Thursday, August 16, 2007

NY Film Fest a sign of great things to come

If you offered me a pass to any film festival in the world, I think I'd have to pick New York. Cannes clearly has the most pull, and Toronto has been rising for years now and probably now gets the most star power, but I'm just a sucker for New York.

And, this week, though I can't seem to find it anywhere, they've unveiled their full lineup, and it of course just makes me insanely jealous.

As previously announced, Wes Anderson's (huzzah!) "Darjeeling Limited" will be the opening night film. It's been a long time off for Mr. Anderson, so I'm hoping this is a strong return to top form after the disastruous "Steve Zissou" (I've watched that flick three times now, and just about the only thing I can find to enjoy about it are those beautiful Portugeuse David Bowie songs.)

Added this week are plenty more flicks I'm looking forward to. On the top of that list would have to be Noah Baumbach's "Margot at the Wedding." I thought his "The Squid and the Whale" was very close to being the best movie of 2005, so I can't wait to see what he comes up with next. Starring wifey Jennifer Jason Leigh, Nicole Kidman, Jack Black, John Turturro and Ciaran Hinds (huzzah!), it's about the titular Margot (Kidman) visiting her sister (Leigh) after she announces she's marrying a rather dim dude (Black, of course.)

Close on the heels of that as far as flicks I need to see as soon as possible would have to be the Coen brothers' take on Cormac McCarthy's "No Country for Old Men," which will be the centerpiece flick, and Todd Haynes' simply insane Dylan biopic "I'm Not There."

The closing night flick, "Perselopis," should also be intriguing. It's apparently an animated retelling of the Iranian revolution. Like I said, I can't seem to find the full slate on the film fest site, but other notable flicks include Brian De Palma's Iraq war drama "Redacted," Gus Van Sant's skater flick "Paranoid Park," Sidney Lumet's "Before the Devil Knows You're Dead," Julian Schnabel's "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly," Abel Ferrara's "Go Go Tales," Claude Chabrol's "A Girl Cut in Two," "4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days" and "Secret Sunshine."

If you're somehow going to this, as my father managed to do once, I'm insanely jealous. As for me, I'll just have to wait until these potentially great flicks make it to somewhere near my little corner of the world.

Bonus Wes Anderson?

The Guardian newspaper had a little tidbit about Anderson's "Darjeeling Limited."

The flick, starring Adrien Brody, Owen Wilson and Jason Schwartzman, is about three estranged brothers who rebuild their bonds with a voyage across India after the death of their father. According to the Guardian, it will be preceeded by a 12-minute short called "Hotel Chavalier," which acts as a prequel to the main flick and is about one of the brothers and a relationship that goes awry.

Sayles goes back to school

If John Sayles' latest flick, "Honeydripper," ever somehow plays in Macon, I guess I'll have a savvy group of college students to thank for it.

"Stomp the Yard" producer Will Packer and Emerging Pictures founder Ira Deutchman are teaming with Clark Atlanta University to launch a film marketing and distribution course for African-American college students across the country, and their first assignment will be to produce a marketing plan for the flick.

Reading the plot summary on IMDB, it sounds like a blues-tinged version of "Big Night," which could be a good thing, I suppose. Danny Glover plays the owner of a failing delta juke joint who lures "Guitar Sam" for one night only in hopes of drawing customers away from a more popular competitor. Sam, however, doesn't show, so he instead cleans up a ne'er do well named Sonny who claims he can play and tries to pass him off as "Guitar Sam." I can only guess that the kid can indeed play the blues, but I guess we'll have to wait and see. Along with Glover, the movie stars Charles S. "Roc" Dutton (huzzah!), Lisa Gay Hamilton, Stacy Keach, Mary Steenburgen and Sean Patrick Thomas.

Before Emerging Pictures releases the flick in New York and Los Angeles on Dec. 28, select students from Clark Atlanta and other participating historically black colleges will help develop and implement a grassroots marketing campaign with their professors and the film's distribution team. It will continue throughout the platform release in Atlanta and Chicago on Jan. 18 and a wide release the following month.

My guess is they've got a tall task ahead of them to get this a real wide release, but they've certainly got me cheering them on.

Something I swore I would no longer care about

I promised myself that, after Joss Whedon got booted from the project, I would never again write another word about the "Wonder Woman" flick, but this is just too odd to let pass.

According to the celebrity gossip site I'm Not Obsessed, Mrs. Tom Cruise is in talks to play our heroine. Here's what their "source" had to say:

“The movie’s only at the discussion state, but Katie feels this role as a kick-ass superhero will put her back in the public eye. She wants to show her stuff, and she wants to prove that she can stand on her own two feet without Tom’s help. Tom, at times, feels compelled to oversee Katie’s career, but Katie is bent on doing this alone. She actually scheduled the meeting when she knew Tom wasn’t going to be able to be there.”

Any chance that I would have seen this disaster-in-the-making would have been if they went ahead with the plan to cast the very funny Cobie Smulders of "How I Met Your Mother." With Katie instead? No chance.

Three days off

I'm off for a long weekend to visit my brother in Minneapolis where, I'm sure, I'll see a movie or two. "Superbad" may be on the menu if I can talk him into it, and "Rocket Science" has also been discussed.

If you're here in Macon, we've got three great offerings this week, a real rarity for August. Along with "Superbad," which in case you haven't noticed I've been more than a little obsessed with for, well, forever, we're getting "Becoming Jane" and, only at the Regal Rivergate 14, the Don Cheadle flick "Talk to Me." The latter flick, about DC disc jockey Petey Greene, has one-week-only written all over it, so don't pass up this chance to see it. Peace out.


bill said...

Minneapolis: get pancakes at Al's Breakfast.

bill said...

I was hoping to recommend "Rise of the Celebretards: A-crotch-alypse Now" at Dudley Riggs (saw it back in May), but it closed last weekend.

Vasta said...

Have fun on your long weekend break! And no, I'm not going to the New York festival, but most of those movies will be playing at TIFF this year as well, so I'll let you know what I think...

pdemko said...

St. Paul! Not Minneapolis

bill said...

You can get to Al's Breakfast from St. Paul without crossing the river. So, technically, this doesn't violate St. Paul's travel ban.

Otherwise, have some deep dish pizza from Davanni's. I prefer the Cleveland & Grand location, near St. Thomas.

Bob said...

Don't forget "Death at a Funeral"! Also give "Diggers" a rent one of these days if you haven't. I just saw it the other day and it's very good. Enjoy your trip!

Jonathan said...

Looks like "Wonder Woman" will at least be a positive note for "Catwoman" by taking it down to only the second worst female comic book movie ever made. "Catwoman" of course gave that luxury to "Supergirl." Glad to see that the women are looking out for each other.

Crystal Green's Blog said...

Please tell me that this Katie Holmes rumor is analogous to when Sean Young pursued Catwoman.


Mercurie said...

First Joss Whedon is off Wonder Woman. Now Katie Holmes might play the part. IMHO, this project is getting worse by the minute...

renee said...

I'll see anything John Sayles puts out - I'm intrigued by this marketing strategy. I can't wait to see how it works.

Wonder Woman is one of my heroes and Katie Holmes is so wrong for that role!! She's tiny, not an Amazon! And I'm creeped out that she has to schedule meetings when Tom is otherwise occupied because he's so controlling. ick!

Enjoy our lovely town this weekend. It's supposed to be rather cool, so I hope your thin Southern blood won't be too shocked! I'm going to try to see Superbad this weekend, so if you see me in the theater, say hi. :-)

Chalupa said...

I've been pretty excited for Darjeeling Limited. I had mixed feelings about Steve Zissou as well. I did thing it was pretty funny that the bond stooge was Harold from Harold and Maude.

Also extremely looking forward to the new Coen flick. If you didn't know, I'm a big fan of The Big Lebowski. I even have a podcast dedicated to the movie where we discuss different aspects of film and how it relates to the movie. We also just discuss things related just to the film. It's been a lot of fun.

Reel Fanatic said...

Unfortunately I didnt' see any of your culinary tips before departing, Bill, but we my brother steered us to some of the best Chinese food I've had in a long, long while at a place called Little Szechuan .. truly amazing food .. And along with "Superbad" and two Minnesota Thunder games, we also managed to see "Rocket Science," which is a charming little movie that I think will be a surprise hit this fall

Anonymous said...

Since you mentioned Sayles and Honeydripper I thought you might want to know the trailer is now up on Youtube.

I actually live in Atlanta and have been helping out on the film. It will definitely play ATL, so hopefully you can make the drive over from Macon. Cool blog.