Now in his third year as artistic director, Olivier Père announced the full lineup for the 65th anniversary of the Festival del film Locarno today. 19 features, all of them world or international premieres, including new works by João Pedro Rodrigues and João Rui Guerra da Mata, Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Verena Paravel, Nicolás Pereda, Jem Cohen, and Ying Liang will be competing; Apichatpong Weerasethakul will be presiding over that jury.
Also competing will be Peter Strickland’s Berberian Sound Studio, “the most critically lauded of the Edinburgh’s 18 world premieres,” as Neil Young noted in the Hollywood Reporter last week. “Starring superlative British character-actor Toby Jones in a rare lead role, this UK/Germany co-production follows the misadventures of a timid sound-mixer working on a grisly shocker in 1970s Italy. But while the plethora of sly references and in-jokes will delight genre aficionados and cinephiles, a third-act spiral from queasy dark comedy into more ambitious David Lynch-ish territory will likely leave more general audiences frustrated.” Which, for many, of course, will only heighten interest in Berberian Sound Studio.
Eric J. Lyman for the Hollywood Reporter: “As previously announced, the festival will present its Pardo d’Onore (Leopard of Honor) prize to iconoclastic French director Leos Carax, including a complete retrospective of his work and the Excellence Award will go to British actress Charlotte Rampling. [Johnnie To], the Hong Kong producer and director, will be honored with the festival’s lifetime achievement honor, while the iconic [Otto] Preminger will be the focus of the festival’s main retrospective. Arnon Milchan will be honored with the festival’s honor for film producer.” Emmanuel Cuénod interviews Père for Cineuropa; and the festival runs from August 1 through 11.
Reading. Selections from the new Summer 2012 issue of Film Quarterly include editor Rob White‘s interview with cinematographer Manuel Alberto Claro, who shot Lars von Trier’s Melancholia, Ann Martin and Rob White‘s remembrance of FQ founder Ernest “Chick” Callenbach, Paul Julian Smith on Drew Goddard and Joss Whedon’s Cabin in the Woods and the NBC series Awake, and David Sterritt‘s admiring review of Michael Wood’s new book, Film: A Very Short Introduction.
B. Kite and Kent Jones have resumed their exchange on the films of Robert Bresson. The Devil, Probably (1977) will be screening in San Francisco from August 3 to 9. “And where is Bresson in relation to anarchism and revolutionary politics in that film?” asks Jones. “My answer would be: profoundly curious, deeply sympathetic to the rage felt by young people at the economic and ecological horrors perpetrated in the Western world, and suspicious that said rage and its accompanying confusion have been exploited and capitalized upon by ‘revolutionary’ organizations and their charismatic leaders.”
Also in Film Comment: Part One of Larry Cohen‘s “I Killed Bette Davis.”
“I lived in Czechoslovakia from my birth in 1932 until 1968,” writes Milos Forman in an Op-Ed for the New York Times. When he “hear[s] the word ‘socialist’ being tossed around by the likes of Rick Perry, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh and others… It offends me, and cheapens the experience of millions who lived, and continue to live, under brutal forms of socialism.”
In other news. Icarus Films has acquired North American distribution rights to six films by Shohei Imamura, A Man Vanishes (1967) and five rare documentaries. Following a theatrical run in the fall, there’ll be a special box set out in the winter.
Alive Mind Cinema will be releasing Véréna Paravel and J.P. Sniadecki’s Foreign Parts on DVD on August 7.
New York. “It’s easy to be impressed by the breadth of [Daniél Espinosa’s] Easy Money, a two-hour crime saga that packs in enough dirty details, plot tendrils, and peripheral characters to feel worthy, at least in spirit, of the Martin Scorsese endorsement that’s stamped on the film’s posters.” R. Kurt Osenlund for Slant: “Known as Snabba Cash in its native Sweden, where it topped 2010’s box-office charts before being snatched up by the Weinstein Company, the movie ultimately benefits from a sprawling sense of narrative accomplishment, thanks to the comprehensiveness with which lawyer turned author Jens Lapidus’s hit novel is adapted. But coupled with the kind of gritty technique that can read as compensation for lack of substance, the scope is precisely what serves to mask Easy Money‘s intimate failings.”
In the works. “Acclaimed screenwriter Charlie Kaufman has just created his Kickstarter campaign in attempt to raise $200,000 for his upcoming stop-motion animation film, Anomalisa,” reports Isaac Hoffstein for indieWIRE.
Joe Swanberg’s got quite a cast lined up for his next film, Drinking Buddies: Anna Kendrick, Olivia Wilde, Ron Livingston, and Jake Johnson. Edward Davis reports for the Playlist, where he also notes that The Man Who Killed Don Quixote has been postponed again and that Terry Gilliam is moving onto another project to be shot in Romania, possibly with Johnny Depp.
“Walter Hill, who most recently wrapped the Sylvester Stallone-starrer Bullet to the Head, has partnered with The Aldrich Company to develop a remake of the 1962 Bette Davis-Joan Crawford classic What Ever Happened To Baby Jane?,” reports Mike Fleming. “Hill will write the script and direct the film. The original was directed and produced by Robert Aldrich, with Lukas Heller adapting the Henry Farrell novel.” Also at Deadline, Nikki Finke reports that Eli Roth may direct Harker, a reimagining of Bram Stoker’s Dracula with Russell Crowe already attached to play the Count.