"The tragic destiny of the sculptor Camille Claudel will be the focus of Bruno Dumont's seventh feature, which will start shooting next February in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence," reports Fabien Lemercier at Cineuropa, where he notes that "the project has just been selected by Arte France Cinéma which will support it through co-production and pre-acquisitions. For the first time in his career, the director of Outside Satan (unveiled on the Croisette in May) and two-time winner of the Grand Prize at Cannes (in 1999 with Humanity and in 2006 for Flanders) has cast a star: Juliette Binoche (set to be seen next year in Malgorzata Szumowska's Elles, David Cronenberg's Cosmopolis, Sylvie Testud's The Life of Another and Marion Lainé's A Monkey on My Shoulder)."
Lemercier reminds us that when Isabelle Adjani played Claudel for Bruno Nuytten in 1988, she scored a Silver Bear in Berlin, a César and an Oscar nomination. And this is enticing: the list of other projects selected by Arte France Cinéma includes Djinn Carrénard's second feature, Faire l'Amour (Making Love), Benoît Delépine and Gustave Kervern's Le Grand Soir (The Big Night), Quentin Dupieux's Wrong, Léos Carax's Holly Motors, Stéphane Brizé's A Few Hours of Spring, Carlos Reygadas's Post Tenebras Lux, Xavier Dolan's Laurence Anyways, Sylvie Verheyde's Confession of a Child of the Century, Teona Grenade's Dzma, Yves Caumon's The Bird, Hiam Abbass's Héritage, Lucile Chaufour's Rosa, Carlos D Lechuga's Melaza, Hélène Fillières's The Adored and Samuel Collardey's Le Lionceau (The Lion Cub).
Before we leave France, let's note that Serge Daney in English has a wonderful new entry up featuring a few of the postcards the critic sent to Melvil Poupaud between 1986 and 1992. "[F]or me, the absolute image is the postcard, it's not cinema." Seriously, do have a look.
One more "in the works" note, sort of a followup to today's roundup on Terence Davies's The Deep Blue Sea. The Playlist's Oliver Lyttelton checks out Rachel Weisz's to-list, which includes "a key role alongside Jeremy Renner, Edward Norton and co. in Tony Gilroy's The Bourne Legacy arriving in the summer, while early 2013 sees her join Mila Kunis and Michelle Williams as one of a triumvurate of witches in Sam Raimi's Oz: The Great and Powerful." There's also Terrence Malick's untitled love story, formerly known as The Burial, and now: "Baz Bamigboye reports that Weisz has come on board The Railway Man, a post-World War II drama that has Colin Firth already in the lead role."
"[W]e shouldn't be shocked by Frank Miller's comments about Occupy Wall Street," argues Rick Moody in the Guardian:
Miller's hard-right, pro-military point of view is not only accounted for in his own work, but in the larger project of mainstream Hollywood cinema. American movies, in the main, often agree with Frank Miller, that endless war against a ruthless enemy is good, and military service is good, that killing makes you a man, that capitalism must prevail, that if you would just get a job (preferably a corporate job, for all honest work is corporate) you would quit complaining. American movies say these things, but they are more polite about it, lest they should offend. The kind of comic-book-oriented cinema that has afflicted Hollywood for 10 years now, since Spider-Man, has degraded the cinematic art, and has varnished over what was once a humanist form, so Hollywood can do little but repeat the platitudes of the 1%. And yet Hollywood tries still not to offend.
Does that make American cinema cryptofascist? Is "cryptofascist" a word that you can use in an essay like this? I keep trying to find a space somewhere between "propagandistic" and "cryptofascist" to describe my feelings about Miller's screed. But perhaps it's more accurate to say the following: whatever mainstream Hollywood cinema is now, Frank Miller is part of it. And Frank Miller has done Occupy Wall Street a service by reminding us that our allegedly democratic political system, which increases inequality and decreases class mobility, which is mostly interested in keeping the disenfranchised where they are, requires a mindless, propagandistic (or "cryptofascist") storytelling medium to distract its citizenry. We should be grateful for the reminder. And we might repay the favor by avoiding purchase of tickets to Miller's films.
Today's other must-read is Jana Prikryl's review in the Nation of Errol Morris's Believing Is Seeing: Observations on the Mysteries of Photography, a piece that opens with an assessment of the current state of documentary photography before moving onto Morris's films and his critique in his new book of Susan Sontag: "If Morris's responses to Sontag profoundly skew her argument ('Why does moralizing about "posing" take precedence — moral precedence — over moralizing about the carnage of war?'), that may be because he's actually responding to the critics of his documentaries."
Speaking of books, the first best-of-2011 lists have appeared in the New Statesman, the New York Times and the Telegraph.
Berlin's Around the World in 14 Films festival opens today and runs through December 3: "Each of the 14 films will be presented by another leading German director, who will introduce both the film and the director (if he is in attendance), and then moderate a discussion with the audience and the director immediately after the film."
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