“Rumors are raging in Paris,” reports Fabien Lemercier at Cineuropa. Alain Resnais‘s Life of Riley may be headed to the Berlinale (the 2014 edition runs from February 6 through 16). Resnais’s 21st feature “was inspired by the play of the same name by British playwright Alan Ayckbourn. The cast includes Sabine Azéma, Hyppolyte Girardot, Sandrine Kiberlain, André Dussollier, Caroline Silhol, and Michel Vuillermoz.”
The International Film Festival Rotterdam has presented “the first five selected filmmakers who compete for three equal awards in the Hivos Tiger Awards Competition with their first or second films” in its 2014 edition, running from January 22 through February 2. More on that lineup soon.
WORLD CINEMA PROJECT
Martin Scorsese’s World Cinema Project, a box set of six restorations out today from Criterion, features work “from a variety of places, from Mexico to several African nations to South Korea, and they are all vastly different from one another,” writes Jake Cole at Film.com. “At first glance, their one shared attribute is their difference, their innate stance as foreign from the monolithic film industries of the world. Not that this is a hindrance to enjoyment; indeed, the stylistic and geographic distinctiveness of the collection’s entries is its great pleasure.”
For Criterion, Kent Jones, who began working as an archivist for Scorsese in 1991, tells the story behind the project, adding: “Cinema is fragile. It is—or was—physically fragile. And the memory of cinema is fragile as well, the very framework of our understanding of all these flickerings, the secret story that we’ve been following from Lumière and Méliès on. These titles are precious, illuminated fragments of that story. It was an honor for us to be able to restore them, and—to quote Dickens—to help recall them to life.”
First trailer for Andy and Lana Wachowski’s Jupiter Ascending
Steven Soderbergh revisits Martin Scorsese’s After Hours (1985): “And what a great screenplay. What the fuck happened to Joseph Minion?”
Anne Helen Petersen, writing for the LARB blog, explains why she has a “hate/need relationship” with Christmas movies, in which the holiday, “as a nourishing, essential event, is threatened in the first act, nearly lost in the second, and regained, in newly valuable, even more cherished form, in the third. And once the Christmas movie migrates to television, repeating every year, often days on end, its purpose only amplifies. The Christmas movie, which itself underlines the importance of Christmas rituals, becomes part of the Christmas ritual!”
Meantime, Melissa Locker talks Christmas with John Waters for Time.
IN THE WORKS
“After hearing Martin Scorsese recently talk about only having a few films left in him at the age of 71,” writes Ken Guidry at the Playlist, “it should be heartening to see that 78-year-old William Friedkin is still going strong. The director will follow up his last film, Killer Joe, with a biopic on the late, great Mae West.” And guess who’s playing her: Bette Midler.
Today’s trailer for The Discreet Charm of George Cukor, running from Friday through January 7 at the Film Society of Lincoln Center
Ben Whishaw will replace Sacha Baron Cohen in that Freddie Mercury biopic, reports the BBC. “The film will be written by Peter Morgan, whose other screenplays include James Hunt biopic Rush and the Oscar-nominated Frost/Nixon and The Queen. Whishaw, 33, is currently filming Ron Howard movie The Heart of the Sea opposite Chris Hemsworth, and is expected to reprise his role as gadget master Q in the next James Bond film, to be released in 2015.”
“Stage and screen actor Ronald Hunter died December 3 from heart and kidney failure complications,” reports Variety. “Over a career that spanned nearly five decades, he appeared on Broadway and regional stages, did episodic and serial television and essayed supporting roles in numerous feature films…. The actor’s film credits include roles in Van Wilder: Party Liaison, The Seduction of Joe Tynan, Teachers, The Sentinel, Adventures of the Action Hunters, and Jakarta, an independent production filmed over several arduous months in Thailand.”