If you chum around with film critics, virtually or otherwise, you’re hearing a lot right now about flight schedules and packing for rain. Cannes opens tomorrow, and we, too, will have boots on the ground. Not mine, of course, as I’ll be manning my usual remote station, mapping critical trajectories. Meantime, the festival carries on updating its collection of trailers for and clips from the films screening in all sections. The most intriguing addition today: Two short clips from Jim Jarmusch’s Only Lovers Left Alive with Tilda Swinton and Tom Hiddleston.
Neil Young‘s updated his odds on the contenders for the Palme d’Or, while Nicholas Bell and Blake Williams post theirs at Ioncinema. And listing their most anticipated films (and their reasons why) are Variety‘s Scott Foundas, Justin Chang, and Peter Debruge; the Indiewire team; David Jenkins at Little White Lies; and BlackBook‘s Hillary Weston.
Filmmaker‘s Scott Macaulay has gathered tips on surviving the festival from industry insiders, the Guardian‘s Xan Brooks wonders whether Cannes and Hollywood have become a little too cozy, while the Telegraph‘s Tim Robey asks, “Who will provide this year’s scandal?”
In other news. The Edinburgh International Film Festival (June 19 through 30) will open with the European premiere of Drake Doremus’s Breathe In.
Reading. Mark Gallagher‘s “second, solo-authored film studies monograph (the first being 2006’s excellent Action Figures: Men, Action Films, and Contemporary Action Narratives)” is Another Steven Soderbergh Experience: Authorship and Contemporary Hollywood and, at the House Next Door, Clayton Dillard asks:
What determines the medium-specific nature of a work of art, especially cinema, when the exhibition formats aren’t given in a hierarchical manner? In fact, what happens when a film “premieres” on television before theatrical exhibition? These convergence cultures have been theorized by scholars John Caldwell and Henry Jenkins, yet Gallagher keeps the discussion on an even keel, with no prerequisite reading necessarily required. Although such a statement could seem pejorative, too rigorous an implementation of theory would prevent the multifaceted function Soderbergh serves the book: as exemplar, prodigal son, and martyr all in one. That is, Gallagher challenges the very methods and ways by which we write, discuss, and think about cinema. In holding Soderbergh up as the preeminent figure for this type of study from contemporary Hollywood, he’s also sacrificing the director’s auteur status—a sacrifice which stands in direct contrast to the cinephilic traditions that could yield something like The Limey (1999) or The Good German (2006). To be clear, these efforts also thrillingly problematize that relationship between author and subject, made all the more exhilarating by an interview between the two as the book’s coda, which is the most compelling interview (online or print) I’ve read in 2013.
“It isn’t often that a British film which has flopped on its home territory is resuscitated by American enthusiasm.” For 3:AM, Nicky Charlish revisits Mike Hodges’s Croupier (1998). “First, it has an element of noir…. Second, it gives us a picture of Blair’s Britain which is, refreshingly, less than flattering. Britannia is unremittingly icy, not cool…. Third, it can be taken as an investigation of numerology used as a sort of unconsciously adopted belief-system, now that mainstream Western ones—both sacred and secular—seem to have run out of steam… Fourth, it is an examination of writing—the motives of writers, and the practicalities of how to create stuff for the page.”
In the works. “Takashi Miike will direct Shin-Yotsuya Kaidan, a new adaptation of one of the most famous Japanese ghost stories of all time,” reports Kevin Ouellette at Nippon Cinema. “It was also revealed that kabuki actor Ebizo Ichikawa has been cast in the lead role.”
“Jacques Tourneur‘s 1957 satanic horror film Night of the Demon was adapted from M.R. James’s Casting the Runes,” writes Alison Nastasi at Movies.com. “Since then, the ghost-story scribe’s tale has been dramatized in multiple forms, and it’s about to get another remake. Gremlins and Howling director Joe Dante is teaming up with Simon Pegg for a new twist on James’s classic.”
“Benicio del Toro is in talks to join Joaquin Phoenix in writer-director Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice, TheWrap has learned.”
Matthias Schoenarts and Noomi Rapace have signed on to Khurram Longi’s directorial debut, Alive Alone, “a thriller that focuses on the relationship between an ex-detainee of Guantanamo Bay, and a woman who is on the run from a crime boss,” reports Deadline‘s Mike Fleming Jr.
Jean Dujardin and Gilles Lellouche are lined up for Cedric Jimenez’s La French, “a $26 million action-packed thriller” that “spans the 1970’s and 80’s and takes place in Marseilles, then known as the world capital of drug trafficking and the main supplier of heroin to the U.S.,” reports Bobbie Whiteman. Also in Variety, Leo Barraclough: Kate Winslet has signed on to star in Jocelyn Moorhouse’s The Dressmaker.” She’s to play “Tilly, an avenging angel who returns home to the remote country town from which she fled as a child after being accused of murder, to make amends with her eccentric mother.” And Justin Kroll: David Gelb (Jiro Dreams of Sushi) will direct Olivia Wilde and Mark Duplass in the medical thriller Reawakening.