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News bits.

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...

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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