A smattering of reports on films still in pre-production:
Casually dressed in a plaid shirt and work pants, [Mel] Gibson at first appeared tense and deflected queries about the film’s storyline. "What I’m doing is creating an action adventure of mythic proportions," he said, leaving it pretty much at that. He also was clearly bothered by photographers’ continuing to take flash pictures while he was talking. "It does something to my liver," Gibson said, blinking. "I’ll have an epileptic fit in a minute and start swallowing my tongue."
Reed Johnson‘s report in the LA Times on Gibson’s "Apocalypto" press conference is pretty much all gold, from the Gibson glamor shot at the top to the sparse details about his upcoming film the writer/director/producer is so reluctant to let slip, perhaps because he knows they sound more than a little cracked out. You can imagine a room full of reporters doodling on their notepads: "ALL UNKNOWNS? IN ANCIENT MAYAN? SMOKING ANGEL DUST?! BUT ‘THE PASSION’ SOUNDED LIKE A FUCKING CAR WRECK TOO!!!!!"
Hell, it’s ambitious, he’s got the money, let the man grow out his facial hair and make his movie if he wants. Over at the New York Times, Michael Joseph Gross reports on Richard Linklater‘s planned "Fast Food Nation" adaptation, which is so super-secret that its super-secret working title has now been printed in the most prominent paper in the country. The article comes down to the fact that no one’s discussing the movie much (though it was announced months ago that "Maria Full of Grace"‘s Catalina Sandino Moreno would star), and that’s about that, though nice to see the new-ish Participate.net will be involved to attempt to tie the film with an outreach program.
And, also at the Times, Christian Moerk looks at the plan announced at Toronto this year: Bob Balaban, Stanley Tucci and Steve Buscemi are each planning to direct an American remake of one of slain Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh‘s films. Balaban will do "1-900," Tucci "Blind Date" and Buscemi "Interview." Van Gogh was well-known in the Netherlands as a provocateur and public personality, and he was stabbed and shot by a Dutch-Moroccan radical Islamist offended by his short film "Submission: Part I," but all of the films being remade are from his earlier days, and focus on sexuality and gender conflicts.
Van Gogh is an uneasy martyr to free speech â€” he went out of his way to provoke without, it seems, ever believing in or appreciating the effect his words and films could have on people. "Who’s going to kill the village idiot?" was his oft-quoted question, and clearly the answer is: someone who wasn’t laughing. Van Gogh’s death was terrible, and also sobering â€” it’s become too easy, perhaps, to feel that one’s public words get whirled away and lost in the increasing chorus of various media voices, but people do listen. And despite all this, who can help but love this impulse?
Van Gogh…would utter an expletive instead and say: "Film it now. Low budget buys you freedom."