DAILY NEWS: Aspen Lineup; Spike Lee at NYU; and Ang Lee's "Hulk"
with articles by Eugene Hernandez, Wendy Mitchell, and Jacque Lynn Schiller/indieWIRE
>> Aspen Shortsfest To Include 59 Films From 21 Countries
(indieWIRE: 03.28.02) — The finalists for the 2002 Aspen Shortsfest
competition, to be held April 9 – 13, were announced Tuesday, including 59
films representing 21 countries from North and South America, Europe,
Africa, Asia, and Australia. Oscar nominees “Strange Invaders” (Canada) and “Gregor’s Greatest Invention” (Germany) will be highlights, along with the
premieres of Alice Elliot‘s documentary “The Collector of Bedford Street“
(USA), Hanno Hofer‘s “Humanitarian Aid” (Romania), and Steve Ayson‘s “The French Doors” (New Zealand).
“Shortsfest offers a unique forum bringing together emerging artists,
mentoring professionals, and film lovers,” commented Aspen Filmfest
Executive Director Laura Thielen in a prepared statement. “And with its
majestic surroundings and the town’s informal, intimate scale – Aspen
is the perfect place to do it!”
Actress Sarah Polley (“Guinevere“) will be in town with her second film,
“I Shout Love,” and Bob Giraldi will screen “The Routine.” Another notable inclusion is the world premiere of “Yard” by Bob Sabiston of “Waking Life” animation fame.
Screenings will be held nightly at Aspen’s Wheeler Opera House and on the
weekend at the Crystal Theatre in Carbondale. The festival will also feature
special programs including the “Director Spotlight” with John McKay
(“Crush“); a discussion of filmmakers’ responses to the events of September
11; a two-part symposium on the collaborative dimension of filmmaking; a
youth series; and a conversation with cinematographer Allen Daviau on the
20th anniversary of “E.T. The Extra Terrestrial.” Former Shortsfest winners
Todd Field and Serena Rathbun (both of “In the Bedroom“) will be special guests at the closing ceremony, where more than $20,000 in cash and other
prizes will be awarded. [Jacque Lynn Schiller]
[For more information, visit: http://www.aspenshortsfest.org>.]
>> Spike Lee Named Artistic Director at NYU
(indieWIRE: 03.28.02) — Spike Lee has been named the Artistic Director of
the graduate division of the Kanbar Institute of Film and Television at New
York University‘s Tisch School of the Arts. The post gives Lee an advisory
position at the school, letting him teach and advise third year students, as
well as help with industry networking.
“Spike has unimpeachable professional and artistic credentials in both
narrative and documentary filmmaking,” commented Tisch Dean Mary Schmidt
Campbell. “I am confident that, working in tandem with Christine Choy, the
new department chair, he will move the graduate program forward and ensure
that it remain the top film program in the country.” [Eugene Hernandez]
>> Ang Lee Takes on “The Hulk”
(indieWIRE: 03.28.02) — Ang Lee and James Schamus, best known for work on lauded films including “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” and “The Ice Storm,” are moving beyond acrobatic Chinese warriors and the evils of Watergate-era
suburbia , turning to shirt-busting green muscles. Director Lee has started
principal photography on “The Hulk,” his contemporary take on the Marvel
Comics superhero, with a screenplay written by Schamus.
Eric Bana (“Chopper,” “Black Hawk Down“) stars as scientist Bruce Banner, as well as Banner’s hulking alter-ego (transformations courtesy of Industrial Light + Magic). Jennifer Connelly (“A Beautiful Mind,” “Requiem For a Dream“) plays his love interest. The Universal Pictures release will be produced by Gale Anne Hurd, Marvel Studios CEO Avi Arad, Schamus, and Larry Franco. Executive producers are Kevin Feige and Stan Lee, the founder of Marvel Comics.
Universal said this production is “staying true to the subversive spirit of
the early Marvel years, while completely updating and projecting The Hulk
into the dangers and aspirations of contemporary times.” [Wendy Mitchell]