Venice kicks off today, but for now all anyone has to talk about is how a feud between the festival and its newly launched neighbor in Rome was started by an epic game of Telephone. Via Colleen Barry at the AP:
A gentlemanly truce broke this week when the director of the Venice film festival gave an interview saying the nascent Rome festival was performing a service to films overlooked by Venice and Cannes by giving them a venue.
By the time the comment reached the ears of the Rome festival directors, the Rome lineup had become "leftovers" â€” to the ire of the founders of the new festival.
They called the alleged comment "an incredible offense to the filmmakers who are showing their work in Rome."
The Venice Film Festival issued a statement denying that their director had ever used a word as offensive as "leftovers." But the fact remained: The films being shown at Rome "are films that neither we nor Cannes wanted."
The overt conflict of the opera is between the dark lord Sarastro and the Queen of the Night. Branagh said: "By giving each an army and presenting visually the landscape of the First World War, there is a sense of import and scale about the actions of these characters. The Great War provides a territory both literal and metaphoric that is as emotive and complex as the opera itself."
Arty! Chris Hastings does the same for Stephen Frears‘ "The Queen," and gets a few choice controversy-courting quotes from the director â€” well, hardly, unless you’re particularly defensive about the British monarchy. But we’re sure someone, somewhere would be offended.
John Horn at the LA Times attempts to predict the line-up of the Telluride Film Festival.
Elsewhere on this rather quiet day: A trailer for Eric Steel‘s "The Bridge," the documentary about the Golden Gate Bridge as a suicide landmark that includes footage of people jumping, is here. We believe Steel is self-distributing this film; it was originally also scheduled to air on IFC next year, but may (no date has been decided yet) air late this year instead. Also, a trailer for Yimou Zhang‘s "Curse of the Golden Flower," another lavish brocade-and-broadsword epic intended for export, here. Does star Chow Yun-fat, Gong Li and Taiwanese pop star Jay Chou.
Sheigh Crabtree at the Hollywood Reporter writes that Vincent Cassel has joined the cast of David Cronenberg‘s "Eastern Promises." Already announced as cast in the film are Naomi Watts and Viggo Mortensen. And via WENN, Martin Scorsese has apparently been hired to write a column DirectTV’s program guide: "Executives at the company came up with the idea when Scorsese, a
DirecTV subscriber, wrote to the firm to suggest changes in the movie
review system." We complain about things all the time â€” no one gives us a fucking column! What do we have to do, direct "Taxi Driver"? We’ve got a lot on a plate right now.
The San Francisco Chronicle‘s Ruthe Stein claims that being an architect is an overwhelmingly popular career choice for film heroes, and that this trend has gone on for years. She doesn’t come up with much deep cultural analysis stemming from this observation â€” she does, however, put together a decent list.
What lead you to filmmaking?
I was obsessed with movies as far back as I can remember ("Rocky III," "Star Trek II," etc), [and] never really considered doing anything else with my life. Wish I could be a musician but lack any apparent talent. Also wish I could be a novelist; same problem. Also painting. Or, I don’t know, even dancing. They all sound good to me.
Ah, ain’t it the truth?
+ Venice, Rome duelling over film fests (AP)
+ Branagh goes to war with Mozart’s Magic Flute (Telegraph)
+ Director claims Diana was ‘sacrificed’ at wedding (Telegraph)
+ Telluride: A Film Fest That’s Actually About Films (LA Times)
+ Trailer: The Bridge (Apple)
+ Trailer: Curse of the Golden Flower (Sony)
+ Cassel making "Promises" with Watts (Hollywood Reporter)
+ Scorsese Set to Become Film Critic (WENN)
+ And now let us praise hot architects. Hollywood can’t get enough of them. (SF Chronicle)
+ Andrew Bujalski, director of "Mutual Appreciation" (indieWIRE)