In the biz: Borys Kit at the Hollywood Reporter writes that "Universal Pictures has won the intense bidding war for ‘Bruno,’ Sacha Baron Cohen‘s follow-up movie to ‘Borat.’" Universal’s shelling out a lot of cash on the basis of a film that’s by no means a safe bet â€” Baron Cohen’s Bruno character is also a lot less endearing than Borat, but ah, well. We wish him only the best. Also at the Hollywood Reporter, Gregg Goldstein notes that ThinkFilm has picked up doc "The Hip Hop Project," which premiered at Tribeca earlier this year. Via Coming Soon, "the sequel to 2004’s ‘Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle’ is planned for a late January start date in Shreveport, Louisiana. John Cho and Kal Penn are set to reprise their roles as Harold and Kumar, respectively." And via WENN, Jesse James Hollywood, the inspiration for Emile Hirsch‘s character in Nick Cassavetes‘ "Alpha Dog," is suing Universal Pictures and "claims the movie will ‘irreparably harm’ his ability to receive a fair trial." The movie, if it ever comes out, will be Justin Timberlake‘s theatrical debut ("Edison" having gone straight to video).
More "Borat": In an odd piece in the Guardian, Johnny Dee reminds the world about Mahir Cagri, the Turkish man who becomes internet famous for his unintentionally hilarious personal website (you remember, "I Kiss You!!!"), and who he sees as a clear inspiration for Baron Cohen’s character. Christopher Howse in the Telegraph writes that
When he was in America for advance publicity for the film, in character, [Baron Cohen] remarked, "I would like to meet the fearless anti-Jew warrior, Melvin Gibson." That’s a joke against poor Mel, of course. But how much postmodernist irony can we consume before we begin to swallow straight the lines that say the opposite of what is meant?
Peter Howell at the Toronto Star wonders the same thing.
Anupama Chopra at the New York Times reports on the changing face of Bollywood film:
The universal Bollywood hit is becoming increasingly difficult to pull off. A decade ago, the Hindi film market was largely considered a homogenous monolith. What worked in one town was likely to work in another. But over the years the business has splintered dramatically, forcing industry pundits to create new labels for films.
We’re loving the phrase "Supergentry."
At the Independent, David Thomson sings the praises of Isabelle Huppert, but qualifies it in his intro with "At the risk of getting too excited about a blonde actress with a touch of red in her hair…" Hyuck! At the Observer, Liz Hoggard (briefly) sings the praises of David Bowie, bad actor:
But you have to love David for trying. He’s played Pontius Pilate, Andy Warhol, a marooned alien and a goblin king in a fright wig in Labyrinth. Just when you think he might have got the hang of it (he won rave reviews for Nic Roeg‘s The Man Who Fell to Earth and Oshima‘s Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence) along comes a turkey like Absolute Beginners.
And at Slate, Doree Shafrir asks the eternal question "Why can’t a screenwriter be an auteur, too?" The answer, we all know, is that the director can ultimately just grab the script with a "Yoink!" and run off howling with laughter and waving a Sharpie over his or her head, but Shafrir is more specifically focused on the Guillermo Arriaga/Alejandro GonzÃ¡lez IÃ±Ã¡rritu feud laid out by Terrence Rafferty in the New York Times a week ago.
+ Universal raises eyebrows with "Bruno" deal (HR)
+ ThinkFilm hip to ‘Hip Hop’ docu project (HR)
+ Second Harold & Kumar Starts in January (Coming Soon)
+ Lawyers Try To Block Movie on Murder Case (WENN)
+ The real Borat (Guardian)
+ We know he’s joking… don’t we? (Telegraph)
+ Why it’s okay to laugh at Borat (Toronto Star)
+ FRIDAY IS FUN-DAY (Kaiju Shakedown)
+ Can Bollywood Please All the People, All the Time? (NY Times)
+ Film Studies: The French directors’ woman (Independent)
+ Why I love David Bowie’s acting (Observer)
+ Bored of Directors (Slate)