Saturday, February 07, 2009

COMING SOON(ER OR LATER): Big & Small Screens


"Ben ends up embracing a crooked sort of cross, one that is more about retaliation than redemption. If encounters with Christ throw fuel on our fire to see the bad guys get what they've got coming, well, keep in mind the confession of William Munny in Unforgiven: 'We've all got it coming, kid.' " Jeffrey Overstreet, CT Movies
Available to the public Mar 10 2009 – Film Movement


Word is, Jason Goode's short film POP SWITCH (screenplay: Lucia Frangione, cast: Lucia Frangione, Michael Kopsa, Duncan Fraser) will premiere in Vancouver in the next couple months. Feb 2009.

Jack Black and Michael Cera encounter Cain and Abel (David Cross and Paul Rudd) in a scene from the Harold Ramis-directed YEAR ONE. Opens Jun 19 2009.


BIRDSONG ("EL CANT DELS OCELLS" 2008, Albert Serra, Spain)
Played TIFF 2008, VIFF 2008
"Most of the historical representations of the Traveling Magi are dramatized after the fact and he wanted to consider what it might have been like as it was happening. He wanted to strip away the theological overlay of thousands of years — which places the story of the Traveling Magi in direct service to the spiritual legitimization of the Christ Child — and return the story to original physical events. By choosing such simplicity and lack of narrative adornment, Serra reduced or abstracted the legend to its essential poetry." Oct 24 2008, twitchfilm
"I chose Serra’s previous film, Honor of the Knights, as my favorite film of 2006, so I was delighted to see his latest–similarly meditative but funnier and more cosmic–receive greater critical exposure. Ostensibly telling the biblical story of the journey of the magi, the film is more interested in its experiential affects than its narrative details, utilizing the powers of long takes and long shots to explore and illuminate barren landscapes, the passage of time, and fragile but resilient human activity. It feels like the ending of Rossellini’s Stromboli expanded into a feature. Serra’s a unique talent, combining a lofty vision with an earthy temperament and a heavy doses of spontaneity." Jan 8 2009, Doug Cummings, filmjourney

"Ralph Fiennes is making his directorial debut with a feature adaptation of William Shakespeare's Roman tragedy CORIOLANUS. Fiennes has already scouted for locations in East Europe. Shakespeare's play, set in the early years of the Roman Republic, is one of his most politically challenging examinations of the way power corrupts. Fiennes will also play the title role of the proud but contemptuous soldier spurred on by his ambitious mother to run for the Roman Senate, which ultimately leads to his downfall. Vanessa Redgrave is in talks to play the part of Coriolanus' mother Volumnia." Feb 6 2009, Variety

"The creative team behind the LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy return to Middle-earth with this adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien's classic precursor THE HOBBIT. Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh executive produce the New Line Cinema/MGM joint production, to be shot simultaneously with a sequel film culled from various pieces of the author's work. Acclaimed director Guillermo del Toro is attached to helm the two pics, budgeted at 150 million dollars each. Jeremy Wheeler, All Movie Guide
"With work on THE HOBBIT really starting to move forward, director Guillermo del Toro updated MTV News this week with exclusive scripting, casting and pre-production news, including confirmation that HELLBOY creator Mike Mignola will be coming aboard for early visualization." Jan 22 2009, MTV Movie News

"The Oscar-winning actor Anthony Hopkins is to play KING LEAR in a new film version of the Shakespeare tragedy, it was confirmed today. The film will feature Gwyneth Paltrow, Naomi Watts and Keira Knightley as Lear's three daughters, according to the director, Joshua Michael Stern. 'It's pre-Roman, Celtic, very raw. It's a period in British history, from which Tolkien took a lot of his inspiration, where there were thatched-roof roundhouses and fortresses.' Hopkins played the role in David Hare's production of the play at the National in 1987. Shooting is scheduled to begin in Britain or Ireland early next year." Jun 25 2008, The Guardian

"Al Pacino will play the title role in KING LEAR, an adaptation of the Shakespeare play that will be directed by Michael Radford. Radford, who wrote the script, is making his second Shakespearean foray with Pacino after their 2004 collaboration MERCHANT OF VENICE, which cast Pacino as Shylock. Radford will shoot the picture entirely in Europe, starting later this year. Feb 3 2009, Variety

"Abel Ferrara’s 15th feature, MARY, which had its premiere at Venice in 2005, is only now having a run in New York. (It opens on Friday Oct 10 at Anthology Film Archives.) It revolves around a film within the film — in this case a biblical indie called THIS IS MY BLOOD. The leading lady (Juliette Binoche) is so shaken by playing Mary Magdalene that she decamps for Jerusalem. Back in New York a television talk show host (Forest Whitaker) finds himself struggling with his faith as he prepares to interview the Jesus movie’s brash director and star (Matthew Modine, in a role that inevitably calls to mind Mel Gibson but also contains strong elements of the freewheeling Mr. Ferrara). MARY is simply the most direct expression of spiritual crisis in a filmography riven with Catholic notions of guilt and redemption. When Ferrara started working on MARY — 'living within three blocks of the Vatican,' he noted — he revisited the Bible and this time approached it 'as a revolutionary tome."' Oct 10 2008, NY Times
Does not appear to have gained wider distribution.

"Barbara Nicolosi has been rewriting Benedict Fitzgerald's screenplay MYRIAM, MOTHER OF THE CHRIST, renaming it MARY, MOTHER OF CHRIST." Nov 24 2008, Matt Page, Bible Films Blog
"MGM has acquired North American distribution rights to MYRIAM, MOTHER OF THE CHRIST, the biblical story of Mary. The screenplay is written by Benedict Fitzgerald, who penned THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST." Jan 23 2009, Hollywood Reporter
"Camilla Belle will star as the titular character and will be joined by Jonathan Rhys Meyers in the dual roles of Gabriel and Lucifer and Peter O'Toole as Symeon. Al Pacino and Jessica Lange are in talks to play Herod and Anna the Prophetess. Argentine helmer Alejandro Agresti (Valentin, The Lake House) is directing the film, which begins lensing in Morocco in May. MGM plans to release the film wide in 2,000-plus theaters Apr 2 2010, which coincides with Good Friday. Media 8 Entertainment will introduce the project at the European Film Market in Berlin." Feb 6 2009, Variety

"THE ROAD is moving its release to 2009. The feature adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's Pulitzer Prize- winning novel, which stars Viggo Mortensen, will have to wait another year for any possible Oscar plaudits. Originally scheduled for November 2008, its filmmaking team has made it clear that the movie just isn't ready for release." Oct 21 2008, L.A. Times

Producer Gillian Rowe Fritzsche was at Pacific Theatre a couple years before moving to L.A. to be married, study at Act One, and make movies. Here's her first, currently in post-production. Jan 2009

"Mickey Rourke is set to star in ST. VINCENT. He'll play a hit man who returns to New York to complete a botched hit. Masquerading as a priest, he finds himself hearing the confession of the man who he is targetting. Production is slated to begin later this year." Feb 6 2009, Variety

1 comment:

Gillian said...

Thanks for mentioning "...Duncan Christopher" Ron! I'll keep you posted on its potential release details!