Oh f*ck, it’s a foul-pixelled end of the week movie news dump

It’s been a personally rather stressful week in a good-news/bad-news kind of a way and Hollywood ain’t doin’ nothing to relax me. And so, we begin with a deep breath…

* The first half of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” will be in a mere 2D. Two dimensions were good enough for Rick Blaine, they’re good enough for Harry. Especially if they really were facing serious technical difficulties, smart move. No studio needs another “Clash of the Titans” fiasco.

* It’s pretty rare that I know for sure I want to see a movie just from simply knowing the topic, the star, and the director, but when it’s a biopic/docudrama about the great-but-homicidal Phil Specter, it’s being directed by David Mamet, and it’s starring Al Pacino, that’s when I know. (Here’s the original NYT post that broke the story, which gives a bit more background on Specter for you youngsters.)

* Classic film lover that I am, I also feel pretty good about “My Week with Marilyn” which has Michelle Williams as Marilyn Monroe, Dougray Scott as her beleaguered husband, playwright Arthur Miller, Kenneth Branagh (who else?) as Laurence Olivier, and Julia Ormond as Vivien Leigh (!) among others. And check out the pic of Ms. Williams/Monroe that’s been circulating all over the net today.

michelle-williams-marilyn-monroe

Aren’t you glad I used that pictures instead of something of Phil “Mr. Fright Wit” Specter or Al Pacino?

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RIP Claude Chabrol and Kevin McCarthy

Two notables passed away yesterday, each of whom deserves more than a mention.

Claude Chabrol was the member of the French New Wave most commonly compared to Alfred Hitchcock, though he arguably influenced most of the directors in the movement to a greater or lesser extent. I’m not sure how this happened, but I can barely remember seeing anything by Chabrol, though I know I’ve seen at least one or two of his acclaimed movies at some point, even if I can’t name them specifically.

Anyhow, if the embed below doesn’t cure my cine-amnesia, it does make me want to cure my shameful filmic omission. Yes, this trailer is entirely in French but, believe me, this is the kind of work where you don’t need to understand a single word (and I barely do).

The web’s master Chabrolian, Ray Young, has a great remembrance up and MUBI has a lot more.

Kevin McCarthy was a highly reliable, stage and movie actor with some notable film credits, including playing Biff in the film version of Arthur Miller’s “Death of a Salesman,” and scads of TV work — he has over 200 credits on IMDb. Still, as this very short E! obituary indicates, he’ll forever be associated with one particular film classic which, at the time, didn’t appear to be much more than another B science fiction flick. How little we know.

  

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