Manohla Dargis in the New York Times talks to Steven Soderbergh about "Bubble," the first of several low-budget films shot on HD and released simultaneously on TV, DVD, and in theaters that he contracted to make with Mark Cuban’s HDNet Films. "Bubble" was shot in Belpre, Ohio, on the border with West Virginia, and features all non-professional actors from the area. Soderbergh comes across as a bit defensive about the project, conscious of himself coming off the particularly slick and removed from reality "Ocean’s Twelve" to attempt small town naturalism:
"All I can really defend…is my experience of making the movie and what it was like for us to be there and what the experience was like for the people in Ohio and West Virginia who were involved in making the movie. I’m process-driven, I’m not result-driven." He went on to say, "We wanted to create a site-specific piece of film. So the people we cast in the movie fill it; we didn’t. We didn’t put words in their mouths." He cannot, he said, worry about those who will accuse him of condescending to his characters, men and women from a world so seemingly alien from his own and that of most film critics.
(It’s probably this early and scathing Hollywood Reporter review that’s put him on edge.) Dargis, for all her bringing up similarities to Fassbinder, plays it close to the chest in terms of her opinion of the film. We saw it a few days ago and will have a review up tomorrow, but we’ll say now that we didn’t care for it.
Also in the New York Times, Margy Rochlin talks to Allyson Hollingsworth, the real-life inspiration for the Claire Danes character in the upcoming "Shopgirl," and Joseph P. Kahn in the Boston Globe chats with Daniel Schorr, the last still-working member of the "Murrow Boys," the CBS news proteges of Edward R. Murrow, the subject of "Good Night, and Good Luck."
Mark Caro at the Chicago Tribune gets pointers from Philip Seymour Hoffman (who’ll soon be seen channeling Truman Capote), Gretchen Mol (who’ll be playing Bettie Page) and Joaquin Phoenix (Johnny Cash) on the fine art of playing people who really existed.
And Roger Ebert and the Guardian‘s Richard Vine both dwell on someone who’s now been the subject of two outstanding (and probably iconic) documentaries: Bob Dylan, once the center of (we’d argue) the essential music documentary, and now revisited by another master filmmaker in Martin Scorsese‘s "No Direction Home." Ebert gives the film four stars:
Scorsese’s "No Direction Home: Bob Dylan"…creates a portrait that is deep, sympathetic, perceptive and yet finally leaves Dylan shrouded in mystery, which is where he properly lives.
The film will air on PBS on the 26th and 27th of this month.
+ Director Zigs From Stars to Nonactors in a New Film (NY Times)
+ From Artist to Muse and Back to Artist (NY Times)
+ Raised on radio (Boston Globe)
+ The art of flesh and blood (Chicago Tribune)
+ No Direction Home: Bob Dylan (RogerEbert.com)
+ Folk psychology (Guardian)
A correction: We previously called "Bubble" a 2929 Productions film, but it’s actually an HDNet film. Doh.