Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Bob Dylan, Heath Ledger and Buffy?


I was hoping we had reached the end of musician biopics for a while, but apparently these things come in at least threes. Following "Ray" and "Walk the Line," were now getting the Bob Dylan biopic "I'm Not There."

As an avid fan of Dylan, my first gut reaction to this news was one of abject horror. Can Hollywood really make a good movie about such an enigma? I doubted it, but I didn't think it could be done with the Man in Black, and was proven mostly wrong.

Besides, this project has at least one very, very good thing going for it: Todd Haynes, who is writing and directing this. Haynes' "Velvet Goldmine," a fictional dive into the seedy realm of glam rock with a hero vaguely modeled on Bowie's "Ziggy Stardust," remains one of my all-time favorite movies. He re-created this one-of-a-kind moment in rock history with precision and flair, and I can't wait to see what he does with the crazy folk scene that created then spurned Dylan.

In casting news, Heath Ledger has replaced Colin Farrell (a step up?) as one of the seven actors who will play Dylan at various stages of his life. Well, this should be interesting to say the least. Ledger proved he can mumble with the best of them as Brokeback's Ennis Del Mar (though to me he bore a disturbing resemblance to Karl Childers throughout), so he should at least be able to convey that more than half the time we have no idea exactly what Dylan is talking about.

In even better casting news, Michelle Williams will play Coco Rivington, a model with whom an androgynous folk star - played by Cate Blanchett - is taken. Williams was simply robbed on Oscar night, and this pairing should be plain fun. Toss in Haynes regulars Julianne Moore and Christian Bale, and I'm sold. Shooting begins in July in Montreal, so stay tuned.

Buffy at Cannes

Will poor Buffy ever get to make a good movie?

Well, that's not quite fair ... "The Grudge" has merits as pure horror schlock, and "Cruel Intentions" certainly has more than a few cheesy virtues.

Well now Sarah Michelle Gellar has hooked up with director Richard Kelly ("Donnie Darko") for an oddity called "Southland Tales," which despite its chilly reception from the Cannes snobs still looks fairly promising.

Here's the plot summary, according to whoever wrote it for IMDB:

"Southland Tales is an ensemble piece set in the futuristic landscape of Los Angeles on July 4, 2008, as it stands on the brink of social, economic and environmental disaster. Boxer Santaros is an action star who's stricken with amnesia. His life intertwines with Krysta Now, an adult film star developing her own reality television project, and David Clark, a Hermosa Beach police officer who holds the key to a vast conspiracy."

This could go just about anywhere, but I have unconditional love for "Donnie Darko" (which I had to watch about five times to finally appreciate), so I'm holding out hope. Our Buffy will play the porn star (settle down, guys) and The Rock will stretch his dramatic chops by playing the boxer.

SMG is featured in a clip from "Southland Tales" available at the Cannes Web site here. As a snippet it doesn't seem to work at all, but things rarely do out of context.

And if I may speak directly to our heroine, who is, I'm sure, going to read this, PLEASE EAT AT LEAST ONE SOLID MEAL EVERY DAY! She looked painfully emaciated on the red carpet at Cannes. Maybe with hubby Freddie Prinze Jr. now mercifully unemployed they just don't have any money for food. I'd be glad to buy you dinner, Buff. Call me anytime.

7 comments:

B.A. Slattery said...

I'm excited for the Dylan movie. If anyone can make a trippy, shape-shifting, time-warping film about Dylan and his career, it's definitely Haynes.

Sherman said...

Hello, Keith! Thanks for visiting my blog. Great place you got here. :-)

Reel Fanatic said...

Thanks, Sherm ... I try to keep it fun

themarina said...

I'm looking forward to "Southland Tales". I'll always give Richard Kelly the benefit of the doubt because of "Donnie Darko". One of my faves for sure.

1031 said...

Don't forget about the 3 Southland Tales graphic novel prequels, written by Kelly with art by Brett Weldele, the first of which is due to be released in June, I believe.

I'm looking forward to Tales. I think it'll be a fun ride.

Reel Fanatic said...

I had forgotten all about those ... thanks for the tip ... even if the movie somehow manages to be bad, those graphic novels should be great!

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