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Euro-AICN: David Fincher SpeaksOut; 24 HourPartyPeople; Stranded; BillyLiar; Senso45; Unfaithful; TT Syndrome

Father Geek here in ol' Austin, Texas along with Robert Bernocchi in Rome, Grozilla in Paris, ratbert in England, and Ethan in Eastern Europe. We've all got together once again to bring you a new edition of our regular Monday Euro-AICN Column. Lots of coolness today, especially Grozilla's lengthy interview with David Fincher, and those Caltanet pics from Senso 45 Tinto Brass (Nazis and lots of flesh). Sooooo, I'll just turn you over the our Euro-editor Robert in sunny Italy....

Hey people, We are back. I apologize for missing the Euro Aicn column this past week. Unfortunately, I was very busy at my regular job here in Rome with Caltanet and I had no time to fulfil my duties here at AICN too. I’m sorry for the inconvinence to our column's readers and to our contributors, I’ll try to do my best to avoid this situation in the future. Before starting with the usual column (which contains a few great reviews, a lot of news and a nice chat with David Fincher), I have an important communication for you: Effective April 24, 2002, Yahoo! Mail will no longer be provide free POP3 Access or Auto Mail Forwarding to Yahoo! Delivers subscribers. Thus, please send me everything at this NEW e-mail address: . Thanks!

First off, We here at Caltanet have a few new pictures of Unfaithful, starring Richard Gere, Diane Lane and Olivier Martinez. I liked very much the original one La Femme Infidèle, as probably almost everyone that has seen it, and I really hope Adrian Lyne did a good job on this one. We’ll see, in the meantime you can see the pics by clicking here: Just Do It Now . Then, click at “Guarda la galleria multimediale” at the right side of the page.

You can also see the sexy pics of Senso 45 (the latest Tinto Brass pics) by clicking here: You've Got To Click Right Now. Then, click at “Guarda la galleria multimediale” at the right side of the page just as as you did above... Hot, huh? Now, let’s start with the regular column.

News from Screendaily

First titles in Cannes Directors' Fortnight announced

The selection committee of the 34th Directors’ Fortnight (Quinzaine des Realisateurs) section of the Cannes film festival has announced a partial line-up of titles. Click Here To Check It All Out.

Shaolin Soccer scores at Hong Kong Film Awards

Stephen Chow’s Shaolin Soccer was the big winner at the 21st Hong Kong Film Awards on Sunday night (April 21), scoring seven of the 19 prizes, including best film and best director. Read The Whole Story Here.

Australia to get its first competitive film festival

Sydney Film Festival director Gayle Lake has confirmed that the festival will become a competitive event from 2003, the year it celebrates its 50th birthday, with filmmakers' first or second feature films being eligible. Australia does not currently have a competitive festival. Get The Coverage Here.

News from Ratbert

Ratbert here again, scouring the world of film for interesting tidbits of news. This week, another British movie classic gets the Hollywood treatment, though this one sounds more promising than usual; Ghandi takes on Roy Batty; and the greatest comedian of all time is honoured by Cannes. Plus my own view on '24 Hour Party People'.

Ben Stiller and Cameron Diaz are set to re-unite in an updated version of Billy Liar.

They scored a box office hit playing lovers in the Farrelly Brothers' There's Something About Mary. Now they are wanted to play the roles originally made famous by Tom Courtenay and Julie Christie. Will Rokos, the Oscar-nominated co-writer of Monster's Ball, is creating a new screenplay from Keith Waterhouse's novel. The story follows the fortunes of a no-hoper living in a fantasy world while plotting his escape from his small town existence. An associate of Rokos told Ananova: "The studio believe Stiller and Diaz would be the dream team, with Philip Seymour Hoffman as Billy's pal. "Ben apparently adores the story and he's waiting to hear from Cameron. But he sees no reason why they shouldn't work together again."

Ben Kingsley is considering playing Lord Montgomery of Alamein in a new film based on his life.

Italian film maker Enzo Monteleone sees Kingsley as the man he most wants to fill the role. Filming of the drama about the Second World War hero gets under way in the autumn in Morocco. A member of the production said: "It is no secret that Enzo is a great admirer of Mr Kingsley. "We are just waiting to hear back and we should know any day now whether he has accepted the part." Rutger Hauer has been pencilled in to play Field Marshall Rommel, the German military icon defeated by Montgomery's troops.

A film based on Spike Milligan's novel Puckoon will be premiered at the Cannes Film Festival next month.

The black comedy about life in a small Irish village stars Sean Hughes, Richard Attenborough and Elliott Gould. Friends connected to the production plan to drink a toast to Milligan after the screening of the film. The ex-Goon died in February aged 83. One friend said: "It would have been wonderful if Spike could have been there but he wasn't well enough to travel in any case. "Instead, we shall drink and drink again to his memory and hope that when the credits roll there will be a lot of cheering."

The 24 Hour Party People review

I know its been out here in the UK a while now, and been covered elsewhere on AICN, but a good music movie is worth flagging up, especially if it deserves a wider international release like this one does.

From the late 70s to the early 90s, Manchester ruled the music world. This city started new wave (The Fall, The Buzzcocks, Joy Division), established the 'Indie' scene (New Order, The Smiths, The Stone Roses) and invented the club/DJ/rave culture (The Happy Mondays, The Hacienda). True, there was also Simply Red and M People, but what other British city has contributed more to music and popular culture? (Liverpool my arse)

Making a film about such a vast subject might seem impossible, but 24 Hour Party People almost - but not quite - manages it. The action focuses on Tony Wilson (Steve Coogan) co-owner of Factory Records and The Hacienda, a smug egotist whose day-time job was reading the news on Granada TV. He takes risks and makes unexpected successes before his pigeons come spectacularly back to roost. We meet various bands and characters, notably the tragic Ian Curtis of Joy Division (the theme of the first half) and the certifiable nutcase that is Shaun Ryder of the Happy Mondays (the theme of the second).

Despite being well presented, directed and acted (Coogan is good, even if the ghost of Alan Partridge is never far away) 24 Hour Party People can never really get to the heart of this exciting period - there is too much to cover, and many people and incidents are sacrificed. Still it is very entertaining and if you like the music, unmissable.

Grozilla interviews David Fincher in Paris

Hi there, David Fincher was in Paris today to promote Panic Room. Here's what have been told in a press conference where the guy seemed to be a little bit tired. That explains maybe the soft tone of his answers...

How do you get out of an experience such as Fight Club ?

I’ve never really engaged in the controversy, maybe it was a bit naive. I always thought the people who were offended by this film overreacted.

What’s your relation with the audience?

I don’t have a distinct particular need to make an audience terrified. I don’t think this is a terrifying movie : it’s a suspense movie with an Implied threat throughout the film that is greater than what actually occurs. This is a movie I wanted to see. A lot of people have already done this kind of movie. Can I bring anything more to the party? I don’t think that: okay, I offended them at this point, so I have to make’em nervous, to appeaze them. I don’t think in those terms.

Panic room confronts different social classes. Was it a way to say that the rich are not after all totally unsafe ?

I don’t know. Obviously we needed a character wealthy enough to buy this kind of place. I was not conscious of making any social comment with it. It was just for the pace of the story. Of course the character of Forest Whitaker represents blue collar, but for Dwight’s motivation, we never know clearly where he come from. Anyway there was not an "eat the rich " message.

Some will see many homages to Hitchcock in Panic Room. When asked about actors, he said he think of them as cattle. Do you feel the same?

He didn’t said they were cattle but that they should be treated as cattle (laughs). Anytime you make a movie where there’s suspense in a house with windows, you’re kind of doomed to do an homage to Rear Window. I don’t know if Hitchcock invented the rules but he certainly implied that suspense was the product of audience knowing more about the subplot than the charactors on screen. By doing this film, I couldn’t do anything else but use some Hitchcock devices. The problem with this film is that it sure does have more to do with Home Alone than with Rear Window.

Three of your actors in this film are also directors. Does that change the way of working with’em?

It’s different. There’s always moments in making movies where you ask somebody to do something and they’re asking "why, my character would do this ". With directors-actors that never happened because they went through this before, where a director should say " look, I don’t fucking know why your character is doin’ that, but I need you to go to the window because for my next sequence I need to have seen you from there". Directors-actors tend to go in that direction : " okay, I'll do it, let me help you out" (laughs)

Your first choice was Nicole Kidman, how did you get Jodie Foster on board ?

Jodie was originally going to be in The Game. Sean Penn’s role was at first Michael Douglas’s daughter but we couldn’t make it work out for script and scheduling reasons. Since then, we talked about another movie I wanted to do about Herman Mankewicz in which I wanted her to play Marion Davies. In a way, when we cast Kristin Stewart as the daughter, it appeared to us she looked like a young Jodie Foster. Then Nicole hurt herself and had to be cut from the project, she called me and said: you know, Jodie Foster is available.

Your films are known by their formality. To some point this film is reality based but with irrealistic camera moves at some times. How do you play with your rupture point?

The CG camera movements made in the movies were not for the sake of being fantastic. You know, on a set, every camera movement requires enough space for the crew that has to be behind the camera. What we were just trying to do with CG was to say: there’s no camera operator, there’s no crew, there’s no track: the camera can go everywhere. No matter how loud you can scream, they can’t hear you.

In one of the latest Premiere editions, you are asked about Darius Khondji walking off the set. There you are quoted that Darius makes movies, you’re making films. What difference do you make between those terms ?

The quote is said out of context. But We were talking about differences between this movie and others I made. This is more a movie than a film. It’s not ment to look into human behaviour. This is a pop-corn movie and it’s about movie clichés in a weird way. The situation with Darius was one that most of the point of view of where the movie was supposed to photographed from had been decided. At the time, if we had followed his processes the movie would have became more about a science project than we needed. I think SEVEN is a film: it’s a genre movie in the beginning but it subverts itself to become something else. Moviemaking is the process of being interlocked with the audience about where they’re going next. Panic room was engineered to that purpose.

Panic room is a success in U.S at this time. You were offered many big studios projects, such as Mission: Impossible 3. In this kind of position a way to keep your integrity as a filmmaker?

(laughs).. I’m unaware of my reputation (laugh again). Making MI3 would be a challenge for me. I didn’t have enough clout to do the first as I wanted to. I’ve never had a deal with a movie that had to open on a certain date or must get results such as B.O to justify its existence. I have some specific ideas that Cruise and I discussed that I think would make it interesting, kind of shocking.

Shocking ?

It’s a particularly extreme take on espionage without having anything to do with terrorism of spying. I know Oliver Stone was supposed to do the first one, he didn’t. It’s possible than this might never happened. If we found a script that makes everybody happy… Not everybody, I mean a script that he likes and I like, we’ll go for it..

If it happens. With a star and a producer like Cruise, who’ll get the final cut ?

(Quite whispering) : Me…(A bit louder) Me.


Stranded review

I have just seen Stranded.

It´s one of those "first journey to Mars that goes wrong" films, but one that makes "Red Planet" and "Mission to Mars" look like delicate pieces of art. I can´t explain how putrid this film is, I don´t know where to start... oh, wait, of course I know where to start!. With Luna!. You see, Luna is the director. It´s her first film and she is given a huge budget (for the spanish standards) and a nice cast that is completely wasted: Maria de Medeiros, Joaquim de Almeida, Vincent Gallo, Joe Ramone from the Ramones and Maria Lidon... Who is Maria Lidon?, well, none other than Luna´s real name!. Oh, yes, she spreads her talent in front of the camera as well by becoming the main character. The egos have landed on Mars. She is wooden, she is boring and her voice is monotonous, which is a problem because when we don´t see her on screen we listen to her narration, in voice over, of mainly what we see.

The dialogue is full of gems, almost every time somebody opens his/her mouth they look like idiots, all of them talking to each other as if no one knew anything about the planet. And the final twist... cofcofredplanetcofcof... The FX were not as bad as I thought the may be, at least it´s the last thing you will complain about. Then again, most of the time the characters are arguing inside the pod or wandering through a desert.

Pretentious. Very, very pretentious. Full of arrogance and stupidity till the very end (the film is dedicated to God and the Virgin Mary!!), this ... "thing"... is not even camp enough. See it back to back with "2010" and prepare to evolve to a new level of consciousness not before experienced. Shite.

Yours sincerelly, The boy who ate his own oesophagus.

TT Syndrome review

Director: Dejan Zecevic Cast: Sonja Damnjanovic, Nikola Djuricko, Bane Vidakovic, Nebojsa Glogovac, Dzemail Mahsut, Fedja Stojanovic, Dusica Zegarac, Ljubinka Klaric, Radmila Tomovic.

Horrors and macabre thrillers with fantasy elements aren`t completely unknown in Yugoslav cinema. The most consistent author in this vein was Croat Oktavijan Miletic (1902 - 1987) whose experimental movies referred to contemporary horror classics at the dawning of the 20th Century. Sadly, Miletic never managed to create a large heritage because he collaborated with Croat fascist regime and never got to leave the mark in Yugoslav movie heritage because he was punished for WW - 2 sins. He ended up as strictly tecnical advisor on same Yugoslav post WW - 2 productions. Croat macabre tradition was continued by directors Zoran Tadic and Zivorad Tomic in collaboration with novelist and screenwriter Pavao Pavlicic. They mostly made crime fiction but sometimes they prowled through esotheric subjects which is proven by their unforgetable masterpiece RITAM ZLOCINA. In 1976 Krsto Papic made the first all out horror of socialst Yugoslavia named IZBAVITELJ based on the novel of Soviet writer A. S. Grin which won the desirable prize in Trieste. Djordje Kadijevic`s LEPTIRICA will always be remembered. The ultimate achievement in integration of horror and intellectual meaning was displayed Goran Markovic in hi masterpiece DEJA VU from 1987 where he describes the torture that was suffered by citizen class in Serbia after World War 2. Markovic`s keen eye for nightmare cinema canm also be detected in his earlier effort VARIOLA VERA (1982) where he intersected the disaster movie formula with stylish horror in order to describe the true epidemic of the lethal desease. Sadly, none of these movies really began the shaping of the authentic genre tradition in Yugoslavia. This is why the new wave authors are mostly inspired by foreign greats.

The Screenplay was written by director Dejan Zecevic it is bound in some genre specifics. In spite of flashbacks that describe the genesis of the evil that heppens to the characters, TT SYNDROME truly works inside one situation and one location. Thus it continues the tradition of Tobe Hooper`s mastrpiece TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE. The characters are set in the typical horros ethic - those who follow their sodomist instincts and take drugs get butchered. The plot is intentionally contrived in order to follow in Dario Argento`s footsteps. This kind of script has its` own rules and it can only be tackled by those who can feel the spirit of the genre.

The cast is competent. The sweetest casting calls are cameo by VARIOLA VERA`s Dzemail Mahsut and Dusica Zegarac who appeared in Fulci`s AENIGMA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Brilliant! Andrej Acin`s score essentially contributes to the feel and this young composer surely qualifies as the top Slav soundtrack expert. Archive music was also smartly used to create atmosphere.

TT SYNDROME also presents outstanding achievements when it comes to make up, particularly when you consider the budget. Zecevic`s direction is contents-driven in terms of scares. He doesn`t insist on edited suspense. Instead Zecevic relies on gut-wrenching displays of gruesome crimes. Camera movements present the benefits of digital technology. Zecevic`s use of handy cameras is more into Von Trier than Raimi which may come as a surprise.

TT SYNDROME is a landmark film that deserves absolute support because it writes the new pages of Yugoslav culture. Besides, director Zecevic got hassled around to get this project off the ground, to get it shot and transferred to 35mm prints. The torment lasted for two years so support for this film is also the payoff for his trouble. TT SYNDROME must be understood as an outstanding establishing of a potentially great author and the truly smart scene in the bloody stream of nightmare cinema which fulfills the lives of genuine scares afficionados.

God bless, Ethan

That’s all for today See you next week

Robert Bernocchi

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