Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Michael Haneke replays "Funny Games"

Austrian writer-director Michael Haneke (director of "Caché" and "The Piano Player") has pulled off an unusual stunt with the recent release of "Funny Games" in the US. The film is an almost shot-by-shot remake of the excellent though scary original Austrian language original, released in 1997. "Funny Games" is the tale of two clean-cut smiling sadists (Michael Pitt and Brady Corbet) that terrorise a family - for a while. It's rare, if not unique, for a remake to be a total remake, rather than an adaptation, given the differences in mainstream American audiences and the very varied European audiences.

The new version is picking up excellent reviews (some saying it's as good as the original). The official site: Funny Games US.

Funny Games 1997 on Amazon US

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Iron Maiden singer scripts movie for Cannes

According to a report in the BBC, Bruce Dickinson (singer with the metal band Iron Maiden) will unveil a film at this year's Cannes festival. "Chemical Wedding" will star Simon Callow as Professor Haddo, the reincarnation of British occultist Aleister Crowley, once described as Britain's most evil man. Julian Doyle, who directed the video for the band's 1988 single 'Can I Play with Madness', co-wrote the script with Dickinson and is directing. The reaction from test screenings are that it is very much in the vein of the Hammer Horror films.

Julian Doyle, for those that read the small print on DVDs, has also worked as an editor and/or second unit director on "The Life of Brian", "Brazil" and "The Wind in the Willows". Sounds promising.

Friday, March 07, 2008

O'Horten picks up 4 Norwegian movie awards

Norway just held its annual awards ceremony, on the closing night of the Kosmorama Film festival in Trondheim. The big winner of the night was Bent Hamer's comedy "O'Horten", which picked up awards as Best Screenplay, Best Supporting Actor, Best Music (by Kaada) and Best New Creator.

The festival opened on February 28 with the Norwegian premiere of the political thriller "Night of the Wolf" by Swedish action specialist Kjell Sundvall. Other highlights included a masterclass by US filmmaker John Sayles and Peter Greenaway’s presentation of his latest film "Nightwatching".

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Terry George premiere and masterclass in Belfast

Oscar-nominated writer and director (and who has excelled in both roles) Terry George will premiere his new film "Reservation Road" at the 8th Belfast Film Festival and will also run one of the masterclasses at the event. George is best known for "In the Name of the Father" and "Hotel Rwanda". His masterclass on April 11 will "examine the similarities and differences in writing for TV, Film and the internet, the art of characterization and the subjects of plot, structure and dialogue". He will also take part in a Q&A session after his film's projection.

For more details, visit the Belfast Film Festival site.