After printing Screen Daily’s report on Cannes, one inquistive Cannes-watcher posted a question about the state of Hungarian master Bela Tarr’s latest film “The Man from London” and whether it might be ready for the Croisette. Those familiar with the director’s work know that a year ago the project looked as if it might be abandoned, after the film’s French producer Humbert Balsan unexpectedly comitted suicide. The international FIPRESCI jury published a plea for help for the project, writing “Béla Tarr tries under devastating and humiliating conditions and by now without any protection to shoot his new film in Corsica without a producer.”
But good news has arrived. Last week, Screen Daily reported in a story available at this Hungarian news site that “The Man from London” is back on track and will begin shooting in March, featuring an international cast, including Tilda Swinton, Czech actor Miroslav Krobot, British actress Leah Williams and Hungarian stars Janos Derzsi and Istvan Lenart. Based on the Georges Simenon novel, the film is now targeting a Cannes 2007 launch. For further update, I emailed German filmmaker and Tarr devotee Fred Kelemen, the director of photography on “The Man from London” and he confirmed the news: “I can infom you that we will not finish the shooting of the mentioned film before the end of the year,” he said.