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Weekend Recap: First Looks, Reviews, The Painter Behind ‘Life of Pi,’ Latest Moves from Matthias Schoenaerts, Kristen Stewart, and Richard Gere

Weekend Recap: First Looks, Reviews, The Painter Behind 'Life of Pi,' Latest Moves from Matthias Schoenaerts, Kristen Stewart, and Richard Gere

– This first look at Richard Ayoade’s “The Double” shows Jesse Eisenberg and Noah Taylor in period costume for this adaptation of Dostoevsky’s novella about a minor government clerk who becomes aware of a doppelganger, who begins to displace him among his friends and acquaintances. Mia Wasikowska and Wallace Shawn also star.

Martha Raddatz’s interview with Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal about their latest movie, “Zero Dark Thirty,” airs tomorrow night on ABC’s Nightline. The movie covers the decades-long effort to hunt down Osama Bin Laden, ending with the final nighttime raid on his compound in Pakistan. It premieres December 19.

Matthias Schoenaerts (“Rust and Bone,” “Bullhead”) is in talks to join Michelle Williams and Kristin Scott Thomas in Saul Dibb’s “Suite Francaise,” a drama based on Irene Nemirovsky’s novel about escaping Paris on the eve of WWII.  Michelle Williams will play a young French woman who falls in love with a German officer (Schoenaerts) assigned to watch her in Nazi-occupied France. Shooting should begin in London next spring.

Oscar-winning makeup artist Louis Burwell talks to Gold Derby about transforming Daniel Day-Lewis into the 16th president, as well as turning the cast into believable 19th century Americans.  This is Burwell’s fifth collaboration with Steven Spielberg.

Kristen Stewart will continue with the “Snow White and the Huntsman” sequel, but the director Rupert Sanders will not, according to the London Daily Mail.  The pair was the center of a scandal after they were caught kissing after the film wrapped. Each has sought to retain their existing relationships, Sanders with his wife and Stewart with “Twilight” co-star Rob Pattinson.  

Esquire profiles and interviews Lena Dunham, the 26-year-old writer/director/actress/multi-tasker: “Dunham is a force right now. She is the emblem of something — it’s just that no one’s sure what.”  Despite her prodigious accomplishments at a young age, Dunham comes across as humble in the short interview, in which she pays homage to Nora Ephron and Louis C. K., who she says is “just like my favorite TV human.”

New York Times’ Manohla Dagis reviews “Hitchcock,” starring Anthony Hopkins as the master of suspense and Helen Mirren as his wife Alma Reville.  The film falls into a shoddy trap:

“[It does] what some disreputable Hitchcock biographical books have done: It reads him through his work, as if his movies were a direct reflection of his mind, soul and deepest, darkest desires… The real Hitchcock’s great flaw, apparently, was that he was at once a genius and a private man, a combination that has allowed some writers and filmmakers to have their insultingly imaginative way with him… It’s fluff.”

– “Killing Them Softly” director Andrew Dominik (“The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford”) chats about the crime drama starring Brad Pitt, James Gandolfini, and Ray Liotta.  The movie takes place during the 2008 election season, as the first signs of the economic crisis begin to show. “Crime stories, to some extent, always felt like the capitalist ideal in motion. Because it’s the one genre where it’s perfectly acceptable for the characters to be motivated solely by money,” says the director.  In an interview with the New York Times Dominik and the sound mixer, Leslie Shatz, discuss the sounds of the film, which includes flash bulbs, squeegees, and Norman Mailer. 

The New York Times interviews the visual inspiration behind Ang Lee’s “Life of Pi,”  Alexis Rockman, a painter of “natural-history psychedelia.”  In 2009, director Ang Lee asked him to design the visual imagery for “Life of Pi,” which is based on Yann Martel’s book about a boy set adrift at sea in a small boat with a tiger. The art inspired the hallucinatory “Tiger Vision” scene in the film, which seems to spirtitually connect the boy and the beast.

Peter Jackson released a new vlog for “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” to give fans insights into the production of the film.  The video is posted on Jackson’s Facebook page.

– Jay Bulger divulges his most hair-raising stories from behind the scenes of his documentary “Beware Mr. Baker,” about Cream drummer Ginger Baker.  Baker, who lunged at Bulger more than a few times, valued his boxing skills, quoting his father: “Use your fists – they’re your best friends.”  Bulger’s stories are matched with striking animation via artists David Bell and Joe Scarpulla in New York Magazine.

The LA Times posted a video retrospective of the late Larry Hagman, best known for his roles in “Dallas.” The actor appeared in more than 80 TV productions and 20 films.

– CBS News profiles “Arbitrage” star Richard Gere, “an actor and a gentleman,” suggesting that Gere is the opposite of the manipulative lawyers and charming cads he often plays.  Also, he works as an innkeeper in his spare time, indulging something he calls “an edifice complex.”  More quips from Gere in the profile here.

Fandor’s Dennis Harvey published a piece this weekend about Frankenfilms: movies that are patched together from a mixture of original and stock footage, often using public domain films, little-known foreign features, or work that has been abandoned.  “As a result, nearly all the (relatively) famous Frankenfilms are famously bad, nuts, ‘golden turkey’-type camp classics,” he writes.  These include 1969′s “They Saved Hitler’s Brain” and 1963’s “The Madmen of Manoras.”  Harvey turns the light to Frankenfilm’s undisputed king, Al Adamson, and catalogues the director’s films and career.

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