Saturday, August 30, 2003
Sundance Channel and Sundance Channel Home Entertainment have acquired U.S. television and DVD/home video rights for Bob Odenkirk's feature directorial debut Melvin Goes To Dinner. The DVD and VHS will be available on December 16, 2003 and the film will premiere on Sundance Channel early 2004. "Melvin" was written by Michael Blieden and stars Blieden, Stephanie Courtney, Annabelle Gurwitch and Matt Price. The film was produced by Naomi Odenkirk, D.J. Paul, and Jeff Sussman. The film also contains appearances by Maura Tierney and David Cross.
The DVD will contain special features including a Director’s Commentary, interviews with the cast and filmmakers, excerpts from the play upon which the film is based and original sketches created for the DVD by Odenkirk and writer/star Michael Blieden.
posted by Linus | 11:54 AM
Thursday, August 28, 2003
Fun, Klosterman-ish riff (free!) on "the aural equivalent of smallpox" and horror films by Tom Bissell, who you can see playing the banjo on that great McSweeney's #11 DVD.
posted by Linus | 8:06 AM
Wednesday, August 27, 2003
George Washington (David Gordon Green, 2000) and All The Real Girls (David Gordon Green, 2003).
Green's upcoming Dunces adaptation: Phil or Will?
Among the high profile events at the 2003 Nantucket Film Festival was the highly anticipated reading of "Confederacy of Dunces." The project which will be directed by David Gordon Green, from a script by Steven Soderbergh and Scott Kramer, was read before a sold-out crowd of 800 in a local school auditorium. The star-studded performance included performers Will Ferrell as lead Ignatius J. Reilly, Anne Meara as his mother Mrs. Reilly, and Paul Rudd as Mancuso. Other performers included Jace Alexander, John Conlon, Alan Cumming, Olympiz Dukakis, Jesse Eisenberg, Dan Hedaya, Kristen Johnston, Natasha Lyonne, Mos Def, Rosie Perez, John Shea, Celia Weston and Garret Savage. Green told indieWIRE that Lily Tomlin is already on board for the filmed version as Irene Reilly, Drew Barrymore will star as Darlene, Dukakis will play Santa Battaglia, and Mos Def is set as Burma Jones. "I don't think I could make it without him," Green told indieWIRE.
As for the lead role, no actor has been set yet even though rumors persisted throughout the weekend that Phillip Seymour Hoffman will play Ignatius. Ferrell's turn as the character struck a continually humorous chord with the audience. Staging included Reilly seated in the audience at the start of the reading, lashing out loudly as Savage, the reading's narrator, introduced Miramax, the producers, and the cast. Wearing Reilly's trademark green hat, Ferrell made his way from the back of the auditorium, all the while catcalling cast as they were introduced. "I was startled and amazed at Ferrell's dig on Ignatius," Green told indieWIRE by email earlier this week, reflecting on the event. "I had no idea that a character that sad could make me piss my pants with laughter."
"George Washington" and "All the Real Girls" director Green, who is back in Georgia editing his latest film, "Undertow," told indieWIRE that "Dunces" will either shoot this fall or next spring in New Orleans. - indieWIRE, 6/26/03
posted by Linus | 9:43 PM
Tuesday, August 26, 2003
A new story by Dave Eggers. posted by Linus | 6:17 PM
Monday, August 25, 2003
K Street (HBO, premieres Sunday, September 14th, 10:30 p.m.; 10 p.m. thereafter)
Another new HBO show. Not sure what to make of this one. It could be interesting if Soderbergh can get this kind of stuff:
"Mr. Soderbergh wants the templates for the show to be "The War Room," Chris Hegedus and D. A. Pennebaker's documentary about the first Clinton presidential campaign, and "The Candidate," the 1972 Robert Redford movie that Mr. Soderbergh regards as the best fictional depiction of the political process."
Under these deadlines:
"To remain on top of the news, the episodes will be outlined and shot on an extremely tight schedule. Each week's installment will be hammered out and finished in three days, beginning on the Monday before each Sunday's air date. Editing will be done on Thursday and Friday." posted by Linus | 6:52 PM
Here's an update to this post, courtesy a recent Jeff Wells "Hollywood Elsewhere" column.
Too Hip for the Room?
If I had a Coen brothers movie opening on October 10, as Universal does with INTOLERABLE CRUELTY, I'd sure as shit be taking it to the Toronto Film Festival. Even if it's a mezzo-mezzo effort, I'd take it there because the press generally loves the Coen's and the buzz and excitement the film would accrue would more than justify the costs and the headaches. Toronto is the sort of venue that's tailor-made for promoting an arch, offbeat, battle-of-the-sexes film of this type.
For me, the fact that this dark comedy with George Clooney and Catherine Zeta Jones isn't going to Toronto raises red flags in and of itself. Plus the trailer makes it look awfully broad and mainstream-y for a Coen bros. film. There's also this guy who occasionally gives me good stuff saying that some "radical last-minute tinkering centering on the second act" has been going on recently.
A Universal spokesperson says "not taking INTOLERABLE to Toronto doesn't signify anything except the impossibility of being in two places at pretty much the same time -- we're showing the film at the Venice Festival in two weeks with George and Catherine in attendance. And there hasn't been any radical re-working of anything -- who's got the time? The Coens are making LADYKILLERS with every minute they've got right now.
"INTOLERABLE plays flat-out great," the spokesperson claims. "The Coens maintain their idiosyncratic style but intentionally made a film with an accessible, mainstream appeal that's more associated with Brian Grazer, who produced it. It's a witty throwback to some of the Sturges, Cukor or Hawks romantic comedies that relied on sexual chemistry and verbal repartee, and George, Catherine, Billy Bob and the whole cast are more than up to stepping up to that. You're going to love it."
Clooney plays Miles, a slippery divorce attorney who crosses swords with Zeta Jones' Marylin. (Is there any other actress besides Madonna and Jennifer Lopez who's more closely identified in the public mind with opportunistic money-grubbing that CZJ? She's really got the greed market cornered.) Cedric the Entertainer plays a slithery shamus; Billy Bob Thornton portrays one of Marylin's ex-hubbies.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY's "Fall Preview" issue calls CRUELTY the Coen's "first foray into what is seemingly a mass-market comedy, replete with a producer who knows how to milk mass-market comedy for millions -- Imagine's Brian Grazer. 'They wanted to work with me for the mainstream part of it,' says Grazer, 'and I wanted to work with them for their quirky and artistic nature.'"
CRUELTY started as a script by John Romano ("Monk," "Hill Street Blues"). His script was substantially re-written by Robert Ramsay and Matthew Stone (LIFE, BIG TROUBLE), but the verdict came down that their version was "funny but not good enough," according to a producer who was around at the time. This activity happened maybe six or seven years ago. Then Alphaville's Jim Jacks, one of the film's listed producers, brought in Joel and Ethan Coen to rewrite CRUELTY "for money," the source says.
Then Grazer's Imagine Entertainment worked its way into things. Grazer declared at one stage in the game that Ron Howard would direct, but that never happened. In any event, once Imagine was in "they never left," says the producer. And then later "other directors and producers came and went" before the Coens were lured back to direct. The script "was always funny ....oops but arch," the source recalls. "It pretended to have an emotional core, but mostly that felt tossed off in favor of glib tricks."
The source agrees "that the trailer looks awful. I heard that testing has been mediocre. Kinda too hip for the room is my guess."
posted by Linus | 6:37 PM
Sunday, August 24, 2003
You can find live versions of a few "dandies" all zipped up here. posted by Linus | 3:47 PM
His pals now call him "Black Magic". posted by Linus | 2:40 PM