"Becoming Jane," a Jane Austen biopic that’s caused some fuss among Austenites due to its focus on the author’s alleged doomed romance with an Irish barrister, opens in London. According to the Daily Mail, star Anne Hathaway didn’t show, but her co-star, the ubiquitous James McAvoy, did, and defends director Julian Jarrold‘s choice for leading lady: "When you find a British person playing some great American icon no one bats an eyelid." Over at the Sydney Morning Herald, Angela Bennie discusses the historical likeliness of this premise with Austen scholar Jon Spence. The film will be getting a release in the US from Miramax in August.
Andrew Pulver at the Guardian‘s Film Blog reports on a London Bafta discussion of "the role of the film critic in the digital age," and, naturally, where blogging fits in:
Nick James, editor of Sight and Sound, took the intellectual high ground, pointing out the difference between "reviewing" and "criticism" – the former being a consumer service, and the latter a lengthy analysis of a film – and saying that he saw no reason to despair for the future of criticism: he wanted Sight and Sound, he said, "to be the vinyl to the bloggers’ iPod".
On this side of the Atlantic, members of Film Comment continue to make clear their publication’s feelings on the subject. In the new March/April issue, Amy Taubin writes that among "the most trying aspects of Sundance â€™07" was:
[T]he omnipresent hype, not for the films themselves, but rather for that ineffable, high-altitude Sundance experience and for you, you, and you, oh my God, actually present at the most happening American film event, where, as one blogger gushed, the thrill was not in seeing the merchandise but in watching Harvey Weinstein make a deal. (Has that blogger taken a good hard look at the garbage The Weinstein Company has acquired of late?)
"I guess there are some big classic themes in Braindead too," he concludes. "It’s a real Oedipus story with some weird mom thing going on. My own movie ["Sleeping Dogs Lie"] is dedicated to my late mother, although I don’t believe she was dominating. It was a sick joke initially, but then I warmed to the idea and in a strange way it made sense."
Prompted by "The Queen," Ed Caesar at the Independent runs down which famous people have seen the films they’re the subject of. Apparently Anna Wintour has seen "The Devil Wears Prada" (press screening, not premiere); Richard Nixon probably did not see "All the President’s Men."
I donâ€™t want to be a professional. Iâ€™m not in the Directors Guild; I donâ€™t want to be. I like holding on to my amateur status. I wanted to be a professional in all the right ways, but I didnâ€™t want it ever to be a job. I even asked: â€œWould I die for Jackie Brown?â€ I would have died for Reservoir Dogs. I would have died getting a shot for Pulp Fiction. I donâ€™t know if I would have died, would have thrown myself into that kind of harmâ€™s way, for Jackie Brown, and that scared me a little bit. I think the reason was that that film was based on a novel; it wasnâ€™t an original thing, born from me. Whether itâ€™s hardship or ruin, or hardship or good times, or happy or sad, or profitable or destitute â€” whatever the deal is, you go down the road today, and maybe your rewards are today, or maybe your rewards will be tomorrow, or maybe in another life, but youâ€™re going your own way.
+ Becoming Jane star misses world premiere (Daily Mail)
+ An affair to remember (Sydney Morning Herald)
+ Whither the film critic in the blogosphere? (Guardian Film Blog)
+ FESTIVALS/SUNDANCE: The Sweet Smell of Success (Film Comment)
+ Filmmakers on film: Bobcat Goldthwait (Telegraph)
+ Famous lives on screen: Did the queen see ‘The Queen’? (Independent)
+ I call the shots here (London Times)