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Euro-AICN: Corelli's Mandolin; Minority Report; Aardman, Schwarzenegger & Spottiswoode; All The Way; 25 Watts; Dogville

OK Euro film fans, Father Geek here with a hell of a Euro-AICN column for this Monday, the first complete, fully staffed such report of the new millenium. It is packed full of news from all over the continent, so Father Geek is going to just step aside and turn you over to our freshly returned from vacation Paris Editor Edgard...

But 1st this bit of breaking news just crossing Father Geek's desk from Ray in Ireland...

Sources in Dublin have confirmed that the Irish actor Colin Farrell has been in talks with Hollywood heavyweights Steven Speilberg and Tom Cruise. Farrell joined Speilberg and actor Cruise to confirm details on a new movie the trio are making together which is rumoured to be called MINORITY REPORT...

Full Story is here:ShowBizIreland.


Now to Edgard and Euro-AICN...


Hello hello... Edgard here with the first Euro AICN of 2001 (which is also the first of the 21st century and of the 3rd Millenium - doesn't make much difference but it's the only time I'll get to say that). On behalf of the Euro AICN crew I would like to wish all of you a very Happy New Year... I also would like to thank again Mr Ozy Mandias who very nicely covered alone th Euro news while I was on my Nordic trip. It was my first trip to Norway and actually my first try out on ski's... Result is quite unsurprising : Norway is beautiful under snow (lots of snow); and I am very bad on ski's (or I am good at falling... either way it's fun for others). But let's get back to the new year (2001 if you already forgot), the Euro team hopes to keep you informed on everything that will be happening on this side of the world... for that we're still counting on all of you... do not hesitate to send your comments, ideas, reports, reviews... ANYTHING you want to share with us... you can send it directly to Ozymandias in his Towers ( or to me in my castle ( The more stuff we get, the better it is...


* Here's some news from Denmark about the next Lars von Trier project, and this is brought to you by "Michael from Denmark" in two separate news :

1. Forget about all that Dogma and get ready for some new stuff. Lars von Trier's new film "Dogville" will be shot at just ONE location. The location will be a stage in the Avedore filmstudios in Copenhagen. According to Danish press von Trier will go a step further in search of the ultimate performance (and we thought Emily Watson and Bjork were amazing!) and he will do it by shooting the entire movie at one place. Just like a play I guess. The story will take place in the US and the dialogue will be in English. von Trier is hoping to get a big name for the lead which again will be a strong woman who's fighting against her own demons. The production will start in February and the budget will be approx. $6,5 million (that's about half of what Dancer in the Dark was).

2. This is something that just came out (this second). The new rumour say that Lars von Trier's first choice for the lead part in his new film "Dogville" is Nicole Kidman. Zentropa officials says that they will not yet say if it is true. Personally I don't know about this because I think they would have to delay production since Kidman is currently working on David Fincher's "The Panic Room" and should start Jane Campion's "In the Cut" after that. But we'll have to wait and see. I would be a good choice though.

Michael from Denmark

* And now some news on another "Dogma" director, Thomas Vinterberg (FESTEN) : Claire Danes has been cast in Danish director Thomas Vinterberg's English-language fantastical romance, It's All About Love. Danes is to play the world famous ice skater Elena in the story about two lovers and their attempts to save their floundering relationship in a near-future world on the brink of spiritual collapse. Shooting is scheduled from mid-April on location and in studios in Denmark and in Sweden, with extensive second unit filming in New York and around the globe. "Claire is one of the best actresses of our time," said Vinterberg, who made a mark with his debut, the Dogme film Festen. "I am looking forward to working with an actress who is in such perfect control of her craft." (Source : Screendaily)

French website Allocine also add to this that Joaquin Phoenix will be the co-star of Clare Danes in this film...


* Ethan sent us some news from Serbia... which reminds us again that it's hard sometimes to keep local cinema production alive against the big US blockbusters : Producers and authors of LAND OF TRUTH,LOVE AND FREEDOM (see White Narcissus` positive review) decided to cancel the release of their film since they weren't satisfied with the distributor. Allegedly, distributor failed to provide them with adequate ads, posters and showtimes. Most of their complaints ARE true since the movie wasn't marketed in the proper way and public hardly knew where it played. The same distributor works well for MGM, Universal and Paramount in Serbia and it seems that they turned into the Serbian office of Hollywood majors that isn't able to market anything on their own. It also appears that they care more about releasing GLADIATOR than domestic pics. Producers and authors unleashed their fury upon the distributors in a public letter and now they will release the film on their own in the small circuit of Belgrade`s independent cinemas. This case is in many ways a typical example of how Serbian distribution works. Apparently there was no contract between producers and the distributors since no one is trying to reclaim their rights. Also these people are victimising one of this year's best movies with their irresponsible behaviour. Right now there is also no law in Serbia that tries to tame the distribution quota for Hollywood releases so we got into the situation where cinemas show garbage like CHARLIE`S ANGELS all day long while domestic masterpieces struggle for venues.



* Here's some interesting news for fans of Spanish spoken films : Today, as a new year present, we are opening the discussion groups about film, movies, and in particular short films, shooted in Spanish language. We would like you have an active participation in them: send your opinions, let us know what are you thinking about the spanish language films, actors, etc, suggest themes. This week we have added four new short films. Between them we have "Malasombra", the last short film made by IVONNE REYES, the venezuelan actress. ¡ This film may be watched only here in canalcorto !.

You know, all of this and more, you may find in the first short films channel through internet in spanish language.


* From Screendaily : Miramax Films has closed two separate multi-picture deals with Italian directors Gabriele Muccino and Davide Ferrario to develop and direct both English and Italian language productions. First picture to go under Muccino's deal will be Miramax's remake of Cedric Klapisch's Paris-set, French-language breakthrough hit, Chacun Cherche Son Chat (When The Cat's Away) The Miramax version will be set in New York and English language. Miramax bought the remake rights to the film in 1999 from Vertigo Productions after Miramax Italy head Francisco Lombardo brought it to the attention of Miramax co-chairman Harvey Weinstein. Sony Pictures Classics handled the US release of the original, a French and international hit in 1996. Brad Anderson (Next Stop Wonderland) was signed to direct the remake - Anderson co-wrote the adaptation with Lyn Vaus but then dropped out. The script is being re-written at present by Tod "Kip" Williams. Heather Graham was originally attached to star.

Ferrario's first project for Miramax will be an as-yet untitled Italian American football comedy based on his own pitch. Miramax has also signed a deal with producer Domenico Procacci to produce an adaptation of Allessandro Barrico's novel Silk, which John Madden is attached to direct. Muccino and Ferrario are among the new generation of Italian film-makers. Muccino's credits include last year's Come Te Nessuno Mai (But Forever In My Mind) and 1998's Ecco Fatto (That's It). Ferarrio's credits include 1999's Guardami and 1998's Loro.


* Some Schwarzy news from Germany : Andrew13 here from Germany. Of course this is pure speculation, Harry. Now talk is that "T3" could be filmed after the SAG strikes. This would mean a quite long break for Arnold Schwarzenegger. Last week the German news magazine "FOCUS" had an interview with Arnie who said: "T 3 and True Lies 2 with James Cameron are the two films I'll definetely do next. (...) I dont know which one I'll do first." For me this means he knew T3 was in danger of being poststrike-produced at the time of this interview. IS there a chance that TRUE LIES 2 gets filmed first? Maybe in Canada and Europe?

* And a bit more on the Berlin International Film Festival : Films from the US, Italy, Iran and Spain are understood to be joining titles from the UK and Scandinavia in next month’s Children's Film Festival sidebar at the Berlin International Film Festival. Italy’s RAI Trade is representing Il Cielo Cade, which won the Giffoni Film Festival in July. Camera d’Or winning Iranian-Kurdish title A Time For Drunken Horses, handled internationally by France’s MK2, is also expected to be heading to Potsdamer Platz this year. From Spain, Bausan Films’ Lalia and Maitexu Films’ La Nota Final are also expected. The US is likely to be represented by Greg Dunigan’s A Little Insider, while Canada has Janet Perlman’s short film Bully Dance. At least four UK titles are understood to have been chosen including Pathe’s There's Only One Jimmy Grimble and IAC Films’ The Testimony Of Taliesin Jones. Also expected are Losing Touch, by National Film And Television School graduate Sarah Gavron, and animation film Hooves Of Fire, by Richard Goleszowski, a former collaborator of Aardman Animations' Nick Park and Peter Lord. Scandinavian titles selected by Children’s festival director Renate Zylla appear to include Danish director Natasha Arthy's feature debut Miracle, which Nimbus Film is handling. Crone Film’s Susanne Sillemann is a Danish short, while Cirkeline – Ost & Kaerighed is a Danish animation film. Selections from further afield include veteran Indian director Tapan Sinha's 42nd film, Anokha Moti, and Nabil Ayouch’s Ali Zaoua, a Moroccan drama about Casablanca street children which is being handled by France’s TF1. Belgium short Joyeux Noel, Rachid is also expected, as is Andre van Duren's Dutch adaptation of children's novel Mariken, which Edmond Films is representing. The Berlin International Film Festival runs February 7 to 18. (Screendaily)


* Episode II rumors ??... will Jack Vincennes heard something that could interest some of you (but is there really anyone out there interested by this film ?? - okay calm down I was just kidding) : I just saw an interview with Ewan Mcgregor on TV show called Barry Norman's Film Night, shown over here in England. Ewan was talking about the best movies of the year with Dougray Scott and Ridley Scott. Ewan was asked about the work he did in the year 2000. After talking about the lavish sets for Moulin Rouge, he was asked about the new Star Wars film. He said he couldn't mention plot lines but did say the script was a lot better than that of the previous film and that during filming he was mostly alone and wet. I know there were rumours of underwater battles, I wonder if this confirms it.

Jack Vincennes

* From Empire on-line, some pictures of BRIDGET JONES DIARY at At Their Site and PEARL HARBOR pics at This Spot .


* Also from Screendaily, some information on the next Rotterdam Film Festival (remember AICNers, if you go there, send us your reports) : This month's International Film Festival Rotterdam, considered to be at the cutting edge of the Euro festival circuit, boasts nine world premieres in its main competition section. Amongst the films screening for the first time in the VPRO Tiger Award Competition * which showcases first or second features - are Shi Runjiu's Chinese gangster movie All The Way; Uruguayan slacker story 25 Watts; and Herve Le Roux's bitter French comedy about the war of the sexes, On Apelle Ca* Le Printemps. Also making their world premieres are Planet Alex, an apocalyptic take on Berlin; Furumaya Tomoyuki's Bad Company, which explores the strict regime of a highschool teacher; and Dom Rotheroe's UK film about two teenagers' self-destructive relationship, My Brother Tom. Nanouk Leopold's local title Iles Flottantes, about three girls hitting 30, also world premieres, as does Domesticas, the story of five Brazilian housemaids. From Japan, Kumakiri Kazuyoshi's Hole In The Sky, about a roadside restaurant owner who thinks he has discovered love, also debuts.

Making their European premieres are Park Ki-Hyung's Secret Tears, a South-Korean film about a girl with paranormal powers, and Laura Mana's Compassionate Sex, about a woman in a Mexican village who can save men's lives by sleeping with them. Bangkok Dangerous, the story of a deaf-mute hitman by Chinese-Thai twin brothers Oxide and Danny Pang, is another European premiere. Maria Speth's Germany film In Den Tag Hinein, about a young woman involved in relationships with two very different men, makes its international premiere. Rounding out the competition are Verboden Te Zuchten, about a solitary journey through Brussels, and Ternitz Tennessee, which focuses on two friends from the Austrian countryside who fall in love with an Elvis impersonator.

"The VPRO Tiger Award Competition remains at the heart of the festival's principle of discovering and nurturing low to medium budget films from new talents," said festival director Simon Field. The festival's 30th edition, which runs from January 24 to February 4, will open with a surprise selection of films presented simultaneously in 18 different theatres. Offering free tickets, the event aims to record about 5,000 admissions on the one night. Other highlights include the international premiere of Fukasaku Kinji's controversial Battle Royale. Also screening are Michael Haneke's Code Inconnu, Francois Ozon's Sous Le Sable, Claude Chabrol's Merci Pour Le Chocolat and Chantal Akerman's La Captive.


This week Empire Online have been in touch about a couple of stories they have a handle on one of the more interesting releases of '01 - Captain Corelli's Mandolin. There'll be story changes in "Mandolin" from the original novel:

"Director John Madden (Shakespeare In Love) and screenwriter Shawn Slovo have concentrated on the romance, and even added scenes that weren't in the book. The film sees Corelli and Mandras (the Greek fisherman) meet, while in the novel they never encounter each other."

The full story is at This Location .

Also from

Clive Owen is about to make his Hollywood breakthrough nine years after he was first tipped for movie stardom. The British actor has been signed up to play the assassin on the trail of Matt Damon in the movie version of Robert Ludlam's best selling thriller The Bourne Identity. Owen found fame in the 1980s through the TV series Chancer in which he played a yuppie go-getter. And he was tipped for international acclaim after starring with Saskia Reeves in the erotic movie Close My Eyes in 1991. But Owen drifted back into television until making Croupier with Mike Hodges two years ago. The film - which also stars Gina McKee, Kate Hardie and Alex Kingston - sank without trace in the UK but is now set to be re-released following rave reviews in America.

This one's a bit weird - from the revelation that Steven Spielberg is cosying up to the Brits!!!?!?!?!?!

Steven Spielberg has been accused of killing a film about the conflict in Northern Ireland in order to cosy up to Tony Blair. Jerome O'Connor, producer of An Everlasting Piece, has launched a ferocious attack on the Hollywood movie mogul over the way he has allegedly failed to promote the film. O'Connor claims that Spielberg's Dreamworks studio, which is distributing the film, has slashed the promotional budget for Everlasting Piece to appease the British government. He claims the move was prompted by the controversial subject matter of the film - Britain's role in the turmoil in Belfast in the 1980s. The allegation, which is angrily denied by the Spielberg camp, comes as Spielberg is due to accept an honorary knighthood from Britain next month. Spielberg has also given Blair's teenage son Euan a work experience placement on the set of one of his projects in England. O'Connor said: 'It's obvious that they're trying to bury the movie. They're doing everything possible to make sure it doesn't work.' He claimed that a huge cut in the marketing budget had badly hit the film's chances of success which had seen it released in just eight cinemas in the US. But Dreamworks spokeswoman Diana Loomis said O'Connor had not complained to them about the situation. She added: 'Everyone involved with this movie has been aware from the start that it was always on a limited release pattern.'

The latest UK Box Office is in from too:

Bruce Willis and Samuel L Jackson proved unbeatable at the weekend, with new film 'Unbreakable' giving 'The Grinch' something to be miserable about by claiming top spot at the UK box office. M Night Shyamalan's follow-up to 'The Sixth Sense' took just over £2m, an excellent return given that Brits are notoriously cinema-shy at this time of year and the inclement weather was unlikely to draw people out of the house. By comparison, 'Sixth Sense' took over £5m when it first opened across the country last November. Two other films managed to break the £1m barrier in Britain at the weekend: 'Meet The Parents' continued its good run and has now amassed £7m here, while '102 Dalmatians' confounded the critics and has now taken a surprisingly strong £5.9m. Arnold Schwarzenegger's bad run of form shows no signs of abating. 'The 6th Day' scraped together £157,000 to bring its total gross here to £1.5m, while Nicolas Cage's lightweight but enjoyable 'The Family Man' has taken £1.6m. 'Unbreakable' should hold onto top spot this weekend, with the only competition coming from Ang Lee's acclaimed martial arts drama 'Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon'.

Oh and Empire Online also have a little bit about some late, late Harry Potter casting - seems as though Derek Jacobi will be selling wands in Diagon Alley!

Full story at At Their Site.

Also this week a few Euro AICNers who had a look at Harry's 2001 list and wanted to do a few fill ins...... Omega Red says:

Hey Oz,

Just checked out Harry's list of movies for 2001 and noticed Maybe Baby. Don't know if it is the same one, but the UK had a movie called Maybe Baby last year (IT IS! - OZ) - and it reeked like ten week old cat litter. The basic plot is that Laurie and Richardson are happily married (he works in the movie industry, I think, in some capacity - writer springs to mind). The only thing missing from their lives is a kid. So, they set about trying to conceive as often as possible - cue some "hilarious" moments when she phones him at work, and he goes whizzing home and jumps into bed. After several failed attempts, they turn to IVF - which is when the problems begin and the cracks begin to appear.

The major problem with the movie (apart from it's total unoriginality and utter predictability) was that despite the obvious chemistry between Laurie and Richardson, the movie is just plain flat. You're never fully happy with the situation, as it just seems a tad one sided all the way through - he seems to be the one bearing the brunt of the fault, while she is sympathetic but "blame free". After seeing it, I found out that it was autobiographical of director Ben Elton's life, read into that what you may!

Another big problem was the total irritation of seeing famous faces like Rowan Atkinson and Dawn French shoe-horned in for no obvious reasons. Sure, they can act and it did sort of lift the tedium a bit, but it also detracted from the flow of the movie as you sat there waiting for the next one to pop up. It maybe isn't the worst film ever made (certainly beat Battlefield Earth and Honest) but given the talent and potential, it was frustrating that it was just so damn uninvolving.


Omega Red

Jeff Colby saw it and one of the other UK movies mentioned on the list as well:


first time i've emailed, love the site, and love the list of upcoming for 2001. i've got info on two of the films, but it's not good. Maybe Baby and Whatever Happened to Harold Smith? are two of the UK movies that have caused commentators to call 2000 the worst year ever for British films. Maybe Baby is particularly appauling - a disgracefully bad comedy starring hugh laurie and jody richardson, directed by smug Ben Elton about a couple trying to conceive a kid. it's so bad it has to be seen, clunky, shallow and offensive in its triteness. it actually did OK in the UK box office cos the writer and cast are UK celebs, but in the US it should sink. Whatever Happened to Harold Smith? is a boring comedy about a kid in the seventies (cue obvious disco and punk cliches) who dad becomes a local celebrity after discovering he's psychic. it bombed in the UK, critically and commercially. wish i could email you with top info, sorry about that

j xxx

Thought, while we're on the subject that I'd remind H that we've covered two of the other movies in the list without opinions next to 'em:

La Veuve De Sainte Pierre - Best seen...


The Golden Bowl - Best avoided...

Three more stories on about The Magnificents Ambersons, spies at Aardman and the London Critics award nominations for 2001:

* The fate of the newly re-vamped The Magnificent Ambersons is still hanging in the balance. Filming of the story based on Booth Tarkington's 1918 novel has just been completed on location in Dublin with Mexican director Alfonso Arau in the hotseat. The £10 million Italian and German-backed production is destined to appear on America's A&E channel in the summer as a four-part mini-series. But RKO which still hold the rights to the story, hopes to transform the 192 minutes of footage into a movie for European release. The original 1942 Orson Welles film was slashed by RKO after a poor response from preview audiences. Welles was working on another project in Brazil at the time, and believed the film could have been his greatest achievement. It disappeared almost without trace. Veteran director and actor Arau is acclaimed for Like Water For Chocolate and A Walk In The Clouds with Keanu Reeves. He says justice has at last been done to Tarkington's novel and Welles's 131-page script. "This is Alfonso Arau's vision but of course we would like to think Orson Welles would be pleased by the work we have done," he said. The mini-series stars Madeleine Stowe as Isabel Amberson Minafer with Jonathan Rhys-Meyers as her wayward son George. Arau said: "We felt the best way of making this was as a mini-series. Welles was right to say the original would have been better if it had not been cut in his absence. "Movies, however, are made for audiences and today we have a responsibility to create income for our company and we couldn't take the risk of spending millions on trying to better something that couldn't be bettered. "We do believe there is enough quality there to make this into a movie for Europe. But that decision has yet to be made." A set recreating the Ambersons' home town of Indianapolis was built in a suburb of Dublin. It was the largest set ever to be built in Ireland, and 2,000 extras and 200 horses were used by Arau.

* Film producers behind Chicken Run have told Hollywood spies to get stuffed after they were caught trying to steal a peek at the secrets of the British hit. US rivals have sent spies disguised as employees to get into Aardman Animations' headquarters in Bristol. They then take mental notes of future storylines and techniques used to create animation classics such as Wallace and Gromit, but Aardman bosses have rumbled the movie-makers' espionage. Richard Goleszowskoi, producer of Aardman's next film, said: "It's crazy. It's proper espionage. We've had people trying to come in and pretend they work here just to get information." A spokeswoman told the Daily Star: "It's pretty secret stuff we do here and we have very tight security."

* Billy Elliot has been nominated for nine prizes at this year's awards of the London Film Critics' Circle. Jamie Bell, the 14-year-old star of the touching drama, is up for the British Newcomer award, as is the film's director Stephen Daldry. Gary Lewis who played Billy's father in the film has been nominated for the Best British Actor Award and Julie Walters who played Billy's dance teacher has been shortlisted for the Best British Actress of the Year. There are 15 categories in all at the awards which will be held at the Savoy Hotel in London next month. Screen legend Sir Anthony Hopkins is also up for the British Actor award for his role in Titus, alongside Ralph Fiennes who has been nominated for his performance in The End of the Affair. New mother Kate Winslet, star of the gothic drama Quills and last year's winner Emily Watson are alongside Julie Walters in the British Actress category. Among those nominated in the international categories are Michael Douglas, who is up for the Best Actor Award alongside Jim Carrey and Russell Crowe. The awards, now in their 21st year, are sponsored by the Mail on Sunday's Night and Day Magazine and are being held in aid of the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children.

Also one of Euro AICN's hardest working reporters, Robert from Italia, mailed me with this one:

Hi Ozy.

First, happy new year. I would like to point out the video interview with Roger Spootiswoode during the international tour for the promotion of The 6th Day. He speaks also about The Spire, his latest project currently in development. Here's the link: Right Here .

There's also an interview with Arnold Schwarzenegger - he speaks about The 6th Day and P.K. Dick books: Just Click Here .

We have also exclusive clips of the latest Dario Argento movie, Non ho sonno(I can't Sleep). We're preparing a review (the movie is very disappointing, anyway), but for now you can see the images At Our Site .

Best Robert

Here's a bit on Guy Richie's possible next project...

Guys, Haven't heard any rumblings over here until now but has this one about Guy Ritchie's potential next project:

Guy Ritchie is to make a film about the life of his war hero grandfather, Major Stewart 'Jack' Ritchie, who won the Military Cross in the First World War, only to die in the Second fighting with the 51st Highland Division. The director, despite claiming he was brought up in the East End, is proud of his family heritage; he wore his family tartan and grandfather's regimental sporran at his wedding to Madonna at Skibo Castle last month. 'Guy's mentioned it a couple of times before, but since the wedding he's talking about it seriously,' says a source close to Ritchie, adding that the project would be filmed in Scotland and France. It is not known who would take the the lead role in the film, although it is likely that the part of Major Ritchie would be taken by a Scotsman. As revealed in PeopleNews last week, Madonna is also keen to act in her husband's next movie.

Ah, Madonna in uniform - now there's a pitch I'd shell out £5 at the box office for......

L8r, Ozymandias

Mail me at :

Ain't It Cool News - Ireland/UK Office, Penthouse Suite, Ozymandias Towers, Dublin, Ireland.

Well that's it for this first 2001 edition of Euro AICN... once again happy new year... good luck for everyone getting back to work on Monday morning (like me...)... remember to share with us all your intimate thoughts (about movie principally please)... send it to Our Paris Offices right away.

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