Well Euro-geeks, it's been a month and a half since Father Geek posted the first Euro-AICN column. In those weeks our Paris Offices have covered alot of news of special interest to anyone interested in the Continental Cinema scene, so make sure and send these guys all your Euro-leads. In another couple of weeks I'm going to begin searching for people to head up AICN's efforts in Latin America and South East Asia. I can't wait to begin posting regular reports on what's happening in Hong Kong, Mexico, Brasil and all the other hot-beds of film making in those two regions of our earth.
Hi guys, waz up? Darth Bond here from Paris, F-land, at EuroAICN HQ. See that menu on the left side of the screen? See where it says 'contact'? Click it and you'll see that Euro-AICN finally has a public address and a telephone number (not just a email address)! That's right. We're finally official OFFICIAL AICN reporters (so official we are official twice), and to think it all started with two talk-backers kidding around. And today those two talkbackers are gonna rock the house now with our:
EURO AICN #6 (already!)
By Edgard and Darth Bond
* We received some info on the British TV serie BLAKES 7 from Roborob: Reports in the press seem to indicate that Two TV Movies of the BBC Series BLAKES 7 will be produced by the end of the year. The Movies would star Paul Darrow as the Avon Character he original portrayed in the TV series. No other casting news has been released. This news comes after years of Fans Pleading the BBC to recommission the series famed for it's Wobbly sets and dramatic story lines.... and this was confirmed also by Tycho : It looks like BLAKES 7 a 70's TV show from one of the writers of Dr Who is getting a big budget (in UK terms) movie sequel. Looks like this should be cool and tie up the loose end in the story with Paul Darrow reprising his role as Avon ...its great news for the Uk Sci Fi geeks and BLAKES 7 lovers from around. Check the info on their site .
* Part of the successful team of NOTTING HILL and FOUR WEDDINGS AND A FUNERAL will work together again on BRIDGET JONES' DIARY. Writer Richard Curtis, Producers Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner, and actor Hugh Grant will be joined by Renee Zellweger in the title role. This has been described (maybe wrongfully, I haven't read the book to confirm) as a kind of "London Ally McBeal" as, like the Boston lawyer, Bridget Jones is a thirty-something woman looking for the right man (in London).
* DJ reports on LAVA, a new British movie: A terrific new Brit movie is LAVA which I managed to catch at a preview designed to snag this little gem a distributor. Yes, I'm afraid that it's another London gangs and gangster movie but this time it's more like 'Clerks' with guns and avoids the tired Cockney smugness of the wearisome parade of 'Lock Stock.' wannabes that we haven't even seen the half of yet. An astonishing feat from actor/writer/director Paul Tucker is brilliantly topped by actor James Holmes' screen debut as a career supermarket shelf stacker with revenge on his mind. It restores your faith in the Britpic - it hasn't got Jude Law or any of his pals in it, it's riotously funny and oddly moving. Movie distributors throughout the world - get out those cheque books. See www.lavamovie.com for a little taste if you want - but I promise that the film is more interesting than the website.
* We received a lot of requests concerning the shooting of the Tom Hanks/Steven Spielberg WWII TV production BAND OF BROTHERS. We hope that if you are part of the extra's you will send us your reports. Meanwhile Farang managed to sneak onto the airfield where the series is being shot, here's his report : Last Friday night me and a friend got access to North Wield airfield which is in Essex (using a friend's security pass). We managed to get to the far end of the airfield where the filming is taking place. My friend is a vintage airplane nut and this is what we saw : 4 dc3 Dakotas in invasion colours were parked on that end of the airfield with approx. 10 wooden silhouettes(of dc3's), also was a couple of anti aircraft guns plus a lots of military vehicles. Filming was due to start on Monday 3rd April but they lost a couple of days due to bad weather. That night we were there we saw approx. 100 extras in US army uniforms being bussed off the set just after dark, we had just missed the filming. The filming was due for approx. 1 week but with the bad weather it will be extended. My friend has a spy who works on the airfield who will keep us informed on what's happening. Their is also a film set built at Hatfield studios (where the last couple of bond movies were shot), rumour has it that's its a POW camp but I cannot confirm or deny that one.
* Deth here with some info on a "family movie" : UK director John Henderson will direct the family adventure OGOPOGO with backing from MBP in Germany. The movie has been written by Barry Authors and tells the story of a Canadian boy who befriends a sea monster. OGOPOGO will shoot this autumn in Canada with a budget of around $20 million.
* And to finish our UK section, a short info from Artemis Jones that could interest all the Mike Leigh's fans : It seems that brit director Mike leigh is directing a play called "ecstasy" in the crypt arts centre in Dublin Castle- yes that Mike Leigh from SECRETS AND LIES.
* Mr Potato Head and Ozymandias brought us some info on this new film shot in Ireland: Robbie Coltrane (GOLDENEYE, THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH) and Dan Aykroyd are filming ON THE NOSE, set in Dublin`s Medical Collage. Coltrane plays a gambling porter called Brendan who stumbles across a way of choosing winners during a look through the dusty archives of the college . Along with his mates, and a visiting Canadian lecturer, played by Aykroyd, he takes full advantage. The film will shoot in Ireland over the next six weeks. It co-stars Brenda Blethyn (LITTLE VOICE).
* Ozymandias added two more tibbits : According to this morning's Star newspaper Elaine Cassidy (remember her from Felicia's Journey?) has just started shooting on the movie Disco Pigs based on the play by Enda Walsh (it's described as a "twisted rites of passage story"). It's being directed by Kirsten Sheridan, daughter of the famous Jim Sheridan and is her first feature. Shooting is underway in Dublin and Cork and will continue for the next 7 weeks. Also from tonight's Evening Herald: The biggest news story here for weeks has been the murder trial of Catherine Nevin - a publican's widow who was accused of murdering her husband in their pub and trying to make it look like a botched burglary. She was found guilty this week and the paper reports tonight that Miramax have had researchers over here and have had a treatment of a screenplay done with Frances McDormand in mind for the lead..... Ozymandias will help the Euro AICN team to cover Ireland scoops (lots of "big" movies have been made there), you can contact him at the following address email@example.com .
* Patrice Leconte is a busy man: his new movie LA VEUVE DE SAINT-PIERRE (The widow of Saint-Pierre, starring Juliette Binoche, Daniel Auteuil and director Emir Kusturica) is coming out on April 19th here, but just a few days later he will already start the shooting of his next one, FELIX ET LOLA DANS LES AUTOS TAMPONS (Felix & Lola in the bumper cars), with Charlotte Gainsbourg and Philippe Torreton. A love story in the fun fair world (a topic very close of THE GIRL ON THE BRIDGE that Leconte made two years ago with Vanessa Paradis and Daniel Auteuil).
* Thierry Lhermitte and Patrick Timsit (already together in UN INDIEN DANS LA VILLE, which was remade by Disney as ... with Tim Allen) will star in LE PRINCE DU PACIFIQUE (don't need to translate that, do I ? -Ed) directed by Alain Corneau (ALL THE MORNINGS OF THE WORLD , LE COUSIN). This is the story of a French captain who arrives on a Polynesian island in 1918 to train the natives to the "art of war".
* A short info for all the Gerard Depardieu fans in Europe: cultural TV channel ARTE will have a "Thema" evening on the French actor on the 14th May : two documentaries will be presented, with images of Depardieu on the sets of TV production LES MISERABLES (shot in Prague), VATEL, 102 DALMATIONS and interviews of fellow actors/directors.
* Even if it is already an old tradition in the States, in France it is quite new : more and more cinema actors make big budget movies for television channels. GÃ©rard Depardieu has been one of the first with the story of BALZAC (with also among others Jeanne Moreau) and LE COMTE DE MONTE-CRISTO (Ornella Muti was there too). Soon will come, still with Depardieu, another adaptation of LES MISERABLES (starring also John Malkovich, Jeanne Moreau, Christian Clavier, Asia Argento, Virginie Ledoyen...). Other "big" actors are joining the move : Alain Delon will play a cop named Fabio Montal (this could even become a serie), Jean-Paul Belmondo will star in L'AINE DES FERCHAUX (remake of the 1963 film - already with Belmondo - from Jean-Pierre Melville). French singer/actor Patrick Bruel (seen in America in Harrison Ford's SABRINA) will replace GÃ©rard Philipe in a new adaptation of FANFAN LA TULIPE (a kind of light-hearted Robin Hood). And comedian Michel Boujenah will play a single father who is also a cop in a weekly serie. Finally NAPOLEON is also in the works, with Clavier, Depardieu and Malkovich.
* If you are around Toulouse this week, try to get to the "CinÃ©mathÃ¨que de Toulouse" where the second edition of EXTREME CINEMA takes place (until April 23rd, hurry up...). The idea of this event is to find movies that were shocking or condemned when they came out; movies that have been removed from the "classics" list, and to show them publicly, many (or not) years later, and see how these films are perceived now. This year's theme is (please stay calm): "PORNO + POWER". Films from Pier Paolo Pasolini, Josef Von Sternberg, Eric VonStroheim, Paul Verhoeven, Tinto Brass or Jesus Franco will be then shown on big screen. In parallel two retrospectives will be presented : first one of Japanese films from the Nikkatsu production company, second one of American Writer-Director-Editor Doris Wishman. (Thank you to Grozilla for this info)
* Legoman talks about Lars von Trier's THE KINGDOM final instalment: Leading actress Kirsten Rolffes (Sigrid Drusse) died Monday night at the age of 71. In spite of this unfortunate news and Swedish actor Ernst Hugo JÃ¤regards death in 1998, DR (the national Danish broadcast corporation) and producer Peter Aalbaek Jensen yesterday announced their commitment to the series. Plans are to produce a single final episode with an expected running time of 110 minutes. With both principal actors gone, it should at least be interesting to see how Lars von Trier is going to tie up the loose ends.
* Pablolobo would like to give a little push to two Danish gangster movies : This week on DVD I KINA SPISER DE HUNDEN (In China They the Dog) came out. If you are not familiar with Danish Gangster movies they are a must see! Also out is follow up to PUSHER, BLEEDER. Again following in the Danish gangster genre this is another must see. For those of you who missed PUSHER try to get you hands on it. * And to conclude this 3danish" area, Edgard's little contribution : the third Dogme movie MIFUNE is now playing in the States, so I thought it was time for me to "advertise" a bit that fun movie. First this has nothing to do with the highly acclaimed FESTEN, MIFUNE would be more like a "European RAIN MAN" (but more subtle and more complex). Second, there is Iben Hjejle (you can see her with John Cusack in HIGH FIDELITY) who is doing a great job with her troubled character. It's touching and really funny at the same time... so give that one a chance, it's worth it.
Dima here with the new report from Yugoslavia, Things with our cinema network are getting edgy. Two weeks ago one local TV station aired `The Matrix` and now local movie distributors are threatening to take the case to the court. But all these things are getting irrational because the TV station is controlled by the dictator regime. That is why they tolerate such irrational behaviour. On Friday the 14th that station will air current cinema slate in order to prevent people from going out on anti-dictatorship protests. In the same time they'll revenge to the distributors and they'll spoil their commercial ambitions.
That is why `The Matrix` became a symbol of Serbia`s fight for freedom and democracy.
The cult hit in our video stores right now is the bootleg copy of `Final Destination`. I must say that Wong and Morgan did a great job on this one. It's a classy and hip thriller for the young audiences and it will compensate for the disappointment `Scream 3` imposed upon macabre fans.
A new Yugoslav movie project was announced this week. It is an untitled comedy made by the team that brought us `Tri palme za dve bitange i ribicu` (check this movie`s profile on www.imdb.com . Their first movie was a heist comedy and the second will be a comedy about romantic dreamers who form a band. These guys know how to make movies and that's why Warner Bros (you've read this one correctly) handled the release of their movie in Yugoslavia...They announced that some international star will have a cameo of Santa Claus in the movie but they didn't say who because they don't want to spoil the surprise. If you want to support our fight for freedom visit www.otpor.com God bless
EURO-PICK OF THE WEEK
After reviewing two quite violent films (MAN BITES DOG & DOBERMANN for those who don't follow our wonderful European News), I decided I had to show that I, Edgard, can also be a sensitive person. This is why I will review this week a great Swedish romantic comedy I saw almost 2 years ago : ADAM & EVA. It starts like many movies end : a man and a woman meet in incredible circumstances, they look at each other, fall in love, kiss..."The End"... Closing credits.... Cut to 4 years later : the romance has disappeared and has been replaced by old routine. Adam starts looking for adventures with a young baby-sitter; Eva leaves him, Adam wants her back... We have seen that story 1,000 times before, and we will see it again. So why see this one? Well, simply because it's a really hilarious, feel-good movie. The director is also very creative (see the "commercial alike" dream sequence) and the cast is brilliant. The situations are not far from the truth (everyone will feel close to a character or another). Maybe not a definite "classic" (in the cerebral way) but certainly a movie worth seeing if you like to smile or laugh for two hours.
QUESTION OF THE WEEK
More like a quiz this time: Using "The six degrees of Kevin Bacon" connect the soon to be invisible man to Penelope Cruz in three moves. Slap your answers in Talk Back.
Last weeks winner of the virtual EuroAICN Palm d'Or is Hedgehog23 and Nicotine, well done guys.
Okay, boys and gals, that's it for this week, stay tuned to any special EuroAICN reports during the week and for EuroAICN#7 next week (I'm gonna go back to listening my The Beach soundtrack now, which btw, rules -DB).