With the super-hum0ngous Cannes Film Festival opening today — with Tim Burton heading the festival jury, btw –the movie news is in a kind of hyper-drive. Also, it’s been a few days since I’ve done one of these newsy posts. So, you’ll have to excuse me as I merely skim the surface.
* Is it that no one’s writing books or plays anymore, or do we really need to keep making movies based on games? Tim Burton, it so happens, is the next to contemplate the matter. Will “MONSTERPOCALYPSE” be the first game-based film to screen at Cannes, or will that be “Checkers: the Movie”?
* This may be strictly inside movie baseball, but apparently the talk of the inside-folks on the way to Cannes has been the sudden resignation of executive Bob Berney from Apparition Films, followed by inevitable rumors about his next gig. This is not a case of an executive suddenly wishing to spend more time with his family.
Confession time: Mr. Berney’s name meant absolutely zero to me before this story broke, but I guess part of the reason this is a big deal is that Apparition is a fairly major player in the indie distribution game, with movies like “The Runaways” and “Bright Star” in its portfolio. Also, this happened right before Cannes which is a film market, the kind of place where many international film distribution deals are made, as well as a film festival. That’s not good news for Apparition.
*Here’s what Kevin Jagernauth thinks are the biggest deal movies at the festival. I’m definitely with him on the outed-spy scandal drama, “Fair Game” directed by talented loose cannon Doug Liman and starring Sean Penn (I wonder if he and Liman got along?) and Naomi Watts as espionagers turned reluctant media stars Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame. Still, the one that most interests me is English master Ken Loach’s Iraq-set follow-up to the excellent “The Wind That Shakes the Barley,” the most deceptively calm-sounding title for an action-drama this side of “Serenity.”
* Of course, the biggest deal Cannes film in terms of potential box office is the out-of-competition “Robin Hood.” Oh, and I agree with Russell Crowe that the massive nature of today’s media is a problem. Somehow, though, I’m not sure he’s the right spokesman for the cause.
* Oh, and alongside the alleged potentially pro-teabag message of “Robin Hood,” you can also add French-bashing, says Kirk Honeycutt.
* Time for some major cinephile blogger love. My friend in blogitude and movie insanity, Dennis Cozzalio, certainly deserves plenty of that for his massive and entirely fun “New Yorker” quality/lengthy piece at The House Next Door on the TCM Classic Film Festival. I’m currently at the 3/4 mark and kind of in awe — the man goes into detail.
Also, today is the fifth anniversary of the wondrous Self-Styled Siren. Farran Smith Nehme’s consistently outstanding blog has become probably the most important and popular individual blog in the cinephile sphere. Best of all, she almost never focuses on a movie made after 1960 or so. My kind of blogger.
* If anyone gets to keep hopping on the zombie gravy train (unintentional disgusting imagery there), it’s definitely George Romero.
* On the other hand, commie dictators Fidel Castro and Raul Castro are getting on board as well, well, at least some Cuban production outfit wants in too with, guess what, “Juan of the Dead.”
* If you ask me, it’s about time somebody put all those lazy-ass “Babies” to work! Besides, we all know that appearing on celluloid is absolutely the best thing for a young person’s development.
* A new documentary premiering at Cannes is partly about how George Lucas and Steven Spielberg took a bath over surfing. It’s weird to me that the article doesn’t mention the original hit surfing documentary (which was part of the reason studios thought they could make money on the topic), Bruce Brown’s “The Endless Summer.”