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DAILY NEWS: LAFF Report; 34 More in Cannes; Japanese Legend Dies

DAILY NEWS: LAFF Report; 34 More in Cannes; Japanese Legend Dies

DAILY NEWS: LAFF Report; 34 More in Cannes; Japanese Legend Dies

by Eugene Hernandez, Anthony Kaufman and Maud Kersnowski/indieWIRE

>> DISPATCH FROM LAFF 2001: With Strike on the Brain, Festival Also Talks Digital

(indieWIRE/04.24.01) — The City of Los Angeles wakes up everyday to news
about the impending Writers’ strike. Not just the trades but every news
outlet from NPR to FOX covers the slightest stirrings on the desert of
negotiation. Last week, the mayor released a report predicting the effects
that a strike will have on the city. And this is the environment that the
2001 Los Angeles Film Festival (LAFF), which makes its home at the
Director’s Guild on Sunset, is taking place in.

“Can we say the strike word?” producer Kevin Foxe (“Blair Witch“) asked SAG rep Shawna Brakefield as he walked to the front of the room with Richard Hull (“She’s All That,” “Get Over It“) at the beginning of the actor’s union moderated panel on producing. The two producers were discussing the
strike as they stood in the back of the room waiting for their introduction.
Few of the six panels avoided the question of the strike that will or will
not happen shortly after LAFF’s closing night.

With the strike hanging over them, Miramax greenlighted Hull’s latest
project in one day, but Foxe’s new film has been put on hold until the issue
of a double work stoppage is answered. “We’re absolutely rushing to beat the
mythical strike,” explained Hull.

When the topic wasn’t the strike it was technology. With just under 20
digital films at LAFFm the conversation of what if anything has changed in
the last few years was constant. Even the festival badges featured an
updateable iQrom mini CD.

Directors Ernest R. Dickerson (“Monday Night Mayhem” and Spike Lee‘s D.P.) and James Gray (“Little Odessa“) both agreed that while technology has added a few tools their work bag is hasn’t changed their craft.

For veterans cinematographers like Edward Lachman (“Virgin Suicides,” “Erin Brockovich“) and Ericson Core (“Fast and Furious,” “Mumford“) who bounce from indies to studio features shooting digitally has become a very real possibility. Although Core’s festival entrant, “Dancing at the Blue Iguana,” was ultimately shot on 35mm, digital video along with super 16mm, were on
the list of options considered. “I still like celluloid,” Lachman told a
crowd of aspiring D.P.’s. “I don’t think DV will replace film. It’s just
something else to use.”

“Technology changed things,” Hull said. “The raising your own money route is
different than it was even four years ago. I knew I could sell those one
million-dollar movies. Now every jackass on the street can pick up a video
camera — there’s a glut of American product. All the cinematographers and
all the actors are making movies. Nobody’s going to give ME a million
dollars. They’re going to give it to Tim Hutton.”

“At first I was disappointed that we were going to shoot in digital, but I
loved it. It was a great way to get the film I want to make made.” Allison
told indieWIRE about her digitally shot, “Things Behind the Sun
which will be the closing film for LAFF. [Maud Kersnowski]

>> Cannes Adds Three Films to Un Certain Regard Section; Outdoor Screening Also Set

(indieWIRE/04.24.01) — Three movies have been added to the lineup of the Un
Certain Regard section at next month’s Cannes Film Festival. While an
outdoor screening is also set.

Joining the list are Francesca Comencini‘s “Le Parole di Mio Padre” as the
Un Certain Regard’s closing movie and Emmanuelle Bercot‘s “Clement,” as well as Stanley Kwan‘s “Lu Yu.”

Meanwhile, Variety reported yesterday that the Festival has also added an
outdoor screening of Miramax‘ “Amelie of Montmartre,” directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet (“Delicatessen,” “Alien: Resurrection“). The film is
scheduled to show in a public screening near the Palais. [Eugene Hernandez]


>> “Woman in the Dunes” Director Teshigahara Dies at 74

(indieWIRE/04.24.01) — Legendary Japanese filmmaker and artist Hiroshi
died last week, April 14, at the Keio University Hospital in
Tokyo from acute leukemia at the age of 74. Best known for his 1964 surreal
masterpiece “Woman in the Dunes,” which garnered a Cannes Special Jury Award (1964), and Oscar nominations for Best Foreign Film (1965) and Best
Directing (1966), Teshigahara made over ten films (both documentaries and
features) during his career. In addition to filmmaking, he founded the
Sogetsu Art Center, a leading force in the Japanese avant-garde, the Sogetsu
Ceramic Kiln
, a ceramics center, was master of the Sogetsu School of Ikebana
(flower arranging), and a world-renowned sculptor.

In the New York Times in 1989, Peter Grilli wrote, “Twenty-five years ago, a young unknown Japanese director named Hiroshi Teshigahara sent tremors
through the world of cinema with a film of stunning originality, awesome
power and technical brilliance. It was at home that he remained most active,
directing a series of distinctly original films that helped bring to world
attention the creativity of the contemporary Japanese avant-garde.” Farewell
ceremonies for Teshigahara will take place in Japan on May 12, and May 13 at
the Sogetsu Kaikan. [Anthony Kaufman]

>> YESTERDAY in indieWIRE DAILY NEWS: Negotiatons Continue with One Week To Go; Linklater’s Latest Acquired; Aspen’s Short Winners; Academy Grants

(indieWIRE/04.23.01) — From yesterday’s edition of indieWIRE Daily News: In
Hollywood, with a week to go before a potential strike, all sides are
issuing statements as negotiations continue. Meanwhile, Richard Linklater‘s
animated feature, “Waking Life,” has found a home, Aspen honors short
filmmakers and the Academy gives grants.”


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