Steve Buscemi, Stanley Tucci and Bob Balaban have signed on to direct a remake of a trilogy by murdered Dutch director Theo van Gogh. Van Gogh, a descendant of the painter, was killed because of “Submission,” a short film he made with liberal Dutch politician Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a Somali refugee who fled an arranged marriage. The film portrayed violence against women in Islamic societies and was shown on Dutch television. Van Gogh’s last film “06/05: The Sixth of May” will have its North American premiere at the Toronto Film Festival on Thursday, Sept 15 as will “All Souls,” a compilation of sixteen vignettes from seventeen Dutch directors based on episodes surrounding van Gogh’s death.
“It was always Theo’s dream to come to America and make films in New York, and this is a way of fulfilling those dreams,” said Gijs van de Westelaken of Netherlands-based Column Productions and Bruce Weiss of New York-based Ironworks Productions who made the announcement Tuesday. “The films all have a central and very universal theme, the battles between men and women. Anybody who has ever been in a relationship will identify with these films and since these are such actor-driven films we felt it was important to have directors who are also great actors. We are really touched that Steve, Stanley and Bob have come on board this project to help realize Theo’s dream.”
The three films are: “06 (1994)” — the Dutch submission for the Oscar that year — is a story of two people who meet on a phone sex line and go through an entire relationship without ever meeting in person. “Blind Date” (1996) is a story about two parents who have lost a child and then reinvent themselves over and over again as different characters through personal ads trying to rebuild their relationship. “Interview” (2003) is a story about a top political journalist who has a falling out with his editor and then against his will has to interview the country’s most popular soap actress. With some of the revenue from the films, Westelaken and Weiss will set up a fund in Van Gogh’s memory to support freedom of speech in filmmaking. [Brian Brooks]