Sunday, 30 January 2011

But has it been worth the wait? (Film News - 29/01/11)

This weeks news has been dominated by the Oscar nominations on Tuesday morning, althugh a few other stories caught my eye. More on which later. With regards to the Academy as always we can bemoan and criticise their choices, there was an odd omission in the director category and a surprise inclusion in both foreign language and Documentary (Banksy for the Oscar!) but on the whole I think they did very well this year. In all of the categories there is a general level of quality, indeed I haven't spotted a single nomination that I disagree with (even though there are some I think we're better there's nothing bad in there). This probably speaks to the quality of films and work going into them that we've seen in the last 12 months.

I repeat what I said on Tuesday and congratulate the first time nominees (I'd especially like to congratulate Christian Bale and John Hawkes both of whom will get two mentions on the blog today), and I very much hope that the added exposure from gaining a nod helps you find more rewarding and enjoyable work in the future.

Right now though, it's back to the real news...

The Other Side of the Wind

Moves occasionally disappear in a mire of post-production woes, it's a sad fact of life that money, time and talent all run out and whn then do it often leaves the central piece in limbo. Many never complete filming (The Man who Killed Don Quixote, Nailed), some disappear in endless editing (Margaret) and still more get blocked by legal bickering and money men (La Mula). Most of these are forgotten with time, but some become legendary and so it is with Orson Welles (below) last directorial job. Locked in an French vault in the early 1970's the John Huston and Jeanne Moreau starrer has languished whilst various parties sort out the rights, but now seems to be edging closer to a cinematic release.

LA lawyer Kenneth Sidle told the Observer: “We are in negotiations for the picture, which would lead to the finishing and public exhibition. Hopefully within the next few weeks we will know.”

All of which we've heard before a number of times, but you can guarantee that if Wind does get a release I'll be right at the front of the queue.

Read on for a possible Poe trend, erotic thrillers, some unsurprising casting news and the latest release schedule changes.

The Pale Blue Eye

The Wrap are reporting Scott "Crazy Heart" Cooper is set to write and direct his next project for Fox 2000. Whilst no plot details have yet been announced it's inferred elsewhere this could be an adpatation of Louis Bayard's mystery/thriller set around Edgar Allen Poe's (left) education at West Point Military Academy. Sounds like a fascinating mix of location and theme if it's true, and along with this years The Raven it could make for an exciting Poe double bill.


When was the last time Brian De Palma had a bone fide hit? Don't strain it has been a while. The good news is he's coming back to a screen near you with a English language remake of a French psychodrama Crime d'amour about fueding exes who eventually end with murder. The orginal starred Kristen Scott Thomas and Ludvine Sagnier, but I don't know if they were each others exes or exs of an unnamed third person. I expect De Palma might be drawn to the former though. In a statement he declared: “Not since Dressed to Kill have I had a chance to combine eroticism, suspense, mystery and murder into one spellbinding cinematic experience”. Which sounds great.

Casting News

The latest casting rumours from Hollywood are incredibly predictable, in fact I'm sure we've heard all of this before at some point.. Judi Dench has confirmed she will reprise the role of M in Bond 23, Paul Giamatti is in for Cosmopolis and Naomi Watts will be J. Edgar's secretary for Clint Eastwood. Did any of that shock you?

Release Dates

The Eagle - There's been another short delay for Kevin Macdonald's swords and sandals adaptation of the Rosemary Sutcliffe novel, luckily only a week for scheduling reasons this time. Test your slaves loyalty on 25 March 2011.

Scream 4 - All the rules have been changed as we return to Woodsboro for the first time in ten years for Wes Craven's classic franchise. Don't pick up the phone on 15 April 2011.

The Debt - Delayed from last year Helen Mirren Mossad drama has found a new date, Toronto reviews were generally positive but not enough for an awards run hence the hold up. Regret the past on 02 September 2011.

War Horse - Originally slated for early autumn, Spielberg's serious 2011 film about a horse that went to war (natch) disappeared from the schedules for a while, but now returns. Globe trot after your pet on 06 January 2012.

The Dark Knight Rises - This years see the return of big and bright comic book heroes with Captain America and Thor on their way but few of us can really deny we long to see the brooding Batman return in 2012. Become morally questionable in your quest to serve justice on 20 July 2012.

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