Casual Browsing: Spike Jonze Lead-off Edition

spike.jpg A recap of news and novelties from the past few days:

— In light of recent director power-packaging (RE: The Three Amigos): “A plan is afoot to create a director’s company, with Steven Soderbergh, David Fincher, Spike Jonze and perhaps Sam Mendes and Mike Nichols in a venture that will give them full creative control and copyright ownership. The company would be run by Laura Bickford, who produced “Traffic” and Soderbergh’s upcoming “Che,” and it is expected they would pursue private equity financing.” – Variety

— Related: “For financial reasons, Coppola said the truly creative directors — he mentioned Wes Anderson, Spike Jonze, and David O. Russell, in particular — can’t do what they want. “[ ‘Boys Don’t Cry’] Director Kim Peirce . . . Where’s her second film?” he grumbled.” – The Boston Globe on Francis Ford Coppola’s dissatisfaction with the studio system. Coppola’s wine business allows him to subsidize his own films.

— Less Related: At Cannes, Spike Jonze makes his pitch for Charlie Kaufman’s Synecdoche, New York. You may remember that the two were previously paired, with Jonze as director on the Kaufman scripted Adaptation and Being John Malkovich. Synecdoche will mark Kaufman’s directorial debut, with Jonze producing the epic mindbender with stars Phillip Seymore Hoffman, Catherine Keener, Samantha Morton, Michelle Williams, and Tilda Swinton.

Cannes Notes:

Michael Haneke’s shot for shot remake of Funny Games (updated with Naomi Watts, Tim Roth, cell phones, DVD instead of VHS, and the English language) looks to be in the can, but not in Cannes. Talk shifts to Haneke’s following picture: historical epic The White Ribbon – The Guardian.

Sicko: The words “brilliant”, “uplifting”, “Michael Moore“, and “Fox News” all come together in a tell-tale sign of the coming apocalypse. Via Film Ick

— “French Customs officials have quarantined a 35mm print of the controversial film “Last Looks,” which was on its way to a world premiere showing out of competition at the current Cannes Film Market…A source close to the production described the film as showing the actual deaths of actors and behind-the-camera crew members during production of a low-budget American indie horror film called “The Evil Eye” that was filmed in the summer of 2006 among the Turkish and Greek Islands in the Mediterranean Sea…It’s all pretty compelling stuff – except that it’s a fake. Far from being cinema verite, Last Looks is a hoaxumentary (arguably mockumentary’s poorer cousin…) directed by Barry Alexander Brown, aka Spike Lee‘s editor and the director of four low-budget, low-profile films.” – Filmmaker

Miscellanea:

— More from Filmmaker: interviews with Hal Hartley on Fay Grim, and another conducted with Wong Kar-Wai right around the conclusion of shooting for My Blueberry Nights.

— Casting News: Audrey Tatou is set to play Coco Chanel in her earlier years, but as Filmstalker points out, there are another two pictures in the works about the Fashionista. Juliet Binoche to star as an art-gallery owner in Abbas Kiarostami’s Certified Copy. William H. Macy to star in a “conflicted criminal” series for TNT, entitled Family Man. And if you’re really late to the party: De Niro & PacinoRighteous Men.

Culture Snob‘s The Misunderstood Blog-a-thon: rethinking frogs falling from the heavens in Magnolia, plus The Truman Show, E.T., Children of Men, many more. Via GreenCine Daily

— “She would have to make all those tones, and it would give her a much more important job. So I was having this idea to make my girlfriend happy…In the meantime, she left me.” Michel Gondry on his four, soon to be five music videos for The White Stripes. Via Director File

— Video: 100 Movies, 100 Quotes, 100 Numbers a mind-boggling exercise in patience and perseverance to go along with the prerequisite question: “Do they not have a day job?” Via zigzigger

Television Notes:

Televisionary, with some hand-wringing over the disappointing pilot for The Return of Jezebel James, the brainchild of Gilmore Girls creator Amy Sherman-Palladino featuring Parker Posey and Six Feet Under‘s Lauren Ambrose as estranged sisters: “So why doesn’t The Return of Jezebel James work? For one thing, it’s mostly shot as a multi-camera traditional sitcom, complete with an obnoxious and off-putting laugh track that literally makes you not want to laugh”. Jace has some notes and suggestions for the Fox series, scheduled to debut mid-season, after the rush of fall pilots. Related: Entertainment Weekly with Sherman-Palladino fresh from the conclusion of Gilmore Girls, about her new series.

— Your network TV fall-lineups: the short of it – Variety. The long of it – Deadline Hollywood Daily. Related viewing: Watch the pilot episode for HBO’s Flight of the Concords – free. Also, preview videos for ABC’s fall lineup. Dirty Sexy Money (!).

— “Then a woman I have literally never seen before in my entire life started talking very loudly about something involving Halpert. She was agitated, I’d say. From what I could guess, she was definitely on drugs of some kind, perhaps cocaine, or maybe ‘drines. Also, she is a knock-out.” – Creed’s Blog

Posted by Ted Zee on May 21st 2007 | Home Page | 2 Comments Subscribe to this site's feed

2 Responses

  1. Dave and thomas Says:

    Spike Jonze is one of our favorite directors. We hope that he gets that new studio thing going.

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