Editor | Peter Bowen
Focus Features International picks up World For new Mike Leigh Film
Posted April 30, 2009
Focus Features International has inked a deal to be the sales agent for writer/director Mike Leigh’s untitled new film. The film is currently being developed by Leigh and his actors (who include Leigh regulars Jim Broadbent, Phil Davis, and Imelda Staunton). The film will be providing a posthumous producing credit for Simon Channing Williams, Leigh's creative partner for nearly 30 years, who died recently.
James Franco on Sin Nombre director Cary Joji Fukunaga
Posted April 28, 2009
The current Interview Magazine contains a short piece by Milk star James Franco on the director of Sin Nombre Cary Joji Fukunaga. But Franco talks about Fukunaga not from the perspective of a actor, but as a budding director himself: “His dedication and skill as a filmmaker have resulted in a moving portrayal of something that until now I have only read about. I think he is every young filmmaker’s idol.”
Sofia Coppola gets Somewhere with Focus
Posted April 17, 2009
Director Sofia Coppola is teaming up again with Focus Features, who distributed her break out hit Lost in Translation, to make her new film Somewhere. Set in West Hollywood’s famous Chateau Marmont hotel, Somewhere tells the story of Johnny Marco (Stephen Dorff), an actor living life to its excesses until a visit from his 11-year-old daughter (Elle Fanning) makes him wake up to face himself. The film is going to be a family affair, as Sofia Coppola is producing the film with her brother Roman, and their dad, the great Francis Ford Coppola, will be an executive producer. Production will take place this summer. Focus CEO James Schamus happily commented, “Lost in Translation remains among Focus’ most beloved movies, so we have long looked forward to making another picture with Sofia. Somewhere will have all the witty, moving, and empathetic qualities that characterize all her work.”
Limits of Control 2-CD Soundtrack on iTunes April 28
Posted April 16, 2009
The soundtrack of Jim Jarmusch’s upcoming feature The Limits of Control offers not one but––count ‘em––two cds for the price of one film. On April 28 the two albums will be available through iTunes and then in stores on May 12. In his introduction, Jarmusch comments, “When I’ve finished a film and it’s released into the world, the most important thing to me, besides the film itself, is the soundtrack record. It collects the musical gifts that both inspired the film and, like passing clouds, shaped and shaded its sonic atmosphere.”
The first album, the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack, includes the wonderfully eclectic musical mix that is the hallmark of Jarmusch’s films. Here there is music from Japanese Doom-Metal band Boris––including two songs that pairs them with Sunn O))). In addition, there is Franz Schubert’s “Adagio” from his String Quintet, as performed by Ensemble Villa Musica; and “El que se tenga por grande,” the lyrics of which are also in dialogue throughout the film. Mr. Jarmusch adds, “We also have Manuel El Sevillano’s ‘[Por Compasión:] Malagueñas,’ which was recorded on a wax cylinder in the 1920s.”
The second album, entitled Film Music from The Limits of Control, is a limited-edition digipack EP with four original tracks by Bad Rabbit. The band (Bad Rabbit), consisting of Mr. Jarmusch, Carter Logan, and Shane Stoneback, plays what Jarmusch calls “slo-motion psychedelic rock-n-roll” that is heard accompanying a handful of passages from the film.
Film Critic Glenn Kenny on David Foster Wallace
Posted April 09, 2009
The House Next Door posted a fascinating interview between Jeremiah Kipp and critic Glenn Kenny on working with the late David Foster Wallace. The piece reveals a fascinating relationship between an editor of pop culture and a serious writer with a complicated relationship to it. When Kenny was at Premiere he had opportunity/honor of editing several pieces that Wallace wrote: his visit to the set of David Lynch’s Lost Highway, a piece on Terminator 2 and a look at the Adult Video News Awards. When Kenny is asked about Wallace’s sense of films, he responds:
It wasn’t his main concern—literature to him was the alpha and the omega. But he liked films an awful lot. When he was in college, like any person going to a reasonably good school, he was able to see a good number of films there. He enjoyed the Bresson films, but on the whole, he usually wasn’t interested in foreign films—he was more drawn to American films as pop culture. They reflected his concerns, which have to do with the condition of being American, particularly during his writing after 9/11. I spent most of my youth as a cinephile almost shunning American film. It wasn’t until I was a little more mature, despite my readings of Andrew Sarris, that I started taking American film all that seriously. For him, it was always about that—about things like Psycho, real touchstones in the development of cinema itself and that represented seismic shifts in the overall culture.
Rolling Stone unfurls Taking Woodstock poster
Posted April 08, 2009
The poster for Ang Lee's new film Talking Woodstock is being previewed at the Rolling Stone blog "Rock&RollDaily." The blog comments:
Behold, the psychedelic brand-new movie poster for director Ang Lee’s upcoming film Taking Woodstock. Combining the aesthetics of a spilled lava lamp with artist Wes Wilson’s famed 1960s posters for San Francisco’s legendary Fillmore, the tagline reads “A Generation Began In His Backyard,” alluding to Elliot Tiber, the focus of the film.
Kim Masters on Slashing Hollywood Salaries
Posted April 06, 2009
At The Daily Beast, Kim Masters weighs in on how the recession--or, if you will, new Depression--is effecting the economy of Hollywood. One effect is a possible downgrading of star salaries. Masters writes:
After years of impotent promises to choke off rich deals with talent, the studios are finally making it happen. They’re hammering on star salaries and perks like private jets, too. “They’ve wanted to go in this direction for a long time and the global financial crisis has given them the lever to do it,” says one veteran talent representative. These changes may cheer up ordinary citizens who can’t understand why a star ever got millions to be in a movie in the first place. But the fact that the studios are finally laying down the law also illustrates the strains they are under as they try to crank out expensive popular entertainment when the model is collapsing.
FIlmInFocus now Twitters - to make you work better
Posted April 03, 2009
Good News. Twitter is good for you. Switched.com reports that “Australian researchers have found that surfing the Internet for fun in the office increases productivity by 9-percent. Dr. Brent Coker, of the University of Melbourne's Department of Management and Marketing, authored the study and suggested that, "People need to zone out for a bit to get back their concentration."
Untitled Focus Comedy in Production
Posted April 02, 2009
Focus announced today a new comedy from writer/director Noah Baumbach (whose previous drama/comedy The Squid and the Whale was nominated for a best original screenplay Academy Award). The untitled film stars Ben Stiller playing a New Yorker with a mid-life crisis who moves to Los Angeles to house-sit for his brother, and finds his heart moved by an unexpected relationship with his brother’s assistant (Greta Gerwig of Hannah Takes the Stairs). The initial story came from Jennifer Jason Leigh who is producing the film with Academy-Award winning producer Scott Rudin. Focus CEO James Schamus notes, “This script has the hallmarks of Noah’s best work, and then some; heart and soul interlaced with biting wit. Filmgoers worldwide will find themselves emotionally engaged by and with these splendidly realized characters.” Cool.
For more info, go to the press release.