8 items from 2015
As film after film rolls into our theatres, we generally give little thought to the process that brought them there – beyond, perhaps, appreciating the technical prowess on display. The fact is, for most movies, the process begins long before, and involves screenplay purchases, re-writes, production financing and detailed scheduling, among other challenges. In reality, getting any film into a theatre is, in itself, an achievement of perseverance, ambition, and dedication.
Stories of troubled productions are legion, with the most famous often generating their own films. Possibly the greatest example of this is The Man Who Killed Don Quixote, which is a film adaptation of the book Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes. Terry Gilliam has made a reported seven attempts to film this project between 1998 and 2014, with the most spectacular occurring in 2000, when cameras actually rolled, but were halted by catastrophic flooding, illness and financial difficulty. The 2002 documentary Lost In La Mancha »
- Sarah Myles
When you look back Terry Gilliam’s embattled, Sisyphean career, documented in films like “Lost In La Mancha” or chronicled in stories of the filmmaker taking out an ad in Variety against Universal for holding “Brazil” ransom” and eventually winning that battle, one generally doesn’t think of the mythic comedy “The Fisher King.” Critically acclaimed, universally loved, and nominated for five Academy Awards including a Best Actor nomination for the late Robin Williams (it won Best Supporting Actor for Mercedes Ruehl), “The Fisher King” is generally not the film one thinks about when they think "beleaguered Terry Gilliam movie". But it’s interesting to hear its narrative in the context of those that were there at the time looking back on getting the film made. Out on DVD/Blu-Ray this week thanks to the Criterion Collection, the DVD extras paint a lesser-known picture: Terry Gilliam close to being locked »
- Rodrigo Perez
While not all receive the golden ticket for a Park City premiere, the invaluable support available at the Sundance Institute is ongoing and takes several shapes and forms. Last year’s batch of Documentary Edit and Story Labs attendees included Anna Sandilands & Ewan McNicol who trimmed Uncertain, while Lyric Cabral & David Felix Sutcliffe spliced into shape (T)Error. As underlined in the press release, this year’s eight projects touches of subjects of transgender parents, the aftermath of Sandy Hook tragedy, exonerated death row inmates and AIDS. Among the noteworthy names attending (June 19-27 and July 3-11) we find Lost in La Mancha duo of Keith Fulton & Lou Pepe (see pic above) and Informant director Jamie Meltzer’s tentatively titled Freedom Fighters. Here are the participants and creative folk for ’15.
- Eric Lavallee
Terry Gilliam's abortive attempts to make his big screen riff on Cervantes' famous novel are well documented in the wonderful film, Lost in La Mancha. But at various film Q&As and other settings, people have been asking the director for years if he would ever attempt it again. And Gilliam has always been forthcoming that he would, some day return to making The Man Who Killed Don Quixote.And that day is apparently here, in an interview with Indiewire, Gilliam has indicated that Amazon is ponying up the cash and giving him the artistic freedom he desires. The film is to shoot in 2016 with John Hurt in the leading role, with a theatrical release followed by an Amazon-only streaming release.The article quotes Gilliam as saying, "Amazon...
[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
Alright, everybody. For the next few days, at least, avoid black cats as best you can, step around any ladders you might come upon, and if you spill salt, be sure to throw some over your shoulder. The Playlist reports that the recently announced Amazon Studios deal to bring Terry Gilliam on to produce, write, and direct original content for them includes that most infamous of troubled productions: Gilliam's The Man Who Killed Don Quixote. You may also know this as that movie that produced an acclaimed documentary, Lost in La Mancha, focused solely on how hopeless the production was when Gilliam last tried to create his would-be masterwork, which, at the time, had wrangled none other than Johnny Depp. The current incarnation will feature John Hurt as Quixote with Jack O'Connell, of Unbroken, Starred Up, and this year's excellent '71, as the secondary lead. According to Gilliam, the way »
- Chris Cabin
Amazon seems to have the funds and means to make themselves on par with not only their streaming competitor Netflix but also every other independent studio in Hollywood right now, and with their power it looks like they're going down the auteur route. In addition to producing Spike Lee's next "joint" Chiraq and working on Woody Allen's first-ever TV show, they have also inked deals on the next projects from directors Terry Gilliam and Jim Jarmusch. Deadline broke the story, but it was the astute eyes over at The Playlist found the scoop buried in their report. Amazon has yet to confirm what projects the filmmakers have signed onto with their banner, so to figure out what's in the works one has to rely solely on what each filmmaker announced previously. Although Gilliam expressed interest in making a steampunk version of 1984 in recent history, it would seem this is mostly likely the very, »
- Will Ashton
This week, Neil Calloway looks at the recent collapse of two films, and the wider implications for Hollywood…
Imagine if you’d secured Bruce Willis, or Robert De Niro and Robert Pattinson to star in your film, sorted out financing and actually started shooting; you’d be pretty happy. You wouldn’t be guaranteed a hit – in William Goldman’s oft-repeated maxim about Hollywood “nobody knows anything”, but you’d be pretty certain that your film would get a release, and had the potential to make money.
But of course, this is Hollywood. “Nobody knows anything” is often repeated because it’s true. In November last year Idol’s Eye, starring De Niro and Pattinson, shut down production, and this week Bruce Willis, along with director John Pogue, left the film Wake after production had been “temporarily” stopped earlier in the year. Both films were to be produced by Benaroya Pictures, »
- Neil Calloway
When Only God Forgives made its debut at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival, it’s fair to say the reaction was somewhat mixed. Some hooted and derided the film. A few got up and left. Many, on the other hand, championed director Nicolas Winding Refn’s follow up to his critically-acclaimed Drive, also starring Ryan Gosling.
The Guardian’s Peter Bradshaw, for example, prized the film, and for this writer, it was a disturbing counterpoint to the more commercial Drive - if that film was a sun-drenched dream in which Ryan Gosling played an archetypal male hero, then Only God Forgives is the nightmare: a view of machismo gone horribly awry.
If some critics were appalled by the film, Refn had misgivings of his own. The director’s self-doubt »
8 items from 2015
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