Archive for the ‘movie’ Tag

What’s Love Got to Do With It

Columnist Richard Cohen went to see the new movie Her and came away with a stronger impression of our cultural narcissism. Critics and sociologists and historians have talked about our cultural obsession with ourselves for 50 years. The 70s were the Me generation; great historian Christoper Lasch wrote The Culture of Narcissism: American Life in an Age of Diminishing Expectations at the close of that decade.

The awareness of our navel gazing is nothing new but the movie adds a twist; our ability to use technology to serve this purpose. It seems to provide a cure: we can all have our own personal technological male 0r female to serve our desires! Cohen provides several examples that embody this self focus, including selfies, watching only a cable network that provides the information you want to hear (Fox, MSNBC). He also adds that Americans have about 70 million dogs and 74 million cats and, says “…while some of them are for helping — guard dogs, etc. — most offer the service of uncomplicated affection.”

The animal companionship item is an odd example to demonstrate narcissism.In fact, it demonstrates our need to be related to others and the joy we receive from that connection. People with animals know that you spend a fair amount of time fulfilling their basic care needs. Other time is spend playing with them and showing them affection. We have relationships with the animals. We love watching them be themselves, and get an amazing amount of joy out of the things that they do. That’s far from narcissistic and someone who has a pet for their own glorification is providing a great disservice and missing out on so much.

Land of the Film Festival

International, Independent, Shorts, Labor, Jewish, Documentaries, Gay and Lesbian, DC has film festivals throughout the year.

The 18th annual Environmental film festival began last night and runs until the end of March. Many of the movies are from other countries so their embassies and cultural centers screen the flicks for free.

I saw two good ones tonight at the Goethe Institute downtown. The two German movies focused on wildly different topics. Exotic Homeland looks at creatures from other parts of the world who have settled in German waters and land and have adapted well. How did they get there and how do they survive? Do they crowd out native plants and animals?

The Rheas from Argentina in the weeds and the raccoons in the fens are cute and seemingly harmless. But the crabs from China and ants from parts unknown are so numerous that they are creepy to watch.

Nothing was harder to watch than the slaughter of whales and dolphins that begins the movie, Last Giants.  The movie features these creatures who are getting squeezed for space in the Atlantic Ocean. They found a ready food source in the Straights of Gibraltar but the 300 cargo ships that go through the channel every day run them over, cut them up of drive them to the beach.

I left early feeling wiped out.

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Canadian Art

Courtyard and fountain
Image via Wikipedia

The Hirshhorn Museum in Washington DC shows provocative video and film in its Black Box space.

Currently they have the artists and filmmaker Phoebe Greenberg and her movie Next Floor .

A visually compelling take on the opulence in western countries the piece offers a critique of consumption and the usual sins of gluttony and avarice.

The video is fun to look at and its images of the food are amazing and sickening.

The critique is easy and one wonders if the artist expects viewers to experience disgust, joy, excitement? It is at least a short that challenges the viewer to react.

In these times where it is impossible to tax the wealthy and the corporations to even a remotely fair rate, is this video our substitute by vicariously watching wealthy people plummet to their deaths?

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Movie Premiere

We saw the US premiere of Hachi: A Dog’s Tale at the Freer and Sackler Galleries. Sponsored by the Japan Information and Culture Center the event drew the Japanese ambassador told the crowd a nice story to set the movie.

Staring Richard Gere and Joan Allen, the movie is based on the true story of a college professor‘s bond with the abandoned dog he takes into his home. The akida is beautiful and the simple story warms the heart.

I cried and you could hear sniffles and noses being blown throughout the theater. Director Lasse Hallstrom  answered questions and spoke after the event.

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Attitudes about Lesbian & Gay Hollywood

A trio of teen journalists wrote a piece for Y-Press about their thoughts on Hollywood’s current images of gays and lesbians. Here’s the article on teen attitudes.

They asked me about the history of gays and lesbians in movies. The piece they wrote is here.

Sex Romp with Terrorism

The next installment in my reviews for the DC Gay Lesbian Film Festival is Clandestinos, a Spanish movie from 2007.

Three juveniles escape prison in a mean spirited way that one can even see them as effective anti-heros. Our main character is driven to renew his efforts at terrorism in Madrid for Basque separatism.  While his two friends find young women for a little sex lark., the lead terrorist sells himself as a rent boy at a Madrid shopping mall.  (And I went to all the tourist sites on my visit two years ago).

A daddy set our lead on the path for the Basques and the daddy who rents him will see this error and try and rectify the situation. A blown up flag pole and a shoot out later, our three amigos are back in detention. No frets though as the two women cheer their two boyfriends’ efforts at fut ball (soccer) and our main man well–absurdity is the only possible description.

Look here for a similar but more in-depth review of Clandestinos.

Annie Hall 2009

Went to see  the world premiere of  The Rise and Fall of Annie Hall  last night and the show did not move me. One friend groaned when I mentioned the title, thinking of Borscht Belt jokes and watching an aging man chase young women across the stage. The show had the former, not the latter.

“In this new comedy,” press notes state, “neurotic young playwright Henry Blume is on a mission to turn his favorite Woody Allen movie into the next great American musical. Betrayal, infidelity and romance fuel his reckless pursuit of Broadway glory, turning Henry’s life upside down in this up to the minute, New York comedy about the perils of success in a notoriously cutthroat town.”

One friend loved the movie and thought he’d get a snappy 2000s version of it. The show lacked the intelligence that he saw in the movie.

I expected a reimagining of the movie and did not get that. The jokes were stale and the plot ended up being little more than a romance with a nerd.  The Post’s critic saw things differently. Here’s other views: from dctheatermania

Lebian & Gay In Hollywood

My presentation to the Rainbow History Group in DC

A Different Light: Gays and Lesbians in Hollywood Media

Those familiar with our history know that during the twentieth century the vast majority of gays and lesbians depicted in the mass media led desperate, unhappy lives. Whether you saw the documentary The Celluloid Closet or you read old books and newspapers, in the movies and in the novels, gays and lesbians were victims of murder or suicide, or depicted derisively. As scholars ranging from Richard Dyer to George Chauncey have noted all of these images in popular culture strengthened the dominant gender and sexual norms of US culture.

Not everywhere. Gossip columns, novels and movies set in the Hollywood movie colony during the 1920s and 1930s showed complex and generally positive depictions of gays and lesbians as well as adulterers. Similar to other Hollywood publicity and gossip items the stories and publicity items linked these gays and lesbians to specific locations in Hollywood. These Hollywood Bohemians titillated audiences and made Hollywood nightclubs and restaurants, public and private parties, star homes, and the studio lots appear very unique because they associated these locations with a taboo sexuality.

Readers of gossip columns learned that director Dorothy Arzner favored man-tailored suits when she dined out at restaurants in Hollywood. They learned that actress Marlene Dietrich created a mild sensation when she arrived at the El Mirador hotel…She wore masculine attire for all occasions….

Paramount’s publicity department framed the Dietrich image as the start of a fashion trend but others saw the image hinting at Dietrich’s lesbian interests. Director Josef Von Sternberg noted he used Dietrich’s tailored image to touch lightly on lesbianism and Rogers and Hart included the line “I go to the tailor that Marlene employs because no dresses from France are so modern as these. And under my Pants are B–V–D’s —… in their song, I’m One of the Boys.

One industry columnist stated, “The truth about that masculine attire which Marlene Dietrich affects these days is this. She liked wearing that sort of clothes–trousers. Paramount objected. Marlene insisted on trotting about in pants. Finally they gave up. ‘Oh well,’ sighed Paramount, ‘then we’ll make a cult of it exploit Marlene in men’s clothes.’”

The Dietrich campaign proved successful because audience members remembered it years later. When readers visited Hollywood a few years later they regularly asked whether Miss Dietrich really wore trousers. Guides told visitors that the Brown Derby would be a good place to see the star for their self. The guides’ advice confirmed the accuracy of the Dietrich publicity campaign. They also gave the visitors the chance to experience the Hollywood nightlife fantasy themselves.

3brettabrams1

One of the early scenes from R-K-O’s 1932 movie, What Price Hollywood? is set in the Brown Derby where movie types, such as the egotistical actor and the demanding studio head, dined. The waitress, who aspires to be a movie star, serves these customers. The movie switches outside to the entrance of a big-time movie director.

[show clip of Sherman entering Brown Derby from What Price Hollywood?] (9:33-12:50)

The image indicated the ubiquity of the mannishly-dressed lesbian in Hollywood nightlife. This Bohemian represented another Hollywood type at the restaurant, with the requisite wealth and stature to eat in the notable place. Yet the scene introduced the cross-dresser differently, exposing her in a surprise to heighten the exposure of a person who engages in taboo behavior.

This Hollywood Bohemian image became so widely known that a guide book told tourists where to go to find them. The book, How to Sin in Hollywood appeared in 1940 and provided descriptions about Hollywood restaurants, cafes, and nightclubs. The author divided the book into sections based on the type of nightlife experience the reader wanted. Each section contained a page of details including the nightclub’s location, entertainment, and food and drink offerings to help tourists find and experience Hollywood nightlife.

The book included a visual presentation of this Hollywood bohemian world. Opposite the descriptive information, a cartoonist drew two women in tuxedos above the caption, “the little girl customers.” One is smoking a cigar and the other wore prominent lipstick, images reminiscent of the women in men’s clothing discussed earlier.

Cafe International

“When Your Urge’s Mauve,” [go to] the Cafe International on Sunset Boulevard. The location offered supper, drinks, and the ability to watch boy-girls who necked and sulked and little girl customers who … look like boys.

Certainly some of the people interested in visiting were little more than what historians have labeled as “slummers,” people who went to see the taboo as an exotic other then resumed their everyday life. Others could use the book to find like minded souls. The Café International’s existence demonstrated that during a time when historians found state liquor authorities closing down gay and lesbian clubs, Hollywood had this viable location.

The public had less access to Hollywood private parties than restaurants and relied on Hollywood sources to know what happened at them. Gossip columns listed names of the attendees and often mentioned the exciting environs of the party. Hollywood novelists provided more details about the activities inside these affairs.

A popular author of the era, Nina Putnam included a few Hollywood private party scenes in her novel Laughter Limited. The scenes depicted the private parties as locations that offered attendees a place where they could express their most intense emotions. According to her book, movie stars and their guests used parties to seize the opportunity to pursue their romantic interests regardless of the marital status or biological sex of the person they pawed.

Other authors agreed. A movie critic and non-fiction writer Tamar Lane picked up on this in his novel, Hey Diddle Diddle. At a party readers learned that chatting together in a group were Raymond Cauldwell, William Pearson and Rudolph Norman. Although famous throughout the world as romantic heartbreakers, the fair sex seemed to hold no attraction for them off the screen- they appeared always far more interested in one another.

Lane used a tactic that enhanced the audience’s belief in the truth of his Hollywood private party image. Partygoers included the names of living stars as well as Lane’s fictional characters. This was the only scene in the book where Lane did this, marking his intention to illustrate the truth of the scene including its trio of homosexual actors.

Hollywood star homes publicity emphasized that the size, stature, and décor of the house had the best of civilization, similar to the depictions of other wealthy Americans’ houses in magazines and books since the late nineteenth century. The images also linked the star home to the personality of its owner more so than images of other houses. Hollywood Bohemian images added a good twist to that personality in their expensive home.

Two actors in the 1930s enjoyed a charmed life at the Malibu Beach house. The first publicity images containing information about Cary Grant and Randolph Scott began after they became friends while filming the movie, Hot Saturday in mid-1932. Press reports during the first two years described the actors’ shared celebrity homes and domestic life through phrases including, “Hollywood’s twosome” and “the happy couple.” The innuendos provided details about the two actors’ personal lives which thrilled fans, but also added the excitement of making the actors appear to be two men sharing more than lodgings.

The pair continued their domestic relationship even after Grant’s marriage to Virginia Cherrill in early 1934. Reporters noted, “The Grants and Randolph Scott have moved, all three, but not apart.” Indeed, this choice for living arrangements appeared preplanned. An item from two weeks prior to Grant’s marriage observed that Scott would not seek any permanent quarters until he heard from Grant. Innuendoes continued later that year. Shortly after Grant’s divorce from Cherrill, an article proclaimed that Randolph Scott had moved back in with Grant. This article’s title, “A Woman is Only a Woman,” suggested that the two men formed a home life with one another that they probably could not have with a woman.

Paramount publicity department shot over thirty photographs of Grant and Scott within different rooms of their Santa Monica beach house. The studio focused its interpretation of these pictures on the stars’ personalities, bachelorhood, and use of the house. The caption stamped on the back of each photograph highlighted that the actors were two of filmland’s most eligible bachelors who shared quarters but lived independent lives.

However, readers of Hollywood Babylon have seen the photograph of Scott and Grant sitting in their bathing suits on the end of the diving board with Scott’s hands hovering over Grant’s back. They took this provocative photograph as well.

grant_scott

Scott and Grant stood on their patio in the early evening. They appeared in silhouette, as Pacific Ocean waves crested behind them. Scott touched his lit cigarette against the cigarette dangling from Grant’s mouth. The image of a male and female couple lighting cigarettes within a beautiful night scene at home appeared most frequently in cigarette advertising since the mid-1920s. These images linked smoking cigarettes to romance.

Scott and Grant appeared within that similar type of romantic setting. One lit the other’s cigarette as the man lit a woman’s cigarette for her in the advertisements and popular culture of the era. Scott gingerly touched the cigarette as it dangled from Grant’s mouth, demonstrating a comfort with close physical proximity. This photograph hinted at a shared intimacy between the actors.

You might have suspected Hollywood heartthrobs of same-sex interest, you expected this from the men who made the glamour happen. These make-up artists and dress designers worked on the studio lots in the inner sanctum, a factory workplace unlike any other. Gossip pieces described the lavish dressing rooms and hinted at outlandish behaviors of the stars. Time magazine provided this snippet about Adrian, one of the premiere dress designers.

Tall, twittering Gilbert Adrian…inhabits an oyster-white office, works furiously chewing gum, deep in an overstuffed chair which is disconcertingly set on a dais to keep him from dripping paint on the oyster-white carpet…At parties Adrian keeps a keen eye peeled for signs of dowdiness, can be convulsing about it afterwards. Of Tallulah Bankhead he once remarked: ‘She can wear one more silver fox than any other woman and still look underdressed.’.

The image of Adrian’s office contained the glamour and mystery that appeared in other publicity of behind the scenes on the movie lot. His flitting and emotive nature, along with his wise cracks over the lack of style of the stars, added a style and taboo behavior. Adrian, the other dress designers, and the top makeup artists, ran their own departments, earning high salaries, working with near autonomy, and forging names for their selves that enabled several to open up their own businesses.

A few movies during the mid-1930s depicted Hollywood and the activities on studio lots. These movies included gay males in positions as head of makeup and the chief dress designer. In these positions, these Bohemians’ skills and stature enabled them to insist upon their vision and autonomy in the workplace as can be seen in this clip from Warner Brother’s Hollywood Hotel.

[clip of star’s fitting from Hollywood Hotel] (14:44-17:55) Title 1, chapter 5

(19:42-20:00 ), title 1, chapter 6,

The carnation and cigarette holder, mannerisms and punch line signaled the dress designer’s gayness to the audiences. He showed a desire to play with the star’s look and promoted camp style through helping the actress portray her life as theater and herself as an exaggeration of femininity.

Even when Hollywood’s artifice drove the author of a Hollywood novel crazy, their critique demonstrated the successful lives of gays and others in the movie colony. In Liam O’Flaherty’s Hollywood Cemetery, producer Mortimer wants to keep a director happy so he agrees to make an art movie called The Emigrant so long as it stars a female siren he could turn into a box office star. Mortimer goes to Ireland, encounters a lass having sex in the woods, and brings her back with him to his hotel. The pair enter the room and find studio assistant Larry Dafoe draped in a white sheet preening in front of a full-length mirror. “I am Queen Victoria.” Mortimer laughs and entrusts Dafoe to train the newly christened Angela Devlin to become a woman and an actress.

Despite training she rates as neither an actress nor a sex object and Angela escapes with the screenwriter to marry in Mexico. Mortimer had no movie and no star and faced pressure from the studio executives to show them the product.

Dafoe proposed they hire his friend Jesse Starr, whose effeminate manners and features made him only able to be a chorus boy in the movies. With the help of Dr. Karl Zog they remade Starr physically, and Dafoe became the new Devlin’s agent. The studio execs were won over and the pair watched as the new Angela Devlin met the public. The crowd let out a thunderous cry and chanted, “She is. She is.”

The critique of Hollywood dealing in surfaces and false images is clear. However, the success of the movie and the creation of a new star ensured Dafoe and Starr/Devlin’s place in the industry. The book marked the first time a female impersonator and transsexual became anti-heros.

The gays and lesbians among the Hollywood Bohemians formed a unique group of images during their era and up through the beginnings of the Gay Rights Movement. They were stars living the high life in the most glamorous industry. They forged successful careers and good friendships. They presented examples of what could be to all readers of the movie industry’s publicity and other depictions of the Dream Factory.

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Original Ideas

We all know that Broadway has taken a lot of Hollywood movies and reshaped them into musicals (Hairspray, Legally Blonde).

Here’s a list of some Hollywood to Hollywood remakes: (Thanks to DenofGeek.com)

Some are finished, some have only just been announced, and one or two
are rumored. But these are all in the works somewhere…
Can someone tell me why remake about 3/4 of these!

Arthur
Russell Brand is reportedly in the early stages of developing a
remake of Dudley Moore’s famous, and Oscar-winning, comedy. Thus far,
he’s believed to be meeting with writers on the project, and Larry
Brezner is attached to produce (he previously produced Good Morning
Vietnam, and the US take on Little Britain). No release date clues
yet.

They Live
Given that much of the John Carpenter back catalogue has already been
remade, or is the process of being redone, the recent report that
They Live was getting the treatment too was little surprise. The firm
who remade Dawn Of The Dead, Strike Entertainment, are trying to get
the rights, and it’s the same company that’s also working on the
remake of The Thing. Very early stages for this one, though.

The Crazies
Timothy Olyphant is taking the leading role in the remade version of
the George Romero movie. Romero is attached to the project in an
executive producer capacity, while the new Crazies will be helmed by
Breck Eisner (he who made Sahara, and we’ll be meeting again when we
talk Flash Gordon later). The film is due out in September 2009.

Romancing The Stone
Fox has raided its back catalogue and chosen the cracking Michael
Douglas-Kathleen Turner adventure for the remake treatment. Thus far,
it’s found a writer for the project, with Eagle Eye scribe Daniel
McDermott hauled in to pen a script. No news yet on casting, director
(although it’s safe to say that original director Robert Zemeckis
wouldn’t give it another go) or release date?

The Incredible Shrinking Man
The 1950s movie, with a title that leaves few clues as to what it’s
about, is being redeveloped as an Eddie Murphy vehicle. Brett Ratner
had been in talks to direct, but a helmer isn’t yet attached to the
project, and Murphy has Beverly Hills Cop 4 coming up anyway. Thomas
Lennon and Robert Ben Garant (who penned Night At The Museum) have
written the script. It was originally down for 2010 release, but that
may be a little optimistic now?

The Illustrated Man
Once he’s done and dusted with Watchmen, Zach Snyder has a plethora
of projects he’s linked with, and the remake of The Illustrated Man
has been on the table for a while. Originally made in 1969, and based
on a collection of Ray Bradbury short stories, Alex Tse (who scribed
the Watchmen movie) is on script duties. 2011 would be a good shout
for this one, should Snyder get to it next.

When Worlds Collide
Originally brought to the screen in 1951, and picking up a special
effects Oscar for its troubles, director Stephen Sommers is now
linked to a remake of the film. The story of Alpha Centauri being on
a collision course with the Earth currently has Sommers reportedly
working on a script. He’s currently in post-production on G.I. Joe,
but has also been linked with the new Tarzan movie. Still, this is a
project believed to be live and kicking, and one heading for the
screen in 2010/2011.

Fantastic Voyage
The 1966 classic about a submarine that’s shrunk and injected into a
man’s bloodstream to try and stop a potentially fatal blood clot is
on director Roland Emmerich’s slate. Cormac and Marianne Wibberley ?
who wrote the National Treasure moviess, among others ? are on script
duties. Emmerich is still in the midst of makking 2012, however, so
don’t expect this one for a couple of years yet.

Back To School
The original was a hit for the late Rodney Dangerfield. But the 80s
comedy is now in development again as a vehicle for Cedric The
Entertainer. David Ronn and Jay Scherick are penning the new script,
and the project is currently stuck in development pending a formal
green light. That may be in time to get it to the screen in 2010,
though.

Meatballs
The original: directed by Ivan Reitman and starring Bill Murray. The
proposed remake: potentially to be directed by John Whitesell, he who
gave us Big Momma’s House 2 and Deck The Halls. Hmmm… Expect it in
2010 at the very earliest.

Metropolis
There’s an option out on a new version of the Fritz Lang’s classic,
although there’s been little movement on the project for a while now.
Thomas Schuhly, the producer who worked on Alexander and an
assortment of other projects, is the only name attached thus far.

The Dirty Dozen
Robert Aldrich’s late-60s classic is on producer Joel Silver’s slate
for a remake. An assortment of writers are attached to the project,
although there’s no director or casting news yet. The film is
pencilled in for a 2012 release.

13
The 2005 French movie 13 Tzameti is getting the Hollywood treatment,
with original writer/director Gela Babulani on board for the English
language version. It’s got a promising cast, let by Jason Statham and
Ray Winstone, with the likes of Ray Liotta and Mickey Rourke also on
board. It’s filming now, for a 2010 release.

Conan
It looks like the third big screen Conan adventure will be heading
back to the source material and doing a bit of a `reimagining’

. And
while we’re not averse to the idea of Conan coming back ? with Arnie
apparently having his arm twisted to try and get him to do a cameo ?
the likelihood is that Mr Brett Ratner will be directing, once he’s
done with Beverly Hills Cop 4. A 2010/11 release window is likely.

Clash Of The Titans
A remake of the 1981 movie, this is set to start filming in the
Spring, with The Incredible Hulk’s Louis Leterrier set to direct. Sam
Worthington is the only known casting so far, and the film is set for
release in 2010.

Akira
The film that kickstarted anime cinema’s assault on Western
audiences, 1988′s Akira has been mooted for remake for some time. The
current status is that a final draft of the script is still to be
forthcoming (Gary Whitta is on scribing duties), with Ruairi Robinson
– the 3D animator on Breakfast On Pluto ? down to direct. Leonardo
ddi Caprio is producing but not appearing in what will be a live
action remake. 2011 is the earliest you’ll see it.

The Karate Kid
The 80s classic is heading back to cinemas, possibly as early as the
end of next year, with Will Smith’s son Jaden Smith attached to the
film in the title role. Stephen Chow, the original director linked
with the project, is likely to find his Green Hornet commitments
count him out, so expect news on a helmer shortly. In the meantime,
the script is being polished off, and filming is set for next year.

Death Wish
For our money, this was remade with Jodie Foster as The Brave One
last year. Anyway, MGM still has plans to make a Death Wish movie,
although original choice Sylvester Stallone is not attached, we
understand. The studio is apparently keen to get the project movie
soon, however.

Footloose
The latest news on the planned Footloose remake is that High School
Musical’s Zac Efron is in line to star. HSM’s director Kenny Ortega
is down to direct, for a 2010 release.

The Taking Of Pelham 123
One of the finest films of all time involving a train, The Taking Of
Pelham 123 has been remade, and is now in post production, under the
watchful eye of director Tony Scott. Denzel Washington and John
Travolta are in the lead roles, and the release is set for 31st July
2009.

State Of Play
Can a great, six hour miniseries be remade as a two hour movie?
That’s the plan, as the John Simm-starring series becomes a big
Hollywood film with Ben Affleck, Russell Crowe, Helen Mirren and
Rachel McAdams in the cast. It’s in post-production now, for release
in April 2009. Kevin Macdonald directs, following on from his success
with The Last King Of Scotland.

The Last House On The Left
The remake of Wes Craven’s 70s horror is in the can, set for release
in 2009. Dennis Illiadis has directed, and the cast features Monica
Potter and Sara Paxton. Craven is attached as producer.

Fame
The Alan Parker musical of 1980 is getting remade, and after a bit of
toing and froing, Kevin Tancharoen ? the directorr of Britney Spears:
Live In Miami ? is down to helm the projectt. Filming is due to start
imminently, with a 25th September 2009 release date mooted. A cast of
relative unknowns is in place.

Red Dawn
The 1984 hit is being remade, with Dan Bradley behind the camera, and
Disturbia scriber Carl Ellsworth penning the screenplay. Bradley was
the second unit director on Quantum Of Solace, incidentally. The film
is due out in 2010, but a start date for filming hasn’t been
confirmed.

Short Circuit
This one’s still on for 2010, although a director and cast are still
to be announced. David Foster is producing though, and he was one of
the string-pullers behind the 2005 remake of The Fog. He also
produced the original Short Circuit. And he’s attached to?

The Thing
This one’s still in the script stages, where we hope it gets stuck.
The original is a flat-out classic, but given how many John Carpenter
movies are getting the remake treatment, we suspect it’ll get to the
screen in the next three years.

The Birds
The Hitchcock classic is up to be remade, and Casino Royale director
Martin Campbell is still believed to be involved. A 2011 release date
is mooted, and both Naomi Watts and George Clooney have been linked
to the project. No word on a filming start date, though.

Hellraiser
Clive Barker’s classic is coming back to the big screen, this time in
the hands of writer/director Pascal Laugier. However, it’s still some
way from getting to the screen, given Laugier’s commitment to another
project first. 2011 would, therefore, be a good guess for a new
Hellraiser project.

Poltergeist
No studio seems as committed to pillaging its back catalogue as MGM
is, and Tobe Hooper’s Poltergeist is currently on its slate as well.
The 1982 original, produced by Spielberg, will be remade by Vadim
Perelman. He previously directed House Of Sand And Fog, and the new
Poltergeist may make it out for next year.

Oldboy
Steven Spielberg is bringing a new take to Oldboy than the 2003
Korean corker, with Will Smith attached to the project too. Smith has
said that the film will be based on the original manga, rather than
the film itself. Not strictly a remake, then, but you can bet that
the overlap will be noticeable?

Westworld
It’s been an on-off project for so long, that we hope that the late
Michael Crichton’s terrific original will be allowed to stand.
However, a rampaging robot around a theme park is just the kind of
thing Hollywood likes, and the project is still believed to be in the
scripting process.

36
The French original pulled together Daniel Auteuil and Gerard
Depardieu, two giants of France’s cinema industry. The American
remake, has Martin Campbell attached to it (the same Martin Campbell
who is involved with The Birds), and it’s currently being rewritten
with the plan being to go into production next year.

Logan’s Run
It’s been caught in development hell for a while, but the planned
remake of Logan’s Run is believed to be back on the burner. Joseph
Kosinski, who’s currently working on TR2N (or Tron 2, as we prefer to
call it), currently has it lined up as his next project, for a
2010/11 release.

Child’s Play
Chucky is coming back to the big screen, potentially with Brad Dourif
involved in the project. Seed Of Chucky director and original writer
Don Mancini is down to write and direct this remake, which is set for
release in 2010.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show
Richard O’Brien is believed to be not best pleased about it, but an
option has nonetheless been taken out on a new version of the massive
cult musical hit. No more news is available on the project right now,
so it’s safe to assume it’s a couple of years away.

Flash Gordon
There’s no start date yet for filming, but Breck Eisner ? he of
Sahara fame ? is down to writeite and direct. If there’s no room for
Brian Blessed, we suggest we organise a worldwide boycott right now?

Rosemary’s Baby
The original: a 70s classic, that still pull its punches now.
Directed by Roman Polanski, it’s regarded as one of the best movies
of that decade. The remake? It’s being produced by Michael Bay. It’s
due out in 2010.

The Jetsons
The animated movie is getting a live action remake, clearly inspired
by the stunning pair of Flintstones movies. Ahem. Robert Rodriguez
was in talks to be involved in the project, but no formal
confirmation has since been forthcoming. Expect it in 2011 at the
earliest?

Starfighter
The 1984 cult hit The Last Starfighter could be heading back, with
original director Nick Castle at the helm, presumably with a more
bountiful budget to play with. It’s still in development, though,
with a 2010 release window the earliest we’d get to see it.

Forbidden Planet
The main reason to be interested here is the involvement of Babylon
5′s J Michael Stracyznski. He’s attached to the script for the remake
of the 1956 classic, although it doesn’t appear yet that a screenplay
has been finalised. Joel Silver is producing, with a 2010 release
date planned, but looking unlikely.

Sympathy For Lady Vengeance
Charlize Theron is loosely attached to the planned remake here. Chan-
wook Park, the writer/director of the Korean original, is not
believed to be involved. Theron is currently linked as producer, but
may star when the film gets to the screen, probably in 2010.

Near Dark
Michael Bay’s Platinum Dunes company is behind the remake of Kathryn
Bigelow’s 1987 vampire flick. Attached to direct is Samuel Bayer,
whose CV is filled primarily with musical videos to date. The film
seems a little lost in development hell right now, however, and the
release date is at best a few years away.

Barbarella
Grindhouse’s Rose McGowan is attached to the lead role in this
planned new take on the source material that inspired the Jane Fonda
movie of the same name. Robert Rodriguez will be directing, although
the film is reportedly having trouble getting its finances together.
Don’t expect a release anytime soon?

Red Sonja
Rose McGowan again, although this one’s closer to getting to the
screen, giving that the new take on Red Sonja is currently in pre-
production. Directing is Douglas Aarniokosoki, who has previously
done second unit directing work on Taken, Once Upon A Time In Mexico
and Resident Evil Extinction. Presented by Robert Rodriguez (in the
words of the poster, anyway), the film will be out in 2010.

Last Tango In Paris
Believe the rumour mill, and Tom Cruise is potentially circling the
Marlon Brando classic as fodder for himself and his wife, Katie
Holmes. Nothing is in pencil, yet alone ink, but the mere suggestion
of it brings us out in the shivers.

Angel Heart
The Robert De Niro/Mickey Rourke horror, originally directed by Alan
Parker, has been picked up by the man who used to run New Line
Cinema, Michael De Luca. Along with this co-producers, he’s now
believed to be in the early stages of putting a new film together
based around the book Fallen Angel, which provided the foundation for
Parker’s film. It’s a good few years away, though.

The Host
Asian monster movie The Host has been picking up a healthy audience
on DVD, but it’s now also getting the American treatment. The film
has been snapped up by Gore Verbinski ? who remaade The Ring ? and he
will be producing a new version of the film. Firsst time director
Fredrik Bond will be wielding the megaphone, and the film is in the
very early stages of its production life.

High and Low
Mike Nichols is back behind the camera, for a remake of Akira
Kurosawa’s High And Low. The 1963 original was based on the novel
King’s Ransom, and the new version has been written by David Mamet.
Originally developed by Martin Scorsese, Nichols is likely to get it
before the cameras next year.

My Fair Lady
A film that many of us in the land of Geek have a soft spot for, but
perhaps not if Keira Knightley, as planned, gets her paws on the role
of Eliza Doolittle. Musicals are big business right now, though, and
while Knightley isn’t believed as of yet to have committed to the
role, the film is likely to go ahead.

Rashomon
Akira Kurasawa again, with this time a new attempt to get his 1950
classic remade, and this time with a little more luck. Funding is in
place this time, on a version of the film that will switch the action
to modern day America. It’s set for release in 2010, but no director
or cast has thus far been announced.

All Of Me
The classic early 80s Steve Martin comedy, where he shared a body
with Lily Tomlin, is under the remake microscope, with Adam
Shankman ? who directed Martin in Bringing Down The House and Cheaper
By The Dozen 2 ? in line to direct. Shankman has a slate of films in
development though (with Hairspray 2 likely to get top priority), so
a new All Of Me may end up on the back burner. Queen Latifah has been
mentioned as a casting option.

10
The rights have been picked up to do a new take on the Blake Edwards/
Dudley Moore/Bo Derek comedy 10. Edwards is apparently on board as an
executive producer, although a new cast and director is yet to be
announced. Expect a 2010 release, though, would be our guess. It’s
too easy a poster to pass up.

Captain Blood
The Errol Flynn pirate flick of 1935 is inspiring a remake, which is
in no way down to the fact that the Pirates of the Caribbean movies
made potloads of cash. Phillip Noyce is down to direct, casting has
yet to be announced.

Highlander
There will be only one, they said. Bleedin’ liars. The latest entry
in the Highlander franchise is a full on remake of the original,
presumably with the plan of foisting an army of further sequels on
us. Matt Holloway and Art Marcum are writing the new film, and one of
the original producers, Peter Davis, should be back to produce this
one. It’s believed that cameras will roll in 2009.

Brighton Rock
Graham Greene’s classic Brighton Rock is going back before the
cameras thanks to Optimum. 28 Weeks Later scriber Rowan Joffe is
scribbling the new script, which he will also direct, moving the
story to the 1960s in the process. Production should begin next year.

Mamma Mia: Camp Riot

The Regal on 7th Street opened up a second theater for the Mamma Mia preview crowd last night. With its references to Titanic and Priscilla Queen of the Desert to the dance mise en scene that conjurred up thoughts of the swimming pool scene from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and the great M-G-M musicals. This movie knew the queers would come out. And the young girls liked it too!

While the Abba stickler in our crew bemoaned Pierce Brosnan’s signing, our resident Broadway critic didn’t think Meryl Streep sold the signature song: “The Winner Takes it All.”

I love Christine Baranski’s performance and she looked fabulous in the costumes.

Get your grove on at blog.bitcomet.com/news/post_42320/ – 47k

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