Round Up – Branagh Talks Thor
Kenneth Branagh has been chatting about Thor on the tour for his BBC series Wallander, saying filming on the Marvel adaptation is due to kick-off in January.
ContentFilm has struck a deal for the distribution rights to Andrea Arnold’s Fish Tank, the follow-up to her brilliant Red Road debut, for the French market ahead of its in-competition bow at the Cannes Film Festival.
Paolo Sorrentino is to head the 2009 Un Certain Regard jury at Cannes, the out-of-competition prize at the Festival. His Il Divo won the prize in 2008. Incidentally, Isabel Huppert is heading the main jury alongside James Gray, Asia Argento, Robin Wright Penn and Hindi film star Sharmilla Tagore.
NBC has unveiled its pick-ups for the new season, including six new projects along with (surely) a surprise re-up for Heroes and an encouraging one for Office spin-off Parks & Recreation.
A Rand Corp report, published by the MPA, has found “substantial evidence” that D-Company, the organised crime syndicate-turned-terrorist group, has received funding from film piracy.
Cannes Line-Up Announced
The line-up for the Cannes Film Festival has been announced with a number of interesting projects set to bow in and out of competiton.
As all will already know, Pixar’s Up is opening the festival, the first animated and first 3D film to do so. The other most notable entry is The Imaginarium of Dr Parnassus, the Terry Gilliam-directed movie already set in infamy for being what Heath Ledger was working on when he died.
In competition, Quentin Tarantino comes with Inglourious Basterds, unlikely to repeat the Palme D’or-winning success of Pulp Fiction, while other past winners include The Piano’s Jane Campion with Bright Star and Ken Loach with his Looking for Eric. Loach won a couple of year’s ago for the excellent The Wind that Shakes the Barley and is presently among the favourites to take the top prize this year.
Also involved in competition is Michael Haneke with The White Ribbon, Irreversible’s Gaspar Noe with Enter the Void, Lars von Trier with his creepy-looking Antichrist, Johnnie To with Vengeance, Ang Lee with Taking Woodstock, Red Road’s Andrea Arnold with Fish Tank and Pedro Almodovar with Broken Embraces.
Also notable is the midnight screening of Sam Raimi’s Drag Me to Hell and the return of Alejandro Amenabar with the phenomenal-looking Agora.
Could be a mighty interesting competition this year, especially given the tendency in the past few years for the festival to pick out surprise winners so it’s quite possible that all the films above won’t be in with a shout when it comes down to it.
Up to Open Cannes
Pixar’s next feature, the enchanting-looking Up, is to open the Cannes Film Festival, the first 3D and first animated movie to do so. Thierry Fremaux, the delegate general of the Cannes Film Festival, said it has worked to support animated movies in the past, noting the likes of Waltz with Bashir and Persepolis.
He added: ‘It’s audacious to open the festival with an animated film, but we’re conscious of our duty : it’s by stretching its boundaries that cinema remains universal.’
It’s good and see an about time really, Pixar movies go well beyond the limits of traditional animation, both technically and through the sophistication of the storytelling, so the French should darn well start accepting such brilliance into their culture.