DIRECTOR IS GUEST AT TALENT LAB
Brian De Palma had to cancel his master class at this year's Montreal Film Festival due to "serious dental surgery," also referred to as "killer dental surgery," and also as just plain old "crazy dental surgery." But we're happy to report that De Palma has safely made it to another of his regular festivals, the Toronto International Film Festival, where the director is a guest at this year's Talent Lab. De Palma, pictured top left in front of participants at the lab yesterday with Talent Lab governor Don McKellar (a multi-hat Canadian filmmaker who most recently wrote and acted in Fernando Meirelles' upcoming Blindness), has participated in the lab multiple times over the past few years. It is there that he met producers Simone Urdl and Jennifer Weiss, who produced Redacted and will produce two more upcoming De Palma features. At right, De Palma is pictured with fellow Talent Lab guest, actress Samira Makhmalbaf, at last night's Talent Lab dinner.
WILLA HAS 'STAR QUALITY'
As mentioned in my post yesterday, not only will De Palma's friend and collaborator David Koepp be at the Toronto fest with a new film, but so will De Palma's step daughter, Willa Holland. Holland has two films premiering at this year's fest, and one of them has received a rave from Baz Bamigboye, a columnist for the U.K.'s Daily Mail. Bamigboye is quite taken with Holland, writing that the camera loves her, and that Michael Winterbottom's Genova shows that she is "blessed with star quality." Bamigboye writes, "There's a scene where she's riding pillion on a Vespa, the camera lingers a while on her face and we see the sense of panic, fear and grief she must be going through. I just hope this gifted young actress is allowed to continue to make brilliant choices." One of Holland's costars in Genova is Colin Firth, who earlier this decade was prepared to make a film with De Palma that has never yet panned out: Toyer, an adaptation of the play by Gardner McKay that De Palma wanted to make with Firth and Juliette Binoche, transfering its setting from Los Angeles to Venice. De Palma had written the screenplay himself, and it was reported that Ted Tally had worked on a revision, but the timing (Venice in the winter) never quite worked out for everyone involved.