The Sneaky Oscar-Winning French Director
So, what's director Michel Hazanavicius been up to since winning a ton of Oscars for The Artist? Preparing to make another movie on the downlow! Apparently, the director has already started shooting a remake of Fred Zinneman's 1948 film with Montgomery Clift The Search.
The original film concerns an American G.I. who meets a nine-year old Auschwitz survivor who fled a refugee center in post-war Germany. However, Hazanacicius' film is being described as a "free" remake, which implies that most plot bets are off. The only other confirmed information thus far is that the director's wife and star of the The Artist and The Past, Bérénice Bejo will play a lead role and that everything else is being done with the utmost secrecy.
James Marsh Readies a Stephen Hawking Love Story
No, not our beloved Asian Editor, but the British director responsible for films like Man on Wire and Shadow Dancer. The filmmaker is preparing a film about the life of the famous physicist, Stephen Hawking called The Theory of Everything. Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones have signed on to star in the film, which is inspired by Jane Hawking's memoir Traveling to Infinity: My Life With Stephen.
The film will chronicle the beginning of Jane and Stephen's relationship in the 60's when Hawking was diagnosed with a fatal illness, and will likely make you cry.
Turmoil in Portugal in Spain
Reporting from a conference of the Portuguese Association of Film Producers, Joana Amaral Cardoso says that the committee is "sounding the alarm" over pay-TV operators refusing to pay annual contributions, saying that this will create "successive year zeros for Portuguese cinema." The TV operators are fighting the rates on the grounds that they are not able to choose projects to support. It seems a legal battle may be brewing that will stretch out over the next several years.
Meanwhile in Spain, filmmakers are crying foul amidst huge budget cuts that mean a 14% drop in subsidies for the national cinematography fund. Film industry professionals including director Fernando Trueba and Spanish Cinema Academy president Enrique González Macho have accused the right wing People's party of being politically motivated and attempting to kill a section of Spanish culture that intimidates them.
R.I.P. Patrice Chéreau
The great French director Patrice Chéreau has passed away at the age of 68. In the film world, Chéreau was most well known for his Cannes jury prize winner Queen Margot as well as Those Who Love Me Can Take The Train and Intimacy. However, Chéreau was also a renowned director of Opera and theatre. He was prepping production for Strauss' Elektra while undergoing cancer treatment when he passed away.
It was one of the most interesting weeks in a long time at the European box office. We'll begin with France. Woody Allen often makes jokes about how much the French love his movies more than anyone else, and with completely straight faces, the country has proven him right again. Blue Jasmine had a jaw-droppingly successful opening in the country of intellectuals, taking first place with $3.5 million. For perspective, it reached this figure on 234 screens while, in the United States, the film opened just slightly higher with $3.9 million on over 1,000 screens. Its French opening is more than twice that of Allen's previous To Rome with Love, but, still not as high as the over $4 million opening of Midnight in Paris
Meanwhile, in Spain, the country's long tradition of Fantastic cinema finally got some much-needed mainstream box office acceptance. Alex De la iglesia's Witching and Bitching opened in the number one spot, taking in an impressive $1.6 million and (thankfully) beating out 2 Guns
And, in the Czech Republic a locally produced comedy called Skirt Chasers took the number one spot with $ 0.25 million probably thanks in large part to its title. Otherwise, it a mashup of post-summer blockbusters with We're the Millers winning in Belgium, 2 Guns taking first place in Germany and Smurfs 2 dominating in Italy. Also, Prisoners had a solid opening in the UK, winning the box office with $2.2 million.