Tag: Jafar Panahi

Late night/early morning movie news

I need to keep it brief tonight, but there are a few items tonight that I want to catch up with.

* It nice to lead with some good news. Jailed Iranian director Jafar Panahi has reportedly been released on bail from his imprisonment. The director, who was supposed to sit on the Cannes jury, had been on a hunger strike. The acclaimed film-maker appears to be in trouble because of a documentary about the Iranian protest movement.

Shrek Forever After* The lower than expected box office performance for “Shrek Forever After” had an effect on Wall Street. Moreover, Patrick Goldstein wonders if those inflated 3-D ticket prices might already be starting to backfire. I tend to agree. People may not mind paying a little extra for something that feels like a real event, but 3-D is already starting to feel old hat and, as Goldstein reminds us, there’s a lot more coming.

* This story fell between the cracks a few days back — and Louis Black doesn’t work for me — but Morgan Spurlock (“Super Size Me“) really is doing that comicon documentary that was rumored sometime back. It was originally plugged as a collaboration of some sort with Joss Whedon, but it turns out Whedon is just one of a few geek superstars who will be executive producing. That’ possibly the most elastic job title in show business, so his involvement could be fairly minimal though I’m sure he’ll appear on screen. Accompanying Whedon in backing the film are none other than Stan Lee and Harry Knowles.

* A long time ago, I found the novel, Less Than Zero, oddly compelling reading in that it was a vivid portrait of a human train wreck. That being said, Brett Easton Ellis is certainly not dispelling the widespread opinion that he might be a jackass with his pronouncements about female directors. May he shortly be visited by the ghost of Ida Lupino.

* The real winner at Cannes: Eliot Spitzer.

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Cannes winners announced

I have next to no time to write this, but the Cannes Palm d’Or, possibly the single most prestigious film award in the world, including the Oscar, has gone to Thailand’s “Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives,” directed by the unpronounceable and unspellable Apichatpong Weerasethakul. (He’s often referred to as “Joe,” I understand.) Apparently saving the best for last, the movie was not screened until the end of the festival. It fully wowed Tweeters in the audience, will no surely add hugely to the growing rep for Weerasethakul, who will now be known at least among a much larger group of cinephiles than before and may even break out towards more casual world-cinema fans.

Among the more familiar names receiving other awards this year are actors Javier Bardem and Juliette Binoche, who spoke about imprisoned Iranian director Jafar Panahi. David Hudson has a lot more.

Here’s the trailer for this year’s big winner. It’s beautiful, haunting, and a gently creepy in the way of a fairy tale, but this may not for everyone. Something tells me that Joe won’t be teaming up with Jerry Bruckheimer any time soon.

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