Midweek movie news, the Cannes kick-off edition

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”?

* Here your fix of Cannes-related glitz, and also details on the rather big film-making names. Meanwhile THR takes a moderately bullish look at the market-side of the event.

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Zombie movie made for a paltry $70 makes a splash at Cannes

No, that’s not a typo. Director Marc Price made this film for 70 bucks and now he’s generating tons of buzz at Cannes. This is a great story for aspiring filmmakers everywhere.

A budding British director is enjoying success on a shoestring at Cannes with “Colin,” a new zombie feature that cost a scarcely believable $70 to make.

Japanese distributors are currently in negotiations for the rights to the film and buzz around the no-budget zombie chiller has attracted interest from some major American distributors — all of which is a very nice surprise for the team behind “Colin.”

“We were almost fainting at the list of people who were coming [to the final market screening of the film],” said Helen Grace of Left Films who is helping the film’s director Marc Price publicize the film in Cannes. “Representatives from major American distributors — some of the Hollywood studios.”

“When we say it’s a low budget film, people presume a couple of hundred thousand [dollars]. People can’t figure out how it’s possible. What Marc’s achieved has left people astonished.”

It was by advertising for volunteer zombies on social networking site Facebook, borrowing make-up from Hollywood blockbusters and teaching himself how to produce special effects that thrifty director Price was able to make the film for less than the price of a zombie DVD box set.

“The approach was to say to people, ‘OK guys, we don’t have any money, so bring your own equipment,'” the the 30 year-old director told CNN.

With help from a makeshift band of friends and volunteers, Price shot and edited the feature — which ingeniously spins the zombie genre on it’s head by telling the story entirely from the zombie’s perspective — over a period of 18 months while working nights part-time as a booker for a taxi company.

Check out the trailer above – the film looks cool as hell.

  

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Tarantino’s “Basterds” gets its big debut

Those wondering if Quentin Tarantino would complete his latest film (the WWII epic “Inglorious Basterds”) in time for the Cannes Film Festival (and perhaps more importantly, its late August release date) need not worry. Yahoo! Movies has officially released the teaser trailer on the internet today, and from the looks of things, it’s farther along than I imagined. Though it seems to be more traditional than the usual QT project, the film shows immense promise – notably Brad Pitt, who seems to be channeling his inner George Clooney for what may be his best role to date.

In the film, Pitt stars as the leader of a group of Jewish-American soldiers who invade Nazi-controlled France to give Hitler and his army a taste of their own brutality. The film also features “Freaks and Greeks” star Samm Levine, “The Office” star B.J. Novak, and horror director Eli Roth. Check out the trailer below, and then let us know what you think.

  

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