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Daily Briefing. Nicholas Ray, Gus Van Sant, Errol Morris

The Ray Centenary in Nashville, James Franco’s Van Sant primer and Morris talks with Stephen King and delivers a BAFTA lecture.
The DailyNicholas Ray

Bilge Ebiri in the Nashville Scene previewing the Nicholas Ray Centenary opening tomorrow at the Belcourt and running through December 6: "To think of this director in stark formalist terms — to try and shoehorn his filmography into the realms of the strictly visual and plastic — would be a mistake. What Ray understood better than any other director was the importance of the privileged moment: that one poetic fusion of performer, emotion, script and image, however fleeting, could justify an entire movie. And key to that formula was the actor — not just the actor as the trained deliverer of scripted lines, but the actor as a physical, living being." Related: David Phelps and two roundups on Ray and We Can't Go Home Again.

Gus Van Sant
's "career has been distinguished as much by the divergence of his films as by the coherence of his style." A primer from James Franco, writing for the Paris Review.

Once Errol Morris wrapped his review for the New York Times of Stephen King's new novel, 11/22/63, "a blunderbuss of a book," he requested — and received — an interview with the author. The documentary filmmaker and the novelist chat about JFK, fictionalizing history, time travel, the nature of evil, the works. Related viewing: Morris's 2011 BAFTA David Lean Lecture (27'07") and his conversation with Adam Curtis (12'47").

Billy Crystal will be hosting the Oscars. (NYT)

In the works. Criteron may well be releasing a Wim Wenders box set next year. (Letter to Jane Magazine)

"Courtney Hunt, who garnered a best screenplay Oscar nomination for Frozen River, has come aboard to direct Rule #1, a comedy that has Reese Witherspoon attached to star." Emmett/Furla Films is producing and, in the Hollywood Reporter, Borys Kit notes that the company is also "in pre-production on Broken City starring Mark Wahlberg, Russell Crowe and Catherine Zeta-Jones and currently shooting Frozen Ground, a crime thriller starring John Cusack and Nicolas Cage, in Alaska."

Joshua Marston will write and direct a remake of Giuseppe Capotondi's thriller The Double Hour. (THR)

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