“Manglehorn” is probably some kind of variation on the nickname some critics may have given to filmmaker David Gordon Green‘s career. Green started out an adored indie darling in the vein of Terrence Malick (who would produce Green’s third feature “Undertow” based on Malick’s story), but three absurdist studio comedies in a row (“Pineapple Express,” “Your Highness,” and “Sitter“) made him harder to pin down and it confused many pundits expecting a linear, not chaotic progression.
But almost from day one Green’s been saying that his models were chameleons like Gus Vant Sant (who shot still photography on “Undertow”) and Steven Soderbergh (who would have produced Green’s version of “A Confederacy Of Dunces” had it not fallen victim to studio politics and legalities). So you really never know what he’s going to do next.
While a “classy and graceful” horror remake of “Suspriria” is still up in the air, the director has moved elsewhere with the shaggy dog existential comedy “Prince Avalanche” and the dark thriller “Joe” which screened at the Venice Film Festival just recently (read our review here).
Green’s newest track seems to be grabbing big name stars and putting them to work in smaller-scale movies. Nicolas Cage starred in “Joe” and for Green’s upcoming film, “Manglehorn,” he’s scored Al Pacino as the lead. Three more actors were announced today for what is turning out to be a super eclectic cast. They are “Spring Breakers” director and enfante terrible Harmony Korine (who did a small cameo in Chan-wook Park‘s “Stoker” earlier this year), Holly Hunter who is coming off a terrific run in Jane Campion‘s awesome mini-series “Top Of The Lake” and indie actor Chris Messina (“Greenberg“). The Korine role in the movie is perhaps not that strange. In a recent DP/30 interview (which you can see below) Green called Korine’s “Gummo” one of the key influential movies that made him believe he could also direct his own stories.
Written by Green and Paul Logan (evidently a set-intern on “Prince Avalanche”) all we know about “Manglehorn” is that it’s about “an eccentric man who tries to come to terms with a past crime that cost him the love of his life.” Count us in. Green has now shot two films—”Prince Avalanche,” “Joe,”—in the span of about 16 months and with “Manglehorn” shooting soon, by all indications (and recent interviews), Green is very fired up about shooting film as opposed to trying to convince studios to make them (see where “Suspiria” is at). If it means more work from this prolific director, we’re all for it. [The Wrap/Deadline]