Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Almodovar and Cruz, together again

Considering their lovefest since reuniting to make "Volver," it's hardly surprising that Pedro Almodovar and Penelope Cruz will be working together again, but on exactly what is a bit cryptic.

Almodovar's next film will be titled "El Piel Que Habito" (The Skin I Live In), and the most I can garner so far is that it will be some kind of revenge flick and Cruz will have a starring role.

Almodovar announced plans for "Habito" in Warsaw at the European Film Awards on Saturday night.

"I'm in the midst of a change. My next film will be totally different from the previous 16," Almodovar said in the interview with Spanish daily El Pais. "It's a very tough story about revenge. It has nothing to do with 'Volver' or my life."

The project had originally been talked up as teaming Cruz with Antonio Banderas, but the male lead still has to be cast.

According to Variety, the movie is a long-mooted Almodovar project, an adaptation of the 1995 novel "Mygale" by Thierry Jonquet, about the hideous revenge a plastic surgeon exacts on men who have raped his daughter. Pic version will retain just one scene from the novel.

Pedro goes "Kill Bill"? Sounds iffy to me. He's made great ("Live Flesh") and not-so-great ("Mala Educacion) crime movies in the past, but I've followed him this far, and I don't plan to stop now.

Demme helming doco on Carter

It's all about productive partnerships here this morning, and the next one up features director Jonathan Demme and the Peach State's most famous statesman, Jimmy Carter.

The former president will be the subject of "He Comes in Peace," a documentary being directed by Demme. Demme and his crew will follow Carter across the U.S., to bookstores and talk shows and Wal-Marts, as he undertakes a book tour for his new tome, "Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid." At the same time, Carter will speak about how to achieve peace in the Mideast and his lifelong philosophy of human compassion.

Production began at Carter's home in Plains, Ga., on Nov. 11 before the tour. The book hit shelves Nov. 14.

This all sounds a little dicey to me, but I said the same thing before seeing Al Gore's lecture on global warming, "An Inconvenient Truth," which is easily one of my favorite movies of 2006. And Carter is certainly a fascinating subject. Love him or hate him (and I'm definitely in the former category), since leaving the White House he's a been a constant fly in the ointment, which we always need more of.

And Demme has proven himself to be a first-rate doco director. There is, of course, the legendary Talking Heads concert flick "Stop Making Sense," but even better is "The Agronomist," in which he tells the story of the late Haitian radio journalist and human rights activist Jean Dominique.

So, why worry? Well, because of this quote from Demme:

"This picture is just an extraordinary honor for me. I loved Carter when he was president, and I've loved him more and more since he left office. He makes me feel so proud to be an American."

I can't dispute any of that, personally, but it hardly sounds like the makings of an objective doco, does it? Even so, Carter is worthy of this treatment, even if it does verge more than a little on fawning.

"Inland Empire" trailer

The third partnership of the day is my favorite by far, that of David Lynch and Laura Dern. "Wild at Heart" is a movie that just makes me smile every time I go back to it, and their latest, "Inland Empire," looks even wilder, if not as funny.

I'm sure it will never play in theaters in my little corner of the world, but here's the official trailer for all to enjoy. As expected, it tells us just about nothing about the film, but looks wonderfully weird. Feel free to let me know what you think, and if you get the chance, definitely go see Mr. Lynch's new movie.

INLAND EMPIRE official trailer


Marina said...

I've been under a bit of a rock for a few days but that Inland Empire trailer got my wheels turning. True, I'm a bit biased for Lynch but I'm happy to see that he's continually pushing the envelope.

Reel Fanatic said...

I'm definitely psyched for it too, Marina, but I just worry it's not going to play anywhere besides NY-LA before DVD

Anonymous said...

Yeah, you'll be lucky if it opens anywhere near you. We might get it in Seattle, but it'll probably be super-limited run. The run-time alone will make theaters reluctant to carry it (172mins!). One thing that I love about Lynch is that no one else tells stories like him. The only reason we can ascribe "narrative" to his films is because they start, have a middle, and end, but he is much more attuned to when to make you laugh, how to creep you out, and how to horrify with violence. There is no other filmmaker like him, and even his failures (Dune, Lost Highway) are visually stunning and aurally perfect. So I'll sit in a theater for three hours, probably stoned out of my mind, enjoying his sensibilities and I'm sure I'll leave feeling entertained, even if I'm still trying to make sense of what it was that flashed before my eyes.

Reel Fanatic said...

That's just about the best brief summation of why David Lynch's movies are so good that I've read in a long time, Jeremy

Chris said...

Hey, I just saw Inland Empire. I hope it does come to a theatre near you, RF, because I want to see someone else's take on this. I usually like Lynch, but I think he went way too far this time. My review is here.