DAILY | In the Works | PTA, Kiarostami, Charlie Kaufman

Yesterday in Cannes, the Weinstein Company “plied a select group of journalists with champagne and hors d’oeuvres before they were seated in the [Majestic Hotel’s] small screening room,” reports the Playlist‘s Kevin Jagernauth. “Harvey Weinstein took front and center for a brief introduction, where he joked we were about to see restored footage of his bar mitzvah, before unveiling what were ulimately extended trailers for Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master, David O. Russell’s The Silver Linings Playbook and capping off with Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained.” They saw a lot more of The Master than the teaser released far and wide yesterday, but this 1’40” is very impressive indeed:

As Ryland Walker Knight comments, “Once again, PTA is focused on one face in particular amidst the chaos of bodies in a unique take on ‘period’ and time.” Jagernauth has a blow-by-blow account of the rest of the sneak preview, confirming that The Master will indeed be very much about Scientology. Besides Joaquin Phoenix, the cast features Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams and Laura Dern. Jagernauth’s posted separate entries on his impressions of Silver Linings and Django.

As noted in the entry on Like Someone in Love, Variety‘s Nick Vivarelli has confirmation from producer Marin Karmitz that Abbas Kiarostami is currently planning to shoot his next film in Apulia, the southeastern region of Italy—the heel of the boot, in other words. Kiarostami first mentioned his working title, Horizontal Process, at the Bari Film Festival in March that what he likes about Apulia is “the complex architecture of the various cities, which conveys the complexity of the people who live there.” Vivarelli: “Kiarostami added that he ‘hoped to bring the same complexity to the film,’ which is now in early development. ‘He is supposed to bring me the script; I think he may have it with him right now,’ Karmitz confirmed. However, Karmitz cautioned that ‘with Abbas, until the cameras start rolling, you never know. He is absolutely capable of changing his mind.'”

Anyone who remembers the scene in Adaptation (2002) in which Nicolas Cage perfectly conveys the pang of jealousy that shoots through Charlie Kaufman when, over the phone, he hears his brother Donald is hanging with Catherine Keener will be pleased to hear that the real Charlie Kaufman is teaming up with Keener for a half-hour comedy series for HBO. Deadline‘s Nellie Andreeva reports that the “untitled comedy is described as an exploration of one day in a woman’s life and how the events leading up to it can affect, or not, the reality in which she lives. Kaufman is executive producing; Keener serves as producer.”

La grande bellezza is the title of much awaited new film by Paolo Sorrentino, who has already chosen some of his protagonists: Toni Servillo, Carlo Verdone and Sabrina Ferilli.” Camillo De Marco has details at Cineuropa.

The Magnificent Seven

FirstShowing‘s Ethan Anderton reports that Tom Cruise will star in a remake of John Sturges’s The Magnificent Seven (1960). And from the Playlist we learn that Paul Dano will be joining Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender and Brad Pitt on Steve McQueen’s Twelve Years a Slave; that Luc Besson will direct Robert De Niro in a gangster thriller called Malavita (based on Tonino Benacquista’s book Badfellas—really!); and that, following their work together on the Cannes Competition entry, The Paperboy, Nicole Kidman will be joining the cast of Lee Daniels’s The Butler, which already includes Matthew McConaughey, Oprah Winfrey, Terrence Howard, Alan Rickman, Jane Fonda and Cuba Gooding Jr.

Reading. Just quickly for now before we leap back into the steady stream of reviews flowing out of Cannes: First, Catherine Grant remembers Paul Willemen, “the brilliant and hugely influential film theorist, critic, programmer, historian and, above all, activist.”

Emily Eakin for the New Yorker on Tacita Dean: Five Americans, an exhibition on view at the New Museum through July 1; Dave Kehr on Fritz Lang‘s The Big Heat (1953); and at the Chiseler, Dan Callahan on Glenda Farrell and Jim Knipfel on Edward G. Robinson.

Viewing. Via Brian Darr comes word that the Austrian Film Museum has made Dziga Vertov‘s first films, the Kinonedelja (Kino-Week) series of newsreels, viewable to the world; and Woody Allen reads his new story for the New Yorker.

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