Saturday, 28 May 2011

The roar of the Engine - (Film News - 28/05/11)

It's not a classic week for film news. So much so that I'm leading with a particular sports movie from a genre with a long history of failing it's subject that is one of many potential jobs for it's high profile director. Of course post-production news has been much more exciting with Terence Malick's Tree of Life triumphantly carrying off the Palme d'Or last Sunday, to the delight of many fans of serious arthouse fare. I am still wary about the movie, which by all accounts forgoes narrative for lyricism, however I have promised Tom at Reinvention that I'll give it a go when it comes out over here and I am certainly curious about it as a piece of art.

Go Like Hell

Next week we have the UK cinema release of Formula 1 documentary Senna, you probably watched the trailer a couple of weeks ago, but as anyone who is even remotely a fan of motor racing will know that Hollywood has always failed to capture the beauty and excitement of the sport. It's therefore a muted curiosity that greets this true-life Le Mans movie about the rise of Ford as a champion constructor beating Ferrari in 1966 and focused around the relationship between the owner, engineer and design visionaries Henry Ford II, Carroll Shelby and Lee Iacocca respectively.

Of course from that synopsis it seems the movie will be less interested in the race than the power struggles between the three men, however Michael Mann is potentially signing on to direct so there could well be some thumping sound design and carefully constructed visuals intercut with scenes of tinkering with spanners and fuel injection systems.

Steve McQueen starred in the most successful motor racing film to date (above) which also featured France's infamous 24 hour race.

Of course it's the Monaco Grand Prix tomorrow for anyone who really wants to see some real action, I know it's what I'll be doing tomorrow afternoon.

Read on for Euro money shots, wish-fulfilling collaborations, hairy superheroes and supermodel stares as well as the latest casting and release date news.

Le Capital

Standby for a satirical European take on the Financial crisis with firebrand political director Costa-Gavras with Vincent Cassel in the central role rushing between the major international financial centres and drowning himself in a hedonistic mix of sex, drugs and massive deals. And if that doesn't raise your pulse then your heart has probably stopped.

The Comedian

We can call this a serious long shot, however it's a curious set-up. The King of Comedy (left) producer Art Linson as put together another darkly comic script about the life and stand-up routines of an insult comedian (such as Don Rickles or Joan Rivers) which he's currently sending to Robert De Niro and Martin Scorsese in a brave attempt to recruit them onto it. I would love to see the trio working together again, but frankly I think it's highly unlikely.

The Wolverine

Fox have a (long) short-list of potential directors for the Wolverine sequel now that Darren Aronofsky has left it in order to avoid going abroad. I'm not sure I like the principle of the studio releasing a list of names willy nilly - it's worse than the current vogue for talking about every stage of the casting process - and the range of candidates is extraordinary and all-encompassing. There are 8 names in contention, from the workmanlike (James Mangold, Antoine Fuqua and Gavin O'Connor) to the arthouse (Mark Romanek) to the mystery (commercial director Gary Shore). Doug Liman (Bourne Identity) looks to be the bookies favourite.

Zoolander 2

A lot has been made this week of an interview in Empire where Ben Stiller dished the dirt on a planned sequel to the 2001 cult comedy hit, including juicy titbits about the finished script and berating Paramount execs who have yet to greenlight the project. Frankly this is simply retreading stuff we've heard thousands of times, however if you reading this and following the link to imdb gets hits up and shows there's an interest in seeing it get made then I'm happy to write it up.

Ben Stiller - in full Blue Steel mode - as Derek Zoolander.

Casting News

It's not official, but we're short of casting news this week so I'm gonna mention that Valerie Faris and Jonathan Dayton are after Jeff Bridges for He Loves Me, their novelist version of "Pygmalian". Virginia Madsen may be replacing Annette Bening in Rob Reiner's take on writer's Block, The Third Act which might now be called Summer at Dog Dave's, but I'm mainly curious as to why.

Release Schedules

If you thought there was little going on on the news front just try finding anything interesting to say about UK release schedules. It's been four weeks since the last update and the only change is for a movie that should have come out but hadn't so all you lovely readers have already worked out that it's been delayed!

The Messenger - The Oscar nominated Iraq war drama has taken an unfeasibly long time (it'll be 581 days since it's limited US release) to make it to British cinemas. It's a shame as it's filled with powerful performances from a cast that includes Ben Foster, Woody Harrelson and Samantha Morton. Prepare for bad news on 17 June 2011.

I also noticed that Claude Lelouch's latest First World War romance Ces Amours La, or What War May Bring has gone straight to DVD here in the UK. That's not very surprising given the general audience antipathy towards the Great War but given the first I heard was finding it on the shelves of the local supermarket there was a little gasp of confusion.

The French poster of Ces Amours La clearly accentuates an iconic kiss central to the plot.

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