Monthly Archives: September 2008

Wes in Rome

Variety writes that Wes will be appearing onstage at the Rome Film Festival next month:

Anderson is coming on behalf of Martin Scorsese‘s The Film Foundation to present a new print of Albert Levin’s 1951 fantasy “Pandora and the Flying Dutchman,” starring Ava Gardner and James Mason, restored by the foundation in tandem with the Rome fest.

The Rome Film Festival will be Oct 22-31.

Paul Newman, 1925-2008

From the New York Times:

Paul Newman, one of the last of the great 20th-century movie stars, died Friday at his home in Westport, Conn. He was 83.

The cause was cancer, said Jeff Sanderson of Chasen & Company, Mr. Newman’s publicist.

If Marlon Brando and James Dean defined the defiant American male as a sullen rebel, Paul Newman recreated him as a likable renegade, a strikingly handsome figure of animal high spirits and blue-eyed candor whose magnetism was almost impossible to resist, whether the character was Hud, Cool Hand Luke or Butch Cassidy.

He acted in more than 65 movies over more than 50 years, drawing on a physical grace, unassuming intelligence and good humor that made it all seem effortless. Yet he was also an ambitious, intellectual actor and a passionate student of his craft, and he achieved what most of his peers find impossible: remaining a major star into craggy, charismatic old age.

Wes Anderson to redo ‘Mon meilleur ami’?

From Variety.

Universal Pictures and Imagine Entertainment has set Wes Anderson to write “My Best Friend,” a remake of the 2006 Patrice Leconte-directed French comedy “Mon meilleur ami.” Anderson is also eying the project as a directing vehicle.

Brian Grazer and Agnes Mentre will produce. Rosalie Swedlin will be executive producer.

The French pic starred Daniel Auteuil as a cranky antiques dealer who learns at a dinner with his closest acquaintances that none of them really like him because of his harsh manner and selfishness. When his business partner bets him a valuable vase that he can’t produce a best friend, the dealer tries to get an amiable cab driver to pose as his buddy.

Pic marks Anderson’s first collaboration with Imagine, which releases the Ron Howard-directed “Frost/Nixon” on Dec. 5 and the Clint Eastwood-directed “Changeling” on Oct. 24 through Universal and “Angels & Demons” on May 15 through Sony.

Anderson just completed directing an animated adaptation of Roald Dahl novel “The Fantastic Mr. Fox” with 20th Century Fox Animation.

UTA reps Anderson and sold remake rights on the film to Universal.

Credit: Loraxaeon (Yankee Racers thread)

Houston Chronicle article, Rushmore tonight in the park (Houston)


(credit: Houston Chronicle, more photos after the break)

First, if you live in the Houston area, you can see Rushmore tonight on the big screen!

Discovery Green’s free movie series celebrates Houston on film with a 10th anniversary screening of this indie classic by Houstonian Wes Anderson.

Event times: 5 September 2008 (Friday), 7.30 pm (link)

Andrew Dansby has written a great article about the 10th anniversary of Rushmore for the Houston Chronicle (link):

It takes a special eye to see Houston as the setting for a fairy tale. Wes Anderson thought about shooting his second film, Rushmore, in New England, but he couldn’t find a location that worked for the titular school.

So he asked his mother, real estate agent Texas Anderson, to shoot his alma mater, St. John’s School, “standing in the circle and rotating while shooting one photo after another,” she said. The search ended there.

Having found Rushmore Academy right in his backyard, Wes Anderson’s next task was finding Houston locations for the rest of the film. (By the way, the city is never stated as the setting in the movie.) He shot most of it at St. John’s, but there are also scenes filmed at a home in West University, Lamar High School, a barbershop in the Heights, North Shore High School, the Forest Club on Memorial and a stadium parking lot just outside the Loop (see map on Page E3).

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Interview with Derek Hill, author of Charlie Kaufman and Hollywood’s Merry Band of Pranksters, Fabulists, and Dreamers

(buy the book)

Derek Hill is an American abroad, currently residing in rural Ireland. His writing has appeared in numerous print and online publications, such as The Third Alternative, VideoScope, Mystery Scene, Video Watchdog, Images: A Journal of Film and Popular Culture, and All Movie (previously The All Movie Guide). He was also a contributor to the three volume Greenwood Press Encyclopedia of Science Fiction and Fantasy (writing about the Planet of the Apes film series and Close Encounters of the Third Kind). He’s currently writing a book for Wallflower Press’ Cultographies line about Alex Cox’s seminal 1980s cult film, Repo Man.

RA: Could you briefly describe the book, and tell us what motivated you to write it.

DH: The book is a look at contemporary (mostly) American filmmakers Richard Linklater, David O. Russell, Wes Anderson, Spike Jonze, Sofia Coppola, and Michel Gondry-a sort of new American New Wave if you will. Using the films of Charlie Kaufman as the center-pieces, so to speak, I felt that there were a number of filmmakers who had enough shared themes and comedic sensibilities to be viewed as a movement. It’s an unconscious, unplanned movement, to be sure, but a vital psychological one. I think that these filmmakers are some of the most engaging, imaginative, original, storytellers working in commercial film today. There’s a real sense of experimentation (especially with someone like Linklater or Russell), virtuosic style, and a peculiar mix of angst and comedy that seemed pertinent to these troubled times. There’s a real sense of dissatisfaction with a lot of the characters and the humor running through all of the films. And while most of these films are ostensibly comedies, there’s an underlying melancholy and seriousness in them as well which seems completely antithetical to what’s coming out of the Hollywood machine or even the indie-trenches for that matter. Many of the filmmakers had been written about only in terms of their loose affiliation as directors in the “independent film” scene or whatever… not in terms of their thematic or stylistic similarities. It just felt appropriate to engage them on an aesthetic or thematic level instead of a consumer-oriented level which would be much too broad for what I wanted to do.

(more after the break)

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