On Sunday, we highlighted a story in El Cultural on the collection of short films by Víctor Erice, Manoel de Oliveira, Aki Kaurismäki, and Pedro Costa, and today we learn that the world premiere of Centro Histórico will open CinemaXXI, a new section the Rome Film Festival “dedicated to the exploration of new trends and new languages in international cinema.” Douglas Gordon (24 Hour Psycho, Zidane, un portrait du 21e siècle) will head the CinemaXXI jury; the festival runs from November 9 through 17.
More news from Rome: “Cinecittà Studios have provided the sets for some of the most famous movies in Western cinema,” begins Jillian Steinhauer at Hyperallergic. Among them would be such lavish productions as William Wyler‘s Ben-Hur (1959) and the Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton extravaganza Cleopatra (1963) as well as Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather: Part III, Martin Scorsese’s Gangs of New York, Wes Anderson’s The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, and of course, several films by Federico Fellini. For nearly 80 days now, around 200 workers have been occupying the studios in protest of reorganization plans that would shift emphasis away from filmmaking and towards a new theme park and luxury hotel. Struggles in Italy has details, while the workers themselves have a site, a Facebook group and a Twitter feed.
In the works. “Roman Polanski is set to direct a film adaptation of the David Ives play Venus in Fur,” reports Deadline‘s Mike Fleming. “He’ll film in French and has set Emmanuelle Seigner and Louis Garrel in the lead roles…. Polanski will work on the erotic black comedy while awaiting completion of the screenplay for D., based on the historic Dreyfus scandal, which Polanski will direct as well.” The news prompts Flavorwire‘s Judy Berman to ask, “Is there an analyst in the house?… The play, which we loved despite the fact that it also kind of tore us up inside, finds a writer desperate to find a domineering Wanda to anchor his stage adaptation of the book visited by a mercurial actress who fits the role all too well.”
And of course, Seigner is Polanski’s wife. Meantime, the Playlist‘s Gabe Toro talks with Marina Zenovich about her documentary Roman Polanski: Odd Man Out, picks up where Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired left off. The new film “offers a summation of the auteur’s recent legal travails but not a great deal more,” finds John DeFore, writing in the Hollywood Reporter. “Zenovich provides her own narration, since one of the picture’s themes is the role her earlier work played in the 2009 arrest of Polanski in Switzerland. It’s ironic that a film meant to expose prosecutorial wrongdoing should goad L.A.’s district attorney into reviving the decades-old statutory rape case, but that appears to have happened.” Adds David D’Arcy at Artinfo: “Don’t believe that the Polanski story is over, or just dull from overcooking.”
“Gerardo Naranjo, the filmmaker behind Miss Bala and I’m Going to Explode, will direct the pilot for FX’s drama project The Bridge,” reports Alison Willmore for indieWIRE. This’ll be an “adaptation of the 2011 Danish/Swedish series Bron/Broen about a murder investigation following the discovery of a dead body on the bridge connecting Denmark and Sweden.” It’ll be set around the border between the U.S. and Mexico and Diane Kruger will play El Paso Police Homicide Detective Sonya North.
Stephen King’s announced that he’ll be writing a sequel to The Shining, Doctor Sleep, which “follows the story of Danny Torrance, the young boy who survived the horrific events in the Overlook Hotel,” notes the Telegraph‘s Andrew Hough. The book’s due next September, “36 years after the original was printed.” And for the New York Times, Patrick Healy reports that William Goldman, who adapted King’s Misery for the 1990 adaptation, has adapted it again for the stage.
In other news. The Sundance Institute announced today that Robert Redford will present Roger Ebert with the Vanguard Leadership Award “in recognition of his advocacy of independent cinema” on June 5 in Los Angeles.
Los Angeles. “Gob Squad’s Kitchen (You’ve Never Had It So Good) originally was conceived as a film that would consume its audience,” writes Ernest Hardy in the LA Weekly. “But the Berlin-based experimental theater troupe Gob Squad’s critically acclaimed show—based loosely on Andy Warhol’s 1965 film Kitchen starring Edie Sedgwick—is now a multimedia, interactive stage presentation.” At REDCAT from today through Sunday.
London. “Later this week, the Institute of Contemporary Arts will play host to Safar: A Journey through Popular Arab Cinema, a series of screenings which has been described as the most ambitious season of Arab film ever to be shown in the UK.” A preview from Ella Funge in the New Statesman. Tomorrow through September 27.
Obit. For the BFI, Jez Stewart remembers producer John Coates: “Early reporting has rightly focused on his pivotal role in the making of The Snowman (1982), the perennial Christmas TV favorite based on Raymond Briggs’s book, but his career had much greater depth that is worth highlighting.” He also had a hand in Yellow Submarine (1968), When the Wind Blows (1986), and The Wind in the Willows (1995). His “greatest gift” may have been encouraging experimentation with new animation techniques.
Viewing (14’12”). At East of Borneo, you can watch Christian Marclay talk to Charlie Rose about The Clock, which screens in full, beginning at 12 pm on Saturday, at LACMA: “Also this weekend, For Your Art hosts the second iteration of its wildly popular Around the Clock: 24 Hour Donut City featuring coffee, free donuts, and readings of newly-commissioned essays on The Clock by the Los Angeles critics Andrew Berardini and Ed Schad Saturday at 5pm. You can download the essays here and here.”