For Criterion, Michael Atkinson reviews a “long-lost” novel by Samuel Fuller: “There was always something Miltonian about him, even when he trafficked in petty crime and stock-noir bottom-feeders. As you could guess, Brainquake is every inch the unleashed all-American bad-time story, bursting with underworld know-how, rotten crime shit, lurid misfortune, and bulldozed innocence.”
At the Evening Class, Michael Guillén introduces an excerpt from a forthcoming debut novel, Missing Reels: “Farran Smith Nehme‘s extraordinary talent in film criticism, 1980’s New York City and the grand Hollywood romances of yesteryear play off of one another seamlessly, creating an irresistible glimpse into two long lost worlds.”
New York. Contributors to the L write up the week’s highlights.
Los Angeles. The Times‘ Kenneth Turan highlights After Expressionism: The Versatile Edgar G. Ulmer, LACMA’s series of double features screening three Fridays in a row, starting tomorrow. “It was French critics, always on the alert for American exotica, who first championed Ulmer and his work. Writing in Cahiers du Cinema in 1956, Luc Moullet called him ‘les plus maudit des cinéastes,’ the most cursed of filmmakers.”
San Francisco. Michael Hawley previews the Film Society’s fall season.
Copenhagen. CPH:DOX opens today and runs through November 16. Among the highlights is a series of films on surveillance curated by Laura Poitras (her own Citizenfour will screen, too, of course); Lav Diaz‘s new film, Storm Children; and Robert Greene‘s Actress, which also opens at New York’s Film Society of Lincoln Center tomorrow. The entry on Actress at Critics Round Up is excellent, by the way.
IN THE WORKS
Retribution “marks the reunion of Al Pacino and Brian De Palma for the first time since Carlito’s Way in 1993,” reports Screen‘s Jeremy Kay. “Relativity International is understood to be in early talks with acquisitions executives on the story of a hitman and a cop who will go to any length to stop a Philadelphia child prostitution ring. The project is based on the 2003 Belgian thriller The Memory of a Killer.”
La giovinezza by Paolo Sorrentino, starring Rachel Weisz, Michael Caine, Jane Fonda and Paul Dano, Tarda primavera by Michelangelo Frammartino and Ombre bianche by Fabio Mollo “are among the films recognized for their cultural value—and therefore receiving funding—by the film subcommission of the MiBACT, the Italian Ministry of Culture,” reports Vittoria Scarpa for Cineuropa.
“Matt Damon will star in Downsizing, the next film from Alexander Payne,” reports Deadline‘s Mike Fleming Jr. “Details on this project aren’t plentiful, but here’s a logline: Pic is a social satire in which a guy realizes he would have a better life if he were to shrink himself.”
Also: Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg are reteaming for Daddy’s Home. “Ferrell plays a mild-mannered radio executive who strives to become the best stepdad to his wife’s two children, but complications ensue when their freewheeling and freeloading real father (Wahlberg) arrives, forcing him to compete for the affection of the kids.”
And: “Matthew McConaughey and writer-director Gary Ross are the catalysts for a project called Free State of Jones… based on the untold and extraordinary story of Newton Knight, the leader of one of the greatest rebellions in Civil War history.”
Ruben Fleischer (Zombieland) will direct an adaptation of Sam Dolnick’s New York Times Magazine article, “The Sinaloa Cartel’s 90-Year-Old Drug Mule.” Borys Kit for the Hollywood Reporter: “Published in the June 15 issue, the story told of Leo Sharp, an award-winning horticulturist, renowned for his prized daylilies, who secretly worked for years as one of the most prolific drug couriers for the feared Mexico-based Sinaloa cartel. The catch? The man, who was 87 when he was arrested in 2011, was responsible for transporting hundreds upon hundreds of kilos of cocaine to Detroit-area dealers.”
“Ella Purnell and Asa Butterfield are in negotiations to join Eva Green in Tim Burton’s Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children,” reports Variety‘s Justin Kroll. And from Dave McNary: “Kevin Spacey will star as Richard Nixon and Michael Shannon will portray Elvis Presley in the long-in-development movie Elvis and Nixon.” And: “John Malkovich and Toni Collette are joining Noomi Rapace, Michael Douglas and Orlando Bloom in the thriller Unlocked…. Michael Apted is directing from a screenplay by Peter O’Brien.”
“Adam Brody will star on Neil LaBute‘s upcoming DirecTV incest drama Billy and Billie,” reports Travis Reilly for TheWrap.
“Richard Schaal, an early member of Chicago’s famed Second City comedy troupe who appeared often on The Mary Tyler Moore Show and its spinoffs Rhoda—which starred his then wife, Valerie Harper—and Phyllis, has died. He was 86.” Mike Barnes for the Hollywood Reporter: “The actor also appeared in such films as Norman Jewison’s The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming (1966), George Roy Hill’s Slaughterhouse-Five (1972) and Once Bitten (1985), starring Lauren Hutton and Jim Carrey.”
Listening (125’54”). Illusion Travels By Streetcar #36: The Films noir of Otto Preminger (1944-1952).