IRRITATED BY PERVASIVE USE OF MULTIPLE CAMERAS IN FILMS TODAY
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Here is the latest news:
a la Mod:
"In preparing Venice," said Venice Fest director Alberto Barbera at a press conference in Rome today (via Variety), "I have very much admired and envied my friend and colleague who heads the Toronto Film Festival. He has an easy job: He can take 350 movies, and therefore accept almost anything. We have chosen a much tougher path, in which, after lots of discussions, we had to say 'no' a lot. And it was very tough." The Globe And Mail further quotes Barbera: "The main recurring theme is the crisis. The economic crisis, which is having devastating social effects, but also the crisis of values, the political crisis." Passion appears to fit this theme, with its focus on the politics of the corporate business world.
Despite the crisis, Barbera wanted to showcase "a great productive ferment" in the industry, according to the Globe And Mail. "We have taken risks," Barbera is quoted telling reporters. "There are many established directors but also less famous directors and many unknown young directors from countries without cinematic traditions and without real access to the market. Festivals should revert to their original roles of exploration, of scoping out innovation, instead of relying only on the established producers.”
The jury at this year's Venice fest will be headed by Michael Mann, who will also screen his out-of-competition documentary Witness: Libya. The closing film will be the out-of-competition L'homme qui rit, Jean-Pierre Ameris' remake of Paul Leni's The Man Who Laughs, a film which factored into the plot of De Palma's The Black Dahlia. Opening the fest, also out-of-competition, will be Mira Nair's The Reluctant Fundamentalist.
Among the competition films announced are Olivier Assayas' Something In The Air, Harmony Korine's Spring Breakers, and Marco Bellocchio's Dormant Beauty. Out of competition titles include Robert Redford's The Company You Keep, Spike Lee's Bad 25 (a documentary of Michael Jackson's Bad), Ariel Vromen's The Iceman, and Henry-Alex Rubin's Disconnect.
As this year marks the Venice Festival's 80th anniversary (although it is only the 69th festival), it will feature a new regular section, Venice Classics, which will screen restored versions of films that premiered at Venice. Michael Cimino is expected to attend this year's screening of the Criterion restored version of Heaven's Gate, which had its premiere at the Venice Festival in 1982. Other titles in the Classics section this year include Billy Wilder's Sunset Boulevard and Orson Welles' Chimes At Midnight.
'BODY DOUBLE' IN LONDON
Late notice here, but De Palma's Body Double had two late night screenings this past weekend at the Hackney Picture House. "One of the highlights of the year on Friday and Saturday night this week," Capital Celluloid's Tony Paley posted Friday. "Two very rare screenings of Brian De Palma's underrated mid-1980s Hitchcockian thriller." Paley added Dave Kehr's review from the Chicago Reader:
One key character is an actor named Lynn Loring who does a one-man show. "I'm famous for my Treplev," Loring tells Downs, who is clueless as to the reference, but we later find that the well-read Quentin Lee is able to explain in full to Lieutenant Columbo (he tells Columbo that Treplev is "a young and rather impetuous poet in Chekhov's play -- The Seagull").
At one point in the story, Quentin Lee has taken over hosting duties for Downs' talk show for a special tribute to Downs, of which the script naturally takes a cynical view. Columbo visits the set during taping to ask Lee some questions, and Lee tricks him during a commercial break, so that Columbo suddenly finds the bright lights shining on him as he uncomfortably becomes part of the show. This of course makes it all the easier for Lee to include his conversation with Columbo as part of his video diary of the "perfect crime." Prior to this scene, Lee once tries to tape Columbo, who has arrived unannounced at the author's apartment, and Columbo tells him to stop. "Uhh," says Columbo, "would you mind not doing that, Mr. Lee? I get awful self-conscious. I don't even let my wife take home movies of me." Lee presses Columbo to make a statement about the murder on tape, and effectively chases him out the door with his camera.
Loring's glossy headshots lead to a Blow-Up-style investigation of some photographs, and get this-- the photographer's name is Spielberg. This was in 1973, before Steven Spielberg had made Jaws and become a household name (otherwise, the reference may have been too obvious). Spielberg had directed one of the earliest episodes of Columbo in 1971. Titled Murder By The Book, Spielberg considers it one of his two best TV episodes. A later 1974 episode of Columbo did feature a boy genius character named Steve Spielberg.
In Shooting Script, Spielberg is one of three graduate students who are shadowing Columbo as he investigates the crime. Their first names are never mentioned, so they are known as Chapman, Brooks, and Spielberg. "May I ask you a question," Columbo says to Spielberg early on. "Why is it you don't ask any questions?" Spielberg replies, "I'm into electronics. Surveillance devices. Photographic equipment." The Spielberg character seems very much like the De Palma surrogate played by Keith Gordon in De Palma's Dressed To Kill, and while he doesn't say much, when he finally does have something to say, everybody perks up-- it is Spielberg who provides the spark of the idea that allows Columbo to finally catch Quentin Lee. When Columbo and the graduate students are trying to figure out how they might find Quentin Lee's incriminating video tapes, it is mentioned by Chapman that keeping the tapes at his apartment would be too obvious. "I think that's exactly what he'd do," Spielberg suddenly chimes in...