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If anyone knows how movies can damage people, it’s Terry Gilliam. The director has battled over many a film in his time. He fought Universal brass over Brazil, and Columbia over The Adventures of Baron Munchausen. Most catastrophically, he battled weather, disaster, and illness during the original shoot of The Man Who Killed Don Quixote. Gilliam lost that fight, but he has been trying to make new versions of the film for several years.

Every time Don Quixote comes up for Gilliam, it changes a bit. He and screenwriter Tony Grisoni have constantly revised the movie. What was once the story of an ad man traveling into the past is now a film set entirely in the present day. Gilliam says he has financing and plans to shoot the movie after Christmas this year. He also says the movie is “more about how movies can damage people.” Read More »

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Is there any film project more tenacious than Terry Gilliam‘s The Man Who Killed Don Quixote? The film just cannot be, er, killed, no matter what happens. Casting problems? It will overcome. Funding and script issues? This movie shrugs them off. Acts of God aren’t even enough.

The film first came together in 2000, with Gilliam directing Johnny Depp and Jean Rochefort in the lead roles. The production was beset by disastrous weather, interruption from planes, and injury to Rochefort. The production was scrapped, inspiring the documentary Lost in La Mancha.

The film was revived in 2009 with a rewritten script and possible new casting, with Robert Duvall replacing Rochefort and Ewan McGregor eventually taking Depp’s role. But financing for that version dried up and the project went dormant again. Now the film’s screenwriter, Tony Grisoni, says the film is potentially happening once more. Read More »

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Terry Gilliam‘s The Man Who Killed Don Quixote has undergone quite a few changes. Since Gilliam first attempted to shoot the film in 2000 with Johnny Depp and Jean Rochefort, the project has been put on hold, recast (with Ewan McGregor and Robert Duvall) and undergone at least one rewrite.

We’d previously heard that the rewrite had changed some small things, like the name and occupation of the main character. But now it seems that some serious changes have been wrought, which among other things might make the picture more attractive to financiers. Read More »

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If this news is true, it can be read, basically, as Warner Bros. and Joel Silver giving Terry Gilliam the finger. But that’s Hollywood, right? The studio and producer are reportedly fast-tracking a tentpole film based on Miguel Cervantes‘ massive novel Don Quixote. Read More »

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Our stateside readers who dig serial killer procedural-thrillers in the vein of Zodiac and Silence of the Lambs should make a blood-scrawled note of Britain’s Red Riding Trilogy. This Friday, the epic triptych begins a one week run at IFC Center in New York City, complete with two intermissions and a free popcorn (caution to the hemoglobin phobes, the elderly, and flatulent ). I recently attended all three entries, titled 1974, 1980, and 1983, and definitely recommend the five-hour experience, both for the project’s interconnected, serpentine plotting and to contrast the clear stylistic and tonal differences between the three directors.

Below is an exclusive Slashfilm clip from 1974, which I felt in my review is the superior entry thanks to the charged noir vision of director Julian Jarrold (Brideshead Revisited) and a star-making performance by Andrew Garfield, as a young journo submerged in idealism, booze, and mutton-chopped pheromones. Garfield’s conveyed arrogant dissonance seethes through in this excerpted scene, and the actor is set for a high profile 2010 with upcoming roles in David Fincher‘s Facebook drama The Social Network and Mark Romanek‘s mysterious Never Let Me Go. He also participated in Spike Jonze’s short film and /fave, I’m Here

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Without spoiling the film, here’s context for the above scene: Garfield’s character, Eddie Dunford, hungry for his big break and his mum’s approval, is researching and investigating the fresh case of a missing girl in Northern England. In the cig-smoke clouded office of his newspaper, Dunford’s equally clouded by older, world-weary cynics. In this particular scene, Dunford is adamant that the recent arrest of an alleged abductor is bullocks. At clip’s conclusion, he finds a suspicious card on his boss’s desk, evidently filled with warm-sentiments from a shady developer named John Dawson (the unseen Sean Bean in a sleazy role that rivals Garfield’s in arrogant machismo).

Dawson’s card is just further proof that the media is in bed with shady elites who are in bed with the cops—all the while nobody seems to give a shit that young girls—those eluded to in the trilogy’s title—are being picked off the street by a madman (men?). Yorkshire in the ’70s, evil was a fan. Also, note the presence in the scene of the always-good Eddie Marsan, who adds a wild-and-defeated-eyed unpredictability to the film(s)—a familiar gift to anyone who saw him in last year’s Happy-Go-Lucky.

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It’s a crazy, mixed up world and we are thankful for movies, excluding The Spy Next Door and The Tooth Fairy, that offer proof. /Film’s Weekend Weirdness examines such flicks, whether in the form of a new trailer for a provocative indie, a mini review, or an interview. In this installment, new trailers and a review of the Red Riding Trilogy, a noirish triptych of serial killer dramas imported from British television and being released stateside in February by IFC Films.

During a screening of the entire Red Riding Trilogy, with one intermission allotted for lunch, I found myself pondering the irony in three directors, one screenwriter, one author, tens of actors and three separate crews realizing a project that depicts humanity and bureaucracy at its most foul and irreversibly corrupt. A recent poster for the trilogy forebodingly reads, “Evil Lives Here,” a tagline that would serve most of the work that exits Stephen King’s skull; instead the “here” in Red Riding is Northern England in the ’70s and early ’80s, when a serial killer known as the Yorkshire Ripper carved a trail of female victims and set a mood and mythos ripe for social reflection.

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I knew nothing about Red Riding until the trio of films played Telluride last year. They generated quite a response, to the point where Columbia snapped up remake rights for Steve Zaillian and Ridley Scott to work on. Meanwhile, IFC is distributing the original films in the US, and the idea of being able to see a great crime trilogy is hopefully pretty damn enticing. Now there’s a great domestic poster for the series, and an equally good trailer to promote IFC’s release. Read More »

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This is what festivals are for, even if you’re not able to attend. Scanning the Telluride coverage that came in over the weekend, a few films really stand out. Most of them are known quantities: Up in the Air, An Education, A Prophet. We knew those were ones to watch. But there’s another entry in the must-see column out of Telluride. Or, rather, three entries. Suddenly the trilogy of UK films collectively called Red Riding is getting massive praise and buzz. Read More »

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