While researching his story “William Faulkner’s Hollywood Odyssey” for Garden & Gun, John Meroney “discovered that for Battle Cry, Hawks had assigned Faulkner to merge short stories, a radio drama, and even a musical cantata into one screenplay. The two had come a long way since their first collaboration on Today We Live back in the 1930s…. Faulkner envisioned Battle Cry as an epic starring Henry Fonda and Ronald Reagan, then a movie star under contract at Warner Bros…. But it was never to be. Hawks had a reputation for going over budget on his pictures, which meant that the $4 million required to produce Battle Cry ($53.8 million in today’s money) would surely mean more… and more… and more. The studio said no.”
For the Washington Post, Glenn Frankel, author of The Searchers: The Making of an American Legend, reviews John Wayne: The Life and Legend and finds that “what’s most striking about [Scott] Eyman’s thorough and sympathetic portrait is the cloud of sadness and regret that hangs over its seemingly unconquerable protagonist. Wayne emerges as a restless, melancholy figure, always struggling for more respect from his critics, more time with his family, more money and better health.”
“POW! Two unrelated ideas, adolescent cruelty and telekinesis, came together, and I had an idea…” With Stephen King‘s Carrie, his first novel, turning 40, the Guardian‘s running an excerpt from his widely admired book On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft.
Trailer for Roman Polanski’s Venus in Fur
“You are not entitled to see a movie just because you want to.” David Kalat unleashes a “Rant” at Movie Morlocks.
“I realized just now,” writes David Cairns, “that I’m so close to being the ultimate web resource for all things Edana Romney (the talent behind Corridor of Mirrors , a film I first addressed here) that I might as well go the whole hog and make sure of it.”
“Eleven years after its launch, the Morelia International Film Festival (Festival Internacional de Cine de Morelia, FICM) is still Mexico’s most vibrant venue for both up-and-coming and established filmmakers,” writes Paulina Suárez-Hesketh for Film Quarterly. “During the 2013 edition, the presence of Chilean-born psycho-magician and cult director Alejandro Jodorowsky created widespread pandemonium, with hundreds of local students breaking through barricaded doors to crash his master class.”
New York. Blonde Venus: The Films of Dietrich and von Sternberg is on through Thursday. Writing for Artforum, Melissa Anderson notes that all seven films “will be screened at BAMcinématek on 35 mm, and all endure not only as the apex of the director’s lush, sumptuous, delirious style but also as cinema’s most fruitful episode of thralldom, though who was absorbed by—and obeisant to—whom was never quite fixed. This madness was hinted at when Sternberg declared, à la Flaubert on Emma Bovary, ‘Miss Dietrich is me—I am Miss Dietrich.'”
Los Angeles. With Robert Altman: A Retrospective running at the Billy Wilder Theater through June 29, Dennis Cozzalio measures the impact of Altman’s films on his own life and adds: “Perhaps the greatest lure for fans of Altman’s work, who have voraciously consumed books like Patrick McGilligan’s biography Jumping Off the Cliff or Mitchell Zuckoff’s more recent Robert Altman: The Oral Biography is the chance to see some of the director’s earliest achievements as a filmmaker, culled from the catalog of industrial films he did in Kansas City for the Calvin Company while building up to his big break in Hollywood. These rarities, borrowed directly from the director’s own collection which was donated to the UCLA archive after his death in 2006, provide glimpses of the birth of the Altman style.”
Body and Flesh: The Tactile Cinema of Luther Price is REDCAT’s program for Monday evening.
Polanski’s Two Men and a Wardrobe (1958)
Berkeley. Diamonds of the Night: Jan Nemec opens tomorrow and runs through April 23. Dennis Harvey in the Bay Guardian: “The traveling retrospective stopping at Berkeley’s Pacific Film Archive over the next two weeks offers a necessarily spotty portrait of an artist whose expressions have been more than usually subject to cruel fate.”
Chicago. For Rough & Ready: The Nightingale at MCA Chicago, on through Thursday, “dozens of Chicago-based artists and fourteen local programmers organize under quick timelines and loose thematic guides to inhabit a monitor on fourth floor of the MCA.”
The States. Starting tomorrow, a collection of restored films by John and Faith Hubley will be making their way across the country through June 1. The Believer‘s got the schedule.
IN THE WORKS
As Edward Davis reports, Jim Jarmusch has recently told the Playlist that he’s got “at least four projects in the works: his still-continuing drone-rock band SQÜRL; an opera about famed inventor Nikola Tesla which may involve celebrated theater director Robert Wilson; a documentary about the seminal punk bang Iggy Pop and The Stooges (which looks like it’ll finally be completed soon); and yet another feature-length narrative film.” That one’s slated to shoot in the fall and is “about a bus driver and poet in Paterson, N.J., that he evidently wrote in the years he waited for the Only Lovers Left Alive budget to come together.”
On Thursday, I pointed to Jason Wishnow’s Kickstarter campaign for The Sand Storm, a sci-fi short secretly shot in China—the DP’s none other than Christopher Doyle—and featuring Ai Weiwei. The fundraising goal has now already been reached and surpassed, and now, for Hyperallergic, Jillian Steinhauer reports on the film’s making.
Polanski’s The Lamp (1959)
“Helen Mirren will play real-life Jewish WWII survivor Maria Altmann, who fought the Austrian government over Gustav Klimt paintings stolen from her family, in a new film Woman in Gold,” reports the BBC.
“Benicio del Toro is in final negotiations to co-star with Emily Blunt in Denis Villeneuve’s thriller Sicario,” reports Variety‘s Justin Kroll.