Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Welcome back, Bertolucci

Any word of Bernardo Bertolucci returning to the director's chair is good news to me, especially when the project seems as tailored to his strengths as this one does.

His new project will apparently be an English-language drama centered on the emotionally turbulent life of 16th-century Italo musician and murderer Gesualdo da Venosa. Bertolucci's longtime producer Jeremy Thomas describes it as "an epic story" about a character "hidden from history" similar to Bertolucci's "The Last Emperor."

The story about the composer - whose creativity soared as he suffered terribly over having killed his first wife and her lover - is being penned by Bertolucci with "Last Emperor" scribe Mark Peploe.

That all sounds great to me. Despite the epic nature of the tale, it reminds me more of "Besieged" than "The Last Emperor," both of which I adore. If you haven't seen Bertolucci's "Besieged," a tale of obsessive love starring David Thewlis and Thandie Newton, drop whatever you're doing and rent it immediately.

Gurinder Chadha also busy

No man my age should admit to liking teen movies, but when they're funny (which, granted, isn't very often at all) or British I'm almost always there. And Gurinder Chadha's next project should be a hoot.

According to the great Film Ick blog, she's currently casting for a lead actress for her adaptation of Louise Rennison's "Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging." I have to admit I had never heard of the book, but Amazon describes it as a "Bridget Jones for the younger set," and Rennison is apparently a comedy writer of some acclaim. If it contains any of the spirit of two of my other favorites, Sue Townsend's "Adrian Mole" series and Keith Waterhouse's "Maggie Muggins" (admittedly about a much older and more beaten-down lead heroine), I'm in.

And besides, if you're a teen living in England who happens to be reading this, you just might want to take note: Keira Knightly and Parminder Nagra (huzzah!) certainly could have gotten off to a lot worse start than starring in Chadha's charming "Bend it Like Beckham."

Keira as Princess Di?

This first appeared in London's Sun tabloid, so take it with the appropriate grain of salt, but I could certainly see it as being true.

According to The Sun, Ms. Knightley is 'being wooed' to take the role of Princess Diana in an upcoming film. OK, so far so good, even if I wouldn't be interested in the least. From here, though, the story just gets disgusting.

The flick, apparently, would be based upon a book called "Princess Diana and the Paparazzi," written by two members of said paparazzi. If young Ms. Knightley were ever to take on such a project, could this ever be called anything but blood money? I think not.

Now, I'm no big fan of Diana. Like the Queen, I was on vacation when she died, and also like the Queen, apparently, I just kind of shrugged and went on with my day. I do, however, know when something smells rotten, and this just stinks all around.

Two very funny Michael Cera clips

In much better news, I've discovered two clips that prove young Michael Cera, late of the much-missed "Arrested Development," just might be one of the funniest dudes on the planet.

The first, courtesy of Funny or Die, is a promotional clip of him getting "fired" from "Knocked Up" by Judd Apatow (a la David Russell and Lily Tomlin.) Once again, Katherine Heigl just about steals the show just with her expressions, but Cera's meltdown is also just very funny. Click here to see for yourself.

The second, much odder clip, came to my attention via Jeremy, a frequent and always welcome visitor to this site who is lucky enough to be at the Seattle International Film Festival at the moment. It took me a bit to digest it, and to be honest, I'm still not sure exactly what it is.

As far as I can tell, it's a series of videos chronicling Cera and buddy Clark Duke's attempt to sell their screenplay about them being adopted by a cruise ship captain (or something crazy like that.) I've only watched the first episode so far, and can attest that it is very addictive fun. Click here to enjoy, and have an entirely bearable Wednesday.


Chalupa said...

I loved that first clip of Michael Cera getting fired. Thanks for bringing that and the Lilly Tomlin clip to my attention.

Reel Fanatic said...

You're certainly welcome, Chalupa ... That first clip is indeed hilarious ... I have to assume that it was all staged, but still very good

Divinity said...

Knightley as Diana... I really think bio-pics are getting a little out of hand.
I had to edumicate someone at the library the other day as to Knightley's role in The Phantom Menace which pre-dated Bend It Like Beckham but which probably had less to do with her career success.
Threequel reviews are up on my blog to read when you have a chance!

Mercurie said...

I hope Knightley turns down this offer. It sounds like it can be nothing but tasteless...

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