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News Digest 3/12/14

By Gavin Smith on March 12, 2014 in Film Comment Featured, Film Comment

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Item of the day: Elaine May and husband Stanley Donen have co-written a comedy about filmmaking to be produced by Mike Nichols. A private reading took place recently featuring Christopher Walken, Charles Grodin, Ron Rifkin, and Jeannie Berlin … Larry Clark has been up to his old tricks, this time in Paris, with The Small of Us, yet another movie about skateboarding youth, featuring Michael Pitt and a cast of unknowns. After a troubled shoot last summer in which several cast members were summarily fired and which was described by one producer as “the greatest challenge of [Clark’s] career,” it seems likely to finally surface at Cannes. Let’s hope it’s more Kids than Wassup Rockers … Also headed to Cannes is André Téchiné’s thriller L’Homme que l’on aimait trop, based on the real-life 1977 disappearance of a woman who manages a casino in Nice. Catherine Deneuve and Guillaume Canet co-star …

Otar Iosseliani is starting work on his next film, Chant d'hiver, with the help of France’s advances-on-receipts production fund. Other recipients include Jean-Paul Rappeneau for his project Belles familles; Louis Garrel, whose Les Deux amis will team the writer-director with Vincent Macaigne; and Christophe Honoré … Michael Caine will star in Paolo Sorrentino’s In the Future, a drama about “friendship between two old people” … Abdellatif Kechiche is contemplating another helping of wrenching romantic anguish with a movie version of Héloïse et Abélard … Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini are currently shooting an adaptation of Eleanor Henderson’s novel Ten Thousand Saints, with Ethan Hawke and Hailee Steinfeld, about a young man (played by Hugo star Asa Butterfield) who moves in with his estranged father in Manhattan in 1987 at the height of the East Village punk scene …

Jim Jarmusch is rumored to be planning an opera, and hopes to be shooting his next feature this fall … Steven Soderbergh is producing David Gordon Green’s made-for-TV film Red Oaks. Let’s hope Green’s Suspiria remake stays on the back burner … Next up for Oculus director Mike Flanagan is Diver, a supernatural thriller about a secret project in which crime investigators enter the minds of the recently dead to experience their final memories ... Catherine Deneuve, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Chiara Mastroianni, and Benoît Poelvoorde co-star in Benoît Jacquot’s next film, Three Hearts, in a love triangle between a man and two sisters …

And Most Pointless Remake of the Week prize goes to Michael Bay for his update of The Birds, relocated to England, the original setting of Daphne du Maurier’s 1952 novelette, and to be directed by the memorably named Diederik van Rooijen. The film’s producers have pledged that the film will be a more faithful adaptation than Alfred Hitchcock’s 1963 film, but so far it’s taken seven screenwriters and counting to get there …

3/5/14 ... Terrence Malick’s unfinished 2008 project Voyage of Time, a documentary about “the whole of time, from the birth of the universe to its final collapse” will finally be completed after the resolution of a legal wrangle with its financiers. Brad Pitt and Emma Thompson, will narrate the film … Marcel Ophüls is planning a film about Ernst Lubitsch to star Dustin Hoffman, with Jeanne Moreau as Lubitsch’s private secretary ... Errol Morris is underway on Holland, Michigan, a narrative feature starring Naomi Watts, Bryan Cranston, and Edgar Ramirez ... David Fincher is re-teaming with producer Scott Rudin and writer Aaron Sorkin on a Steve Jobs biopic based on Walter Isaacson’s biography and structured around three pivotal moments in Jobs’s life ... Hot from HBO’s True Detective, Cary Fukunaga is directing Idris Elba in Beasts of No Nation, a drama about child soldiers in Ghana ...

Warren Beatty is finally getting his chance to play Howard Hughes in long-held passion project Rules Don’t Apply, which the actor wrote and will direct—and it only took Ron Burkle, Steve Bing, Terry Semel, Arnon Milchan, and Brett Ratner to scrape together the tiny $26.7 million budget to get it off the ground ... Weekend director Andrew Haigh’s follow-up film is 45 Years. Charlotte Rampling and Tom Courtenay co-star as a married couple about to celebrate their 45th wedding anniversary when news comes that the body of the husband’s first love has been discovered, frozen and preserved in the Swiss Alps ... And if you want to see a film directed by Alan Rickman, watch out for A Little Chaos starring Kate Winslet and Matthias Schoenaerts ... And this week’s most stupid remake is  the pointless “reboot” of Point Break to be directed by someone called Ericson Core, who seems to think that Gerard Butler can fill Patrick Swayze’s shoes.

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