News bits.

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And from the future.
Because it’s awfully quiet today — and damn right, it’s a holiday! Nearly!

Big news: Richard Kelly‘s "Southland Tales" has been acquired by Sony Pictures (via Borys Kit at the Hollywood Reporter). Of the notorious Cannes reception and the assumed heavy editing the film would be undergoing:

"(Richard) is going to complete his edit, and when we see his cut, we’ll figure out the distribution plan," SHE president Ben Feingold said. "But it will be theatrical."

The studio is providing suggestions to Kelly, but "it’s his movie," Feingold said. "We’ll have a point of view, but people like (Kelly’s) sensibility."

Also from Mr. Kit, a Jeff Buckley biopic is in the works — "Writer-director Brian Jun, whose ‘Steel City’ was nominated for the grand jury prize at January’s Sundance Film Festival, will write and direct a feature based on the musician’s life. The movie is being produced by Buckley’s mother, Mary Guibert, and Michelle Sy, who executive produced ‘Finding Neverland.’"

Sheigh Crabtree reports that Alison Eastwood will make her directorial debut with "Rails and Ties" for Warner Independent, leading up to an inevitable hair-pulling red carpet catfight with Sofia Coppola, after which they will weep in each other’s arms over how their famous dads kept making them act in their movies.

And Gregg Goldstein notes that new indie distributor Outsider Pictures has announced their slate: "The company launches in August with Spiro Taraviras‘ documentary ‘Buzz,’ which profiles film noir screenwriter A.I. Bezzerides. Other releases set for this year will include Robert Connolly‘s drama of an impoverished family man, ‘Three Dollars’; Randall Rubin and Jon Schroder‘s teen romance ‘Jimmy and Judy’ starring Edward Furlong; and Barbara Willis Sweete‘s docu on the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, ‘Five Days in September: the Rebirth of an Orchestra.’"

Edward Furlong — we thought he was dead! Good on ya, Edward, you’re not.

Elsewhere in the world: CRI reports that Taiwanese pop star Wang Leehom is being considered for the part of "a patriotic youth" in Ang Lee‘s "Lust, Caution." Tom Perry at Reuters writes that "The Yacoubian Building," which screened at Tribeca (our brief impressions are here) and which deals with controversial topics not typically touched upon by Egyptian cinema, including homosexuality, police torture
and government corruption, has topped the Egyptian box office since it’s June 19th premiere.

Egyptian censors tightly control films’ political content. Alaa al Aswany, an anti-government activist, suggested the film was allowed to air to give the impression of greater freedoms.

"They do this every now and then. They have an accumulation of experience in decoration, to make the point that it’s a democracy," he said.

Via AP, Staff Sgt. Raymond J. Plouhar, a Marine and one-time recruiter who appeared in "Fahrenheit 9/11" (he worked the mall parking lot: "It’s better to get them when they’re in ones and twos and work on them that way.") was killed in a roadside bombing in Iraq.

Although Plouhar willingly appeared in the movie, which is critical of the Bush administration’s actions after Sept. 11, his father said Plouhar didn’t realize it would criticize the war.

"I’m proud that my son wanted to protect the freedom of this country whether we all agree with the war or not," he said.

Eugene Hernandez at indieWIRE reports that LAFF prizes (of $50,000 each) went to Steve Collins for "Gretchen" and Amy Berg for "Deliver Us From Evil." And via Sandy Cohen at AP, "Crash" was one of the winner of $25,000 and the Humanitas Prize for work that helps "liberate, enrich and unify society." We’re so far past making fun of "Crash" at this point that…that…we’ve got nothing. Too liberated, we suppose.

Lastly, Xeni Jardin at BoingBoing points out that, in a case of life echoing "Hard Candy" (sans castration) "two Florida girls aged 14 and 15 created a bogus profile on MySpace, grabbed a pair of pistols, then robbed an adult man who arranged to meet the lovely but fictitious 18-year-old ‘Natalia’ in person."

+ Sony travels to Kelly’s "Southland" (HR)
+ Jun hits the right notes for Buckley biopic (HR)
+ Alison Eastwood rides "Rails" with Warner Independent (HR)
+ Indie Outsider sets film slate (HR)
+ Leehom Wong to Star in Ang Lee’s "Lust, Caution"? (CRI)
+ Egyptian film breaks taboos and tops box office (Reuters)
+ Marine in `Fahrenheit 9/11′ killed in Iraq (AP)
+ "Gretchen" and "Deliver Us From Evil" Win Big Award$ in L.A. (indieWIRE)
+ ‘Crash’ screenplay wins Humanitas Prize (AP)
+ Underage teen girls rob adult man they met on MySpace (Boing Boing)

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Documentary Now! Robert Evans Mansion

The Reel Deal

Everything You Need To Know About “Mr. Runner Up” Inspiration Robert Evans

Watch the two-part finale of Documentary Now! this Wednesday at 10P on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection

In its upcoming two-part finale, Documentary Now! spoofs the crown jewel of docs: The Kid Stays In The Picture. It’s the autobiographical documentary about Robert Evans, the unlikely Hollywood mogul whose mix of self-aggrandizing bravado, classic good looks and extremely circumstantial good luck took him from being a salesman to an actor to the head of Paramount Pictures.

If you’ve never seen the film, it’s totally worth it. Rotten Tomatoes agrees, with a staggeringly-high approval rating. Watch it before, or watch it after — doesn’t matter. You’ll appreciate it whenever.

In the meantime, here’s a bit of background that will come in handy…

Robert Loves Robert

Robert Evans desk

USA Films/Everett Collection

Robert Evans is the ultimate Robert Evans fan. The movie was narrated by Robert Evans and based on his memoir of the same name. It is totally unbiased.

He’s Kind Of A Big Deal

Robert Evans, Chinatown
Paramount Pictures

Evans produced some of Hollywood’s true classics: Chinatown, Rosemary’s Baby, The Godfather, Love Story…the list goes on. Totally legit and amazing movies.

He’s Also Kind Of A Joke

Wag The Dog
New Line Cinema

Evans has been parodied in TV shows and movies like Entourage and Wag The Dog. He is the quintessential “producer” you already have in your head.

So Wrong He’s Right

Robert Evans Slap
20th Century Film Corp

Robert Evans is a notorious narcissist whose love of self is so blind and sincere that it’s actually adorable.

There’s Something Missing

via Giphy

Entire sections of Robert Evans’ life are left out of the documentary. Maybe it’s because of timing. Maybe it’s because real life isn’t a tidy narrative. Who knows.

He Blew It

Spider coke

Evans had a pretty spectacular fall from grace. He was convicted of cocaine trafficking in the early 80’s, and was connected to a contract killing during the production of The Cotton Club. Oops.

Losing Is For Losers

Everett Collection
Everett Collection

In the Robert Evans mythology, all tragedies are just triumphs in disguise, and every story has a happy ending…for Robert Evans.

Bill Hader Jerry Wallach

With these simple facts in hand you are now prepared to thoroughly enjoy the two-part finale of Documentary Now! starting this Wednesday at 10/9c on IFC.

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Weird Roles

Anthony Michael Hall’s Most Rotten Movies

Catch Anthony Michael Hall in Weird Science on Friday at 8P on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Universal/Everett Collection

Anthony Michael Hall was the quintessential ’80s nerd. We love him in classics like The Breakfast Club and National Lampoon’s Vacation. But even the brainiest among us has his weak spots. In honor of Weird Science airing this Rotten Friday, we analyze Hall’s worst movies.

Weird Science (1985) 56%

A low point for John Hughes, Weird Science is way too wacky for its own good. Anthony Michael Hall’s Gary and his pal Wyatt (Ilan Mitchell-Smith) create the “perfect woman.” Supernatural chaos ensues. The film costars a young Bill Paxton, floppy disks, and a general disconnect from all reality.

The Caveman’s Valentine (2001) 46%

This ambitious drama starring Samuel L. Jackson couldn’t live up to its rich premise. Jackson plays Romulus, a Juilliard-educated, paranoid schizophrenic who lives in a cave. Hall co-stars as Bob, a rich man, who wants to see Romulus play the piano. The plot centers around Romulus investigating a murder, but with so much going on, the movie never quite finds its rhythm.

All About the Benjamins (2002) 30%

Ice Cube plays a bounty hunter who teams up with Mike Epps’ con man to catch diamond thieves. Hall plays Lil J, a small-time drug dealer. It’s definitely a role we’ve never seen Hall in, but overall the movie isn’t funny or original enough to justify its violence.

Freddy Got Fingered (2001) 11%

This showcase for Tom Green’s goofy gross-out comedy is often hailed as one of the worst films of all time. Green plays Gord, a 20-something slacker, who dreams of having his own animated series. Hall is Dave Davidson, a CEO of an animation studio who eventually helps Gord find success. Too bad Tom Green wasn’t so lucky.

Johnny Be Good (1988) 0%

Hall plays against type as Johnny Walker, a star quarterback. Robert Downey Jr. is his best friend and Uma Thurman plays his devoted girlfriend. Despite the support of a future A-list cast, the movie lacks central conflict and charm. Or, as TV Guide put it, “Johnny be worthless.” Ouch.

Catch the “Too Rotten to Miss” Weird Science this Friday at 8P on IFC.

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Season 6: Episode 1: Pickathon

Binge Fest

Portlandia Season 6 Now Available On DVD

The perfect addition to your locally-sourced, artisanal DVD collection.

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End of summer got you feeling like:

Portlandia Toni Screaming GIF

Ease into fall with Portlandia‘s sixth season. Relive the latest exploits of Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein’s cast of characters, including Doug and Claire’s poignant breakup, Lance’s foray into intellectual society, and the terrifying rampage of a tsukemen Noodle Monster! Plus, guest stars The Flaming Lips, Glenn Danzig, Louis C.K., Kevin Corrigan, Zoë Kravitz, and more stop by to experience what Portlandia is all about.

Pick up a copy of the DVD today, or watch full episodes and series extras now on IFC.com and the IFC app.

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