at the news, but to be honest, we’re not entirely sure about the volume of Eric Ditzian’s scoop.

“During the junket for the Nicolas Cage thriller “Knowing,” star Rose Byrne let slip that Team Lucas is casting a wide net for actors to join the show. “A lot of my friends have been auditioning for it,” she said.”

So that “wide net” is roughly the circumference of Rose Byrne’s friends. We’d tell you who those friends are, but Rose won’t make us a buddy on her Facebook page. If you’re unimpressed by Lucas’ casting skills, Byrne doesn’t sound very excited either.
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Tribeca Film Festival Gets Allen, Dick, Destitution, and Downsized!

March 10, 2009

whatever-worksThere’s been a lot of upheaval in Tribeca’s world lately. In February, we learned that Sundance’s longtime director Geoffrey Gilmore was becoming the fest’s chief creative officer, a move tantamount to learning that during the Battle of Gettysburg, George C. Meade turned up behind Confederate battle lines and saying, “Let me take care of this.” Now, Variety has unveiled this year’s line-up, and the real story is how the economic downturn has given the festival its two thumbs down.

Prepare to hear the screaming of a thousand bloggers as it’s announced that the number of media passes has been reduced! Boggle at the news that the number of films has suffered a 28% decrease! Punch your computer screen when you learn that those heartless bastards at Cadillac and Target withdrew as sponsors! And, if you’re interested in the latest releases from names like Woody Allen, Kirby Dick, and Jose Padilha, then please continue reading after the jump!

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