Just for the sake of my own sanity and desperate need to have these written somewhere, I give you my favourite forty-two films of the past decade. There are at least fifty-six other films I would like to put onto a list, but I think I need to forcefully prevent any more decade-based listmaking as quickly as possible. So beneath is the top ten list, along with a sentence or two on each film and then thirty-two, out-of-list-order, films which I had to include.
Spacey will take the lead as a formerly high-powered lobbyist who eventually wound up in prison over his indulgence in bribery schemes and fraudulent dealings with Indian casinos.
Hickenlooper was actually a co-director on the legendary Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker’s Apocalypse, the documentary about the making of Apocalypse Now. He also directed the excellent Mayor of the Sunset Strip, about Rodney Bingenheimer, and the okay Edie Sedgwick bio Factory Girl.
Snider’s most notably credit is as a co-writer, alongside David Cronenberg, on Dead Ringers.
This sounds like an interesting project for Spacey. He does well playing smarmy, arrogant assholes and Abramoff is a prime candidate. You can read about his dealings here but, as a taster, he was accused of defruading Native American tribes out of $25m for lobbying activities.
Only days after he came out chatting about Eastern Promises 2, David Cronenberg has been talking up his first super-sized blockbuster project, a $150m adaptation of The Matarese Circle, the Robert Ludlum novel, which will star Tom Cruise and Denzel Washington.
During an interview with the Toronto Star, made as he received the Légion d’Honneur,an honour he seemed genuinely surprised about. He noted he has had a good relationship with France in the past while the writer cites his prize-winning in Cannes in 1996 for Crash and his serving as jury president at the festival in 1999.
As regards The Matarese Circle though, Cronenberg said he had gained the support of both Cruise and Washington for the project, adding they were “waiting to read my script”.
Describing his attraction to the project, he said:
“I think when you get too comfortable, you need to scare yourself by trying something you’ve never done before… It comes from the same place as wanting to direct an opera, or write a novel, or curate an Andy Warhol art exhibit… It’s not easy to keep all the satisfying elements people expect and still find a way to subvert the genre and surprise the audience”
Cronenberg also has a potential opera project, following from his successful staging of The Fly in France last year, and a novel to work on, not to mention Eastern Promises 2.
Should be interesting to see him try and make something palatable for a mainstream audience. A History of Violence and Eastern Promises are probably about as accessible as he’s ever done, although both still contain moments of exploring that same vein of body horror he’s continuously come back to in the past.
Maybe it will just be a thrill to see a great, talented director take on a mainstream work not for the subversiveness of it, but more for his ability to subtely bring something new and interesting to the wider palate of filmmaking.
David Cronenberg, speaking during an interview with MTV, has said a sequel for Eastern Promises is going forward.
“We are moving forward with it,” said Cronenberg. “We are all excited about the idea of doing a sequel.”
The film, a good but not masterful story of double-crossing Russian gangsters, earned Viggo Mortensen an Oscar nomination for his stunning lead performance, on he is seemingly set to reprise in the follow-up.
Cronenberg goes on to talk about his plans to meet with screenwriter Steven Knight and producer Paul Webster, both alumni of the original, to talk through ideas for the follow-up.
“We are going to have a meeting very soon between me, Steve Knight and Paul Webster to discuss what the script would be. I have some very strong ideas about what I would like to see, but I would like to hear what they have to say as well. And then after that, if all goes well, Steve goes away and writes a great script. If we all like it, we make it”.
For those horrified/intrigued over the move by Cronenberg to make a foray into sequel territory, he does say this is the first time for him to even consider making such a move. He continues:
“I’ve never had the desire to do that before. But in this case, I thought we had unfinished business with those characters. I didn’t feel that we had finished with Nikolai and we had done a lot of research that was more than we could stuff into that one movie.”
It seems like a pretty decent idea. Eastern Promises does grow with further watches, especially if you can avoid expectations of strangeness creeping in. This, for all intents and purposes, is a fairly straightforward film, but it does hold some nice touches and a return could well give Cronenberg a chance to further imprint his personality on the story.
More exciting though, given the immense A History of Violence and Eastern Promises itself, is the possibility of a new hook-up between Cronenberg and Mortensen, a very fertile partnership thus far and one which could eventually bring Mortensen his well-deserved Oscar.