DAILY NEWS: Susan Sarandon, "Ten New Titans," and Christmas Entries in Buzz; And Three Named Film Funds Recipients in Minneapolis
by Brian Brooks and Wendy Mitchell/indieWIRE
>> indieWIRE: BUZZ about Holiday Parties, Torino Staffing, a Fassbinder Series, and More
indieWIRE: BUZZ for the week ending December 6, 2002.
The Torino Film Festival has nominated two new directors to serve for its
2003-2006 events. They are Giulia D'Agnolo Vallan, a Torino-born and New
York-based writer and curator who has worked with the Venice and Torino
fests to program U.S. selections, and Roberto Turigliatto, one of the
founders of the Movie Club who first worked with the Turin fest in 1982. In
a joint statement, they said, "As long-standing contributors to the Torino
Film Festival, we intend to work along the guiding lines developed by
previous directors Gianni Rondolino, Alberto Barbera, and Stefano Della Casa." The posts are effective on January 1.
CHRISTMAS KICKOFF: It's BUZZ's favorite time of year, holiday party season,
when we get to celebrate the true meaning of Christmas -- free food and
drinks. The indieWIRE crew was too busy posting the Sundance lineup to make
it to the AIVF's overcrowded bash, so our first holiday soiree this year was
Fox Searchlight's famed party at sushi restaurant Bond Street. While we were
hoping for a glimpse of Jake Gyllenhaal (shirtless or fully clothed), star
of Fox's "The Good Girl," we were impressed enough with the appearance by
up-and-coming actor Derek Luke, star of Denzel Washington's "Antwone Fisher." Mr. Luke was suspiciously eyeing the tuna rolls as he made a home video to send back to his wife. Awwww. Also in the rather sedate crowd: Elle critic Karen Durbin, GenArt's Jeff Abramson, Magnolia Pictures' Ryan Werner, and New York Press' opinionated scribe Armond White.
REALITY PROGRAMMING: If you're sick of "It's a Wonderful Life" already,
then try "Reality Can Be Entertaining," a program of documentary shorts at
American Cinematheque in Hollywood on December 11. Screenings will include
Darren McInerney's "Swell Life," about locals-only surfing, Rick Castro's "Plushies & Furries," about animal costume fetishists, Pamela Ezell's "TV Dream Homes: The Drawings of Mark Bennett," about a young man who draws blueprints of TV sets, and Bill Brown's "Buffalo Common," about North Dakota. McInerney, Castro, and Ezell will be on hand for a Q&A. For details,
FASSBINDER EXTRAVAGANZA: Wellspring is working with the Rainer Werner Fassbinder Foundation to show new 35mm prints of 16 features and 2 shorts by the German legend. New York's Film Forum will offer its six-week Fassbinder
retrospective starting February 14, and the films will then move to Los
Angeles, Boston, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Chicago, Washington, D.C.,
Toronto, Seattle, Portland, Houston, and Dallas. Films in the series include
Fassbinder's first feature, "Katzelmacher," his popular film "The Marriage
of Maria Braun," and two films previously unreleased in the U.S., "Love is
Colder than Death," and "Fear of Fear."
SARANDON GALA: The Film Society of Lincoln Center announced that it will
honor Susan Sarandon at its 2003 Gala Tribute. On May 5, Sarandon will be
honored with a program of highlights from her film career, plus appearances
by actors and directors she has worked with. Tickets are $35-$100 for the
event, but if you want to attend the black-tie dinner at Tavern on the Green
afterwards, be prepared to shell out $900. For information, call
SET THE VCRS: If reruns of holiday-themed episodes of "Friends" aren't
cutting it, check out the Independent Film Channel's special series "Ten
New Titans: The Future of Film," which airs December 18-20. Screenings
from visionary new directors include Paul Thomas Anderson's "Hard Eight," Kimberly Peirce's "Boys Don't Cry," Christopher Nolan's "Following," Miguel Arteta's "Star Maps," Todd Solondz's "Welcome to the Dollhouse," Neil LaBute's "Your Friends & Neighbors," Harmony Korine's "Julien Donkey Boy," Joe Carnahan's "Blood, Guts, Bullets & Octane," Lisa Cholodenko's "High Art," and Darren Aronofsky's "Pi."
PINEWOOD ONLINE: On Monday, New York's American Museum of the Moving Image will launch Pinewood Dialogues Online, which offers a Web archive of the museum's conversations with experts since 1988. Visit www.movingimage.us for
streaming audio or written transcripts of chats with folks including Martin
Scorsese, David Cronenberg, Hal Hartley, Todd Haynes, Jim Jarmusch, David Lynch, Willem Dafoe, John Waters, and others. More interviews will be added to the site each month.
NICOLE'S KID: If it was a casting call for "Happiness," we might not
recommend it. But this one seems like some kid's big break. Fine Line
is having a casting call for a 10-year-old boy to play opposite Nicole
Kidman in Jonathan Glazer's "Birth." Kidman plays a widow who meets a10-year-old boy claiming to be her dead husband. Star-struck 10-year-olds
should go to the Cherry Lane Theatre in Manhattan on Saturday from 10 a.m.
to 3 p.m. For info, contact Jessica at Avy Kaufman Casting, 212-620-4256.
"We don't want to be precious, but we'd, like, rather not clarify all that."
Spike Jonze tells the New York Times why he and Charlie Kaufman don't want
to confirm or deny the existence of Donald Kaufman, Charlie's "twin brother"
who shares screenwriting credit on "Adaptation."
Next week in indieWIRE, our picks for the best films of 2002 without
distribution, a visit to Spain with our World Cinema Report by Anthony
Kaufman, Howard Feinstein's look at MoMA's Documentary Fortnight, and
reviews of "Russian Ark" and "About Schmidt."
>> Three Minnesota Filmmakers Receive $25K Each in Development Funds
(indieWIRE: 12.06.02) -- IFP Minneapolis/ St. Paul announced the three
recipients of the 2002 Minnesota Independent Film Fund at an awards ceremony
held earlier this week at the Walker Art Center Auditorium. Executive producer
Alan Blomquist ("Chocolat," "Cider House Rules") served as the evening's special guest presenting the prizes to three independent feature filmmakers, each worth $25,000 in development funds. Winners included Ben Bowman for his Lake Superior-set thriller, "One Thousand Feet Deep."
Also receiving the annual award, which launched in 1995 and funded by the
McKnight Foundation, is Kirk Duffy's "Exit Interview." The film, according to an announcement, is the story of "one man as he leaves the eccentricities of
his family in Minnesota to join a seductive woman he barely knows on a wild
road trip out west." "Holiday Beach" by Steve Larson, the story of a seaman
on a remote Alaskan island who threatens every new Navy radioman, rounds out
the trio receiving this year's award, the only development program for
independent feature filmmakers according to fund organizers.
The fund was created to encourage independent feature filmmaking in Minnesota.
IFP Minneapolis/ St. Paul administers the program, previously organized by the
Minnesota Film and TV Board. The Independent Feature Project (IFP) in
Minneapolis/ St. Paul supports and promotes film and video as well as
screenplays and photography throughout the Upper Midwest. [Brian Brooks]