Sunday, 8 May 2011

Public Enemy Number 1 (Film News - 07/05/11)

It's been a strange week. On the one hand the non film related news completely dominated everywhere you looked from the defeat of AV and the local election results in the UK - as interesting as they were it's not as big as a general election so I didn't get into it as much as last year, apart from the AV vote the most significant impact was the Scottish National Party taking a majority in Scotland so we may expect a Referendum for Scottish independence at some point in the next 5 years - to the fallout from Bin Ladens death. Oddly that brings me on to my first piece of film news:

Kill Bin Laden

It didn't take 24 hours following the "execution" of Osama Bin Laden (note we are still a long way from finding out the facts about that day, I suspect we never will, I hope every effort was made to capture Bin Laden alive and to bring him to trial and it is unfortunate that in the heat of the moment he was killed. Of course with the continued pro-democracy demonstrations throughout the Middle East I think we can say that Bin Laden largely failed in his efforts to create a third world war - democratic Islam will succeed) before Hollywood jumped on the bandwagon. To be fair Kathryn Bigelow and her Hurt Locker scribe Mark Boal had already put together the elements for this as a quickie to film whilst waiting for location work for Triple Frontier to be completed. Of course the end of the movie, which is set to star Joel Edgerton, may now have to be changed but I doubt there's going to be much revision.

I would question whether it's worth doing. Whilst Bin Laden (below) was alive a film about the Coalition obsession with a middle aged figurehead and their fruitless attempts to locate him might have been darkly satirical and politically on-the-nose. Now it feels like jingoism.

What do you think? Should we see a movie that depicts the chase? What will the world think of a film that seemingly approves of his demise? Feel free to comment.

Read on for a very bad day, high school shenanigans, crime bosses, , art heists, New York musicals as well as a whole load of castings and a look at what's started production.

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

With a plot that sounds much like Virginia Woolfe's Mrs Dalloway - we follow a character throughout their day where nothing particularly extraordinary happens - Judith Viorst's 1972 children's book (left) about the eponymous Alexander and his endless trials and tribulations has a huge following in America (it's not one that's endured as a classic elsewhere) so it's no surprise to see it's eventual adaptation into a live action big screen adventure. I'm curious to see what they do with it - the stakes appear a little low for a movie - although we can hope a modern children's classic can be the result there really aren't enough of them these days.

Bitch Posse

Whilst on the subject of films that are clearly not being made with me in mind Martha O'Connor's coming of age drama (left) is set to take the leap to celluloid courtesy of Twilight director Catherine Hardwicke. I know what you're thinking - Ben you hated Red Riding Hood what makes you think she can direct a decent film? - well the thing is this reminds me a lot of the basic premise of her Thirteen which really captured the difficulties of passing through teenage years unscathed by peer pressure. Bitch Posse concerns a group of teens from broken homes who form a group to support each other, but it all becomes dark and obsessive before a terrible incident splits them apart for 20 years.

Gotti: 3 Generations

I've kind of been avoiding this bizarre combination of John Travolta (and family), Joe Pesci and Lindsay Lohan in the epic look at the New York Crime family over several (um, 3) generations partly because I erroneously thought it was a TV project. So several weeks into production, with the directorial chair being taken over by Barry Levinson who has form with true life gangsters (Bugsy, 1991), I've started to tune into it. As an audience we have a long-time love affair with the gangster so there's little doubt this will succeed, my only hope is that Levinson manages to rein in the excesses that both Travolta and Pesci are capable of.

How I Live Now

Kevin Macdonald, who's currently licking his wounds after the critical and commercial backlash from The Eagle is in desperate need for a hit. Odd then that he's going to young adult fiction for inspiration. Tony Grisoni and Jeremy Brock will be adapting Meg Rosoff's novel (left) about a 15 year old New Yorker visiting Britain, falling for her cousin and becoming separated from news of her family due to war (a fake war I feel the need to point out, although it would be something if the UK and USA were cut off during war, something not even the Nazi's could do). The project will be shopped at Cannes later this month. Look out for a frantic and vaguely familiar search for a leading actress towards the end of the year.


You might think Danny Boyle wouldn't have time to make a movie right now, what with the National Theatre production of Frankenstein doing so well under his direction and only just over a year before the London Olympic opening ceremony (I'm still waiting for the call to be a blue triangle), however he's going to squeeze in a quick picture in the interim. We know next to nothing about the project right now, other than it's about an art heist that goes wrong leading to dark unpredictable consequences for the protagonists, Michael Fassbender may star, and Christian Coulson will be producing for his third collaboration with Boyle in a row. Certainly one to keep an eye on, but don't expect to see the final picture until 2013 at the earliest. And Danny, I've got all the moves sorted, please call.

Untitled Baz Luhrmann Project

Although he's pretty much committed to The Great Gatsby adaptation - although maybe not with 3D - Baz has still been chatting to MTV as part of his 10 year Moulin Rouge celebrations during which he slipped some other details of his other competing project. Frankly not much detail though. Essentially all we know is it's based in New York in the 1970's and whilst not a musical will strongly use the music from the period to create ambience. So nothing really, but I thought you'd like to know. Personally I had images in my head of Odyssey so I'm going to share:

Casting News

There have been the usual rounds of casting calls for this week. Some like Nicole Kidman seriously considering Our Wild Life are very exciting, others like Roberto Benigni possibly taking a role in Woody Allen's Rome adventure The Wrong Picture (note the confirmed title) are fascinating but probably won't significantly affect my likelihood of watching the movie. We've also heard Laura Linney is set to join Hyde Park in Hudson as FDR's cousin, Rachel Weisz will be a wicked witch in Oz, the Great and Powerful and Quentin Tarantino is pushing for Will Smith in his forthcoming Western Django Unchained. Finally there has been a torrent of casting on Steven Spielberg's Lincoln, joining Daniel Day-Lewis as honest Abe and Sally Field as Mary Todd will be Tommy Lee Jones, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Hal Holbrook and John Hawkes, meaning it's going to be one of the most exciting casts of next year - can't wait.

Production News

In my monthly ferret around imdb I found loads of films we've already mentioned here that are now showing up within the pre-production of development. The darkly comic duo of The Games they Play (set at a dinner party) and Bumped (in an airport) have returned to the database following an unexplained absence, as has Paul Thomas Anderson's religious drama The Master and the faux documentary about the Zombie Apocalypse World War Z. The Wrong Picture, Gotti: 3 Generations, Django Unchained (although oddly with a working title) and How I live Now have all merited mentions elsewhere in the news. Which leaves only Ben Affleck's CIA masquerading as movie makers picture Argo.

Chemins de l'Orgeuil

Oh and this little movie from A Man and a Woman director Claude Lelouch. Frankly it's been a while since one of his films made it across the channel but fingers crossed. Details are a bit sketchy right now. It's listed on imdb as an Adventure Comedy and the title translates to "Paths of Pride".


Andrew: Encore Entertainment said...

I'm not sure what to think of this Bin Laden film. For one, Bigelow gives me a bad feeling. I don't know what, but she just seems a bit insincere at times.

Generally, though, I'm generally unsure about how I feel about his death and the way it was executed. But, I'm not American so...I suppose I don't count.

Runs Like A Gay said...

That's a very cynical comment (second paragraph), although I see your point. Right now the public opinion in America appears to support the action and I doubt any voices we have as overseas commentators will be drowned out - for now at least.

I hoope she just abandons the project and sticks to a star studded drugs movie, I want Traffic 2.

Runs Like A Gay said...

That's a very cynical comment (second paragraph), although I see your point. Right now the public opinion in America appears to support the action and I doubt any voices we have as overseas commentators will be drowned out - for now at least.

I hoope she just abandons the project and sticks to a star studded drugs movie, I want Traffic 2.