In the run-up to Thursday’s announcement of the Cannes 2014 lineup, the festival’s unveiled its poster—and we’ve seen a sudden slew of new trailers. I’ve sprinkled the most interesting of the batch throughout today’s entry. First up, David Cronenberg’s Maps to the Stars, with a Hollywood-skewering screenplay by Bruce Wagner and starring Robert Pattinson, John Cusack, Julianne Moore, Mia Wasikowska, Olivia Williams and Sarah Gadon, is a strong contender for the Competition lineup. Via the Playlist, we’ve got
two trailers; the second’s NSFW but also does a far better job of rousing our anticipation. Update: eOne’s had the first one removed, but we’ve still got the better one.
David Fincher’s Gone Girl, based on Gillian Flynn’s bestselling novel and starring Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike and Neil Patrick Harris, is slated to open October 3. On a related note, Deadline‘s Mike Fleming Jr. slams “overeager journalists” reporting for weeks now that Fincher was attached to directed a film based on Walter Isaacson’s biography of Steve Jobs. He never was. Yes, it would have reunited the team behind The Social Network (Fincher, screenwriter Aaron Sorkin and producer Scott Rudin), so the overeagerness is somewhat understandable. But now “the media has made a big deal out of Fincher dropping out of a project he never signed on to direct.”
Then we have trailers for two of the last films Philip Seymour Hoffman made before he died in February. Both films premiered at Sundance. We gathered reviews for Anton Corbijn’s A Most Wanted Man at the time, but never got around to an entry on John Slattery’s God’s Pocket.
For the most part, reviewers were not kind. “At its worst,” wrote James Rocchi at Cinephiled, “God’s Pocket mumblingly mixes the grimy chest-flexing meathead masculinity of early Mamet and a series of ostensibly comedic bits that play like Weekend at Bernie’s as written by Bukowski. At its best, it is still at its worst.” Still, it has its champions. The Guardian‘s Henry Barnes finds that it “near weeps with the blue collar romanticism of David O Russell’s The Fighter. But it’s in digging out the black humor in the petty criminal’s scrap to survive that Slattery distinguishes himself.” More from Jason Bailey (Flavorwire), Justin Chang (Variety), Cory Everett (Playlist, C-), Robert Cameron Fowler (Indiewire, C+), Wesley Morris (Grantland) and Todd McCarthy (Hollywood Reporter).
But back to Cannes 2014 for the moment. There are rumors, and it must be stressed that these are rumors, that Paul Thomas Anderson has shown an early, two-and-a-half-hour cut of his adaptation of Thomas Pynchon’s Inherent Vice to a few industry insiders. At Cigarettes & Red Vines, Bryan Tap passes along first impressions from two anonymous sources as well as whispers that PTA may opt to skip Cannes and shoot for a premiere during Venice-Telluride-Toronto whirlwind.
Maps to the Stars
At Cineuropa, Birgit Heidsiek reports that Fatih Akin had submitted The Cut, starring Tahar Rahim, to Cannes but has now retracted it “for personal reasons.”
Meantime, La Semaine de la Critique, aka Critics’ Week, has announced that Rebecca Zlotowski (Grand Central) will preside over two juries in Cannes next month, the Jury Sony Cinealta Discovery Prize and the Jury France 4 Visionary Award.
IN OTHER NEWS
Sight & Sound is preparing a followup to its once-in-a-decade “Greatest Films of All Time” poll, this one on greatest documentaries. The New Yorker‘s Richard Brody has posted his ballot and has notes on his ten selections.
The AP reports that Norway has donated its restoration of The Cave of the Spider Spirit, a silent Shaw Brothers from 1927, to the China Film Archive.
Filmmaker editor Scott Macaulay welcomes Vadim Rizov as the magazine’s new managing editor.
Jonathan Rosenbaum has posted his 1997 piece on the critical reception of Contempt (1963) and how “Godard’s extended career as a film critic—which started in 1950 and continued well beyond the time of his early features—informs the movie at every turn.”
Art of the Title has posted the second part of its career-spanning interview with legendary designer Pablo Ferro.
Fernando F. Croce revisits Chabrol‘s Alice or the Last Escapade (1977) for Movie Mezzanine and his current “Movie of the Day” is Peter Lorre‘s The Lost One (Der Verlorene, 1951).
Tim Grierson‘s written up an appreciation of Lauren Bacall for Paste.
Effie, with a screenplay by Emma Thompson and Dakota Fanning in the title role as John Ruskin’s wife, was wrapped in 2011—but has yet to see a release. It’s one of several completed yet never distributed films Simon Brew writes about at Den of Geek.
Adam Nayman’s It Doesn’t Suck “definitely demonstrates that Showgirls is a coherent statement, and that its excess, its ridiculousness, and its tastelessness aren’t arbitrary, but thematic,” writes Noah Berlatsky for the Atlantic. “The theme in question, though, is built on cynically exploiting the stigma experienced by a marginalized group: sex workers.”
RogerEbert.com is running an excerpt from Nathan Andersen‘s new book, Shadow Philosophy: Plato’s Cave and Cinema. The focus here is on Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange (1971). “On the one hand the film seems to champion freedom, against the intervention of the state, but on the other seems to offer a devastating critique of liberal tolerance.”
Bright Lights editor Gary Morris has a brief review of Eccentrics of Comedy, “an enjoyably pithy collection of essays” by Anthony Slide.
Chicago. With an Alain Resnais retrospective on at Doc Films, the Reader‘s Ben Sachs considers the influence of Stephen Sondheim on the late director’s work.
IN THE WORKS
“Animal Kingdom director David Michod will write and direct The Operators, with Brad Pitt attached to star,” reports Marc Glaser for Variety. “The Operators is based on Michael Hastings’s 2011 best-seller about the rise and fall of General Stanley McChrystal, the commanding general of international and U.S. forces in Afghanistan.”
Justin Kelly, “a protege of Gus Van Sant,” will direct James Franco in Michael, “based on the Benoit Denizet-Lewis article ‘My Ex-Gay Friend,’ published in the New York Times Magazine,” reports Deadline‘s Mike Fleming Jr. Franco plays “a gay activist who, after enduring years of taunts and struggle, becomes an anti-gay Christian pastor.”
Girish Shambu alerts us to a new feature at Roland-François Lack‘s Cine-Tourist, “the New Wave and Art.” What we have here are stills from New Wave “or associated films” with paintings, nearly all of them by early 20th century modernists, in the background and, occasionally, the foreground. He’s also got separate pages on Braque, Chagall, Klee, Manet, Miro, Modigliani, Picasso—and Godard’s Pierrot le fou (1965) is so thick with painterly allusions it gets a page all its own.
A Most Wanted Man
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