– Julia Stiles is alive and well. In fact, she’s a busy girl. Her last big-screen role in The Bourne Ultimatum was much like her recent career: quiet and timid. So what has she been doing?
Stiles earned a degree in English Literature from Columbia University, starred in David Mamet’s Oleanna on the Broadway stage and in Los Angeles, and is shooting ten episodes of Dexter (among other things). Now she is producing and developing her passion project The Bell Jar, based on poet Sylvia Plath’s autobiographical novel, for herself to star. Stiles selected New York playwright Tristine Skyler to write the script, Nicole Kassell (The Woodsman) to direct and Virginia Madsen to play a therapist.
– On September 2nd, The Venice Film Festival’s Horizons selection (dedicated to new cinematic trends and custom format films) will open with Catherine Breillat’s Sleeping Beauty and close with Korean filmmaker Hong San-soo’s Oki’s Movie. UK Metro writer Larushka Ivan-Zadeh pokes at Breillat’s Sony co-chairman Amy Pascal on the current state of movies. Pascal refuses to believe “the sky is falling” on the industry and upholds the future of old-fashioned exhibition: “Movie theatres are the heart and soul of what we do, and always will be, because viewing movies is a communal experience.” And while we are each in control of the movie and storytelling experience when we watch a DVD or a movie on TV, “in a movie theater, you have no control, and there’s something great about that. It’s one of the few places any of us are comfortable giving up control, and that is why the experience of a movie theater is different than from anywhere else.”
– Meanwhile, Odeon & UCI Cinemas (the No.1 theater operator in Europe and the largest in the world outside of the Americas) is spending $107 million to convert screens (500 by the end of the summer) to 3-D-ready digital. Speaking to BBC radio, CEO Rupert Gavin claims that 50% of box office will be 3-D within three years. They’re also planning to use digital venues for live events such as live 3-D fashion shows in Leicester Square this September to screen live at cinemas in Paris, Milan and Tokyo. While theater owners want to sustain premium ticket prices, audiences may rebel if quality films aren’t part of the deal.
[Photos: Julia Stiles, Sylvia Plath, Catherine Breillat]