"If everything moves along and there's no major catastrophes, we're basically headed towards holograms. Why can't you have Hamlet in 3D who comes out to the audience and does 'To be or not to be?' I mean, they do in the theater. You have to think that way. Don't let the economics, and fashion, inhibit you if you're being creative."
That's Martin Scorsese, as quoted by Todd Gilchrist at the Playlist. As Steven Zeitchik also reports for the Los Angeles Times, the comments followed an enthusiastic endorsement of 3D, which in turn followed this weekend's Los Angeles premiere of Hugo, Scorsese's adaptation of Brian Selznick's novel The Invention of Hugo Cabret. We saw a few early reviews last month when Hugo was still a work-in-progress. Zeitchik: "Set in the late 1920s, Hugo tells of the titular orphan (Asa Butterfield) who lives in a train station, his relationship with a new friend (Chloe Moretz) and an adventure that leads him to the early cinema pioneer Georges Méliès, depicted here as a kind of tragic figure." And it wasn't an easy shoot. "'Yes, it was a headache,' Scorsese told the audience. 'But it was a really enjoyable headache.' He added, 'Every facet was a rethinking of how to make pictures.'"
Also in the LAT, Emily Rome interviews Hugo's production designer Dante Ferretti and set decorator Francesca Lo Schiavo, the husband-and-wife team who've each worked on several of Scorsese's previous projects. Rome talks, too, with Selznick about his new book, The Hugo Movie Companion: A Behind the Scenes Look at How a Beloved Book Became a Major Motion Picture.
In other news. Ebert Presents At The Movies, with Christy Lemire and our own Ignatiy Vishnevetsky, is in trouble, and Roger Ebert is being admirably upfront about it: "Unless we find an angel, our television program will go off the air at the end of its current season. There. I've said it. Usually in television, people use evasive language. Not me. We'll be gone. I want to be honest about why this is. We can't afford to finance it any longer."
In more fuck-this-economy news, the Hollywood Reporter, the last of the trades to remain freely accessible online, i.e., to bank on advertising rather than subscriptions, "is losing some staff after increasing its ranks by 50% last year," reports Anne Thompson. Among those laid off is critic Kirk Honeycutt.
Toronto J-Film Pow Wow's Chris MaGee and writer and curator Jasper Sharp have begun a 60-day online campaign via IndieGoGo to raise funds for the 4th annual Shinsedai Cinema Festival, running June 12 through 15 next year at Toronto's Revue Cinema.
On a somewhat related note, out of the blue, Nihon Cine Art has posted all of Kinema Junpo's top tens, from 1926 through 2010.
Nathan Lee makes an all-too-rare reappearance in the Voice: "June 29, 2001: a great day in the history of cinema. Opening simultaneously at the multiplex, two movies pushed at the outer limit of big-studio weirdness, each in their own way epistemological essays on the impossibility of communication and stubbornly committed to techniques of estrangement. Both were greeted, to varying degrees of hostility, by accusations of incoherence, yet both went on to secure critical reappraisal and passionately devoted cults: Steven Spielberg's sci-fi dissertation A.I. Artificial Intelligence and… Pootie Tang." The latter, written and directed, of course, by Louis CK, screens tonight at 92YTribeca, followed by a chat with Lance Crouther moderated by Scott Tobias.
In the works. From the Helsingin Sanomat (via Movie City News) comes confirmation that Le Havre is the first film in a trilogy on "life in harbor cities." Aki Kaurismäki will follow it up with a story set in Spain and another in Germany.
"Mike Figgis will direct the ensemble drama Seconds of Pleasure, which Neil LaBute has adapted for the screen from his book of short stories that was published under the same title in 2004." Gregg Kilday in the Hollywood Reporter: "Myriad Pictures has acquired worldwide rights outside the UK for the film, which is set to star Matt Dillon, Julia Stiles, Brendan Fraser, Kristin Scott Thomas and Christina Hendricks. The film will weave together several separate but intertwined stories about six different couples."
Also in THR, Lacey Rose reports that Robert De Niro will play Bernie Madoff in a film for HBO based on Laurie Sandell's book, Truth and Consequences: Life Inside the Madoff Family. John Burnham Schwartz (Reservation Road) is writing the screenplay.
Jessica Chastain will play Diana, Princess of Wales in Caught in Flight, "a controversial love story based on a real-life affair that the princess long kept under wraps," reports Liza Forman at Thompson on Hollywood. Oliver Hirschbiegel (Downfall) will direct.
At the Playlist, Oliver Lyttelton gathers the latest on Jaume Collet-Serra's live-action remake of Katsuhiro Otomo's Akira (1988).
Tom Shone lists the ten films he's most looking forward to seeing in 2012.
Book. Saul Bass's "dazzling work in film has obscured his other achievements as one of the most prolific graphic designers of the late 20th century," writes Alice Rawsthorn in the New York Times. "The first major book on his work, Saul Bass: A Life in Film and Design, by his daughter Jennifer Bass and the design historian Pat Kirkham, redresses the balance by analyzing an eclectic career that also included the design of corporate identities, gas stations, record and book covers, children's toys and a postage stamp. Witty, gregarious and intellectually inquisitive, Bass executed each project in a seemingly simple, yet expressive style that reflected his fascination with constructivism, modernism and surrealism. In the book, Mr Scorsese describes his designs as having 'found and distilled the poetry of the modern, industrialized world.'"
Viewing. Gavin Elder shoots David Lynch at work on his ad campaign for Dom Pérignon:
Related: "Lynch the musician could credibly exist as a character in one of his own movies, or he could be scoring one of them, presenting dark, syrupy tracks that radiate with a kind of odd menace," writes Jesse Cataldo in Slant. "In this sense, Crazy Clown Time serves not only as a very strange lark, but the ostensible fusion of a creator with the world he's created."