Manoel de Oliveira, who passed away last month at the age of 106, made Visita ou Memórias e Confissões (Visit or Memories and Confessions) in 1982 but insisted that it not be screened until after his death. Cannes (May 13 through 24) will show it as part of its Classics program and, last night, the film saw its premiere the Portuguese filmmaker’s hometown, Porto. And Vitor Pinto was there for Cineuropa.
Pinto finds Memories “striking thanks to its unconditional freedom, in terms of both its form and its content, and its title is absolutely in line with what is depicted in the film: a visit (to a house); memories (from a lifetime); and confessions (of a 73-year-old director who probably didn’t expect he would continue filming as long as he did)…. And yes, what was until last night the best-kept secret in Portuguese cinema is indeed a legacy film, a project looking back on the past without any nostalgia and celebrating the life of a man who was also an artist.”
IN OTHER NEWS
Cannes has announced that Sabine Azéma will preside over the Caméra d’or Jury this year. The award’s presented to the best debut film. Joining Azéma will be director Delphine Gleize, actor Melvil Poupaud, Claude Garnier, representing the French Association for Cinematographers, Didier Huck, representing the Federation of Cinema, Audiovisual and Multimedia Industries, Yann Gonzalez, representing the Society of Film Directors and Bernard Payen, representing the French Union of Cinema Critique.
“Robert Carlyle, who rose to fame with Trainspotting and went on to star in The Full Monty, The World is Not Enough and 28 Weeks Later…, will see his first turn as director open this year’s Edinburgh International Film Festival.” Alex Ritman in the Hollywood Reporter: “The Legend of Barney Thomson, starring Emma Thompson, Ray Winstone and Carlyle, will kick off the event in the Scottish capital on June 17.”
Oscilloscope Laboratories has acquired rights to Alice Rohrwacher’s The Wonders, winner of the Grand Prix in Cannes, Daniel Wolfe’s Catch Me Daddy and Javier Fuentes-León’s The Vanished Elephant, all three of which are set for a U.S. release later this year, reports Ryan Lattanzio at Thompson on Hollywood.
“Fifty years ago today,” writes Catherine Grant, “Jean-Luc Godard‘s dystopian science fiction film Alphaville was released in France. It remains one of the most compelling fictional studies of ‘technological totalitarianism,’ as Andrew Sarris put it, ever produced for the cinema.” At Film Studies for Free, Catherine’s put together another one of her amazing collections of links to related scholarship and embedded a couple of videos. This is one of them:
Also writing about Alphaville today is Barry Keith Grant for the BFI: “While the narrative is formulaic, combining a series of conventions from several genres (science fiction, film noir, crime films), Godard’s imagery is dense with references to history and cultural texts and often anti-illusionist. If Godard’s nouvelle vague colleague François Truffaut failed to make a completely satisfying interpretation of Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 (1966) the following year, Godard succeeds in making Brechtian science fiction with social satire and critique.” Alphaville screens tonight in London.
Michael Smith talks with critic-turned-filmmaker Enrique Buchichio, director of La Escuela de Cine del Uruguay, about his followup to Leo’s Room (2009), Operation Zanahoria, which “recently had its North American premiere at the Chicago Latino Film Festival. I spoke with Buchichio at length about his terrific new film, a gripping procedural about political secrets and journalistic ethics in the vein of All the President’s Men.”
IN THE WORKS
HBO has “quietly” picked up David Fincher’s Living on Video for a ten-episode first-season run, reports Deadline‘s Nellie Andreeva: “Set in 1983 Los Angeles, Living on Video revolves around the players of the then-exploding music video industry—directors, record executives and crew members, many of them dabbling in drugs—through the eyes of a newcomer, Robby (Charlie Rowe). Robby is a wide-eyed guy who drops out of college and drives to Hollywood with dreams of directing a sci-fi epic and lands a job as a PA for a company making music videos.”
Louis C.K. will write, direct and star in I’m a Cop. And Scott Rudin will produce. The Hollywood Reporter‘s Borys Kit: “The script tells of a depressed middle-aged man who is a volunteer police officer living in the shadow of his mother, a highly decorated retired officer. When she dies, her continued influence forces him to become a real police officer, which is something he never wanted to be.”
“Laura Dern will star alongside Ellen Burstyn and Sebastien Koch in Jennifer Fox’s investigative thriller The Tale,” reports Screen‘s Jeremy Kay. The story, based on Fox’s own experience, “centers on Jennifer, a globetrotting journalist living in New York whose mother finds a story she wrote aged 13 describing a sexual triangle with two adult coaches. When Jennifer attempts to locate everyone connected to the story, she discovers her recollection of events are far removed from her teenage account. Elizabeth Debicki also stars.”
“Juliette Binoche will star in Pearl, based on the life of Nobel Prize winner Pearl S. Buck,” reports Variety‘s Dave McNary. Leehom Wang and Jing Tian will co-star and Roxanne Messina Captor will direct.
“Georgian-Russian director Rezo Chkheidze, a Cannes winner for the best short film, died in Tbilisi after a long illness on May 3 at the age of 88,” reports Vladimir Kozlov.
Also from the Hollywood Reporter, Sam Weinberg: “Norman Thaddeus Vane, a writer-director behind such films as the 1983 cult horror film Frightmare and Club Life, a 1986 drama starring Tony Curtis, has died. He was 86.”
And: “Philip S. Goodman, who wrote and directed for film, television and the theater, died Saturday at his home in New York City… Goodman penned episodes of such 1950s and ’60s TV shows such as Rocky King, Detective, Profiles in Courage, Alfred Hitchcock Presents and Johnny Staccato, starring John Cassavetes.”
Dances With Wolves author and screenwriter Michael Blake has died at the age of 69, reports Deadline‘s Mike Fleming, Jr. “Blake’s best known novel sold over 3.5 million copies, and was translated into 15 languages. The 1990 film, which Kevin Costner directed and starred in, won seven Oscars including Best Picture and Best Screenplay for Blake.”