Saturday, July 29, 2006


Random Splices: Bob Dylan film “I’m Not There” gets underway July 31

News of movie productions getting underway is run-of-the-mill when it comes to assembly line Hollywood. The one standout is Todd Haynes’ forthcoming biopic about singer/songwriter Bob Dylan, “I’m Not There.” Production begins July 31 in Montreal, Canada with plans to wrap sometime in November. The finished film will reach audiences in 2007 after an anticipated premiere at the Cannes Film Festival. Part of the film’s appeal is the starry ensemble of talent who will portray Dylan at various stages of his life: Christian Bale, Richard Gere and Heath Ledger. Michelle Williams, Julianne Moore and Charlotte Gainsbourg fill out the supporting roles.
Granted, much of the early excitement revolves around Blanchett playing Dylan, by the far the toughest undertaking in her impressive career. Todd Haynes, easily one of the most distinct and talented of American filmmakers working today, is always reason for joyful anticipation. The fact that Haynes is reuniting with his “Far From Heaven” cameraman Ed Lachman is a bonus.
But the core source for all the “I’m Not There” excitement starts with its colorful subject. Dylan on film has been something of a disappointment. He co-wrote and starred in the recent comedy “Masked and Anonymous,” playing a veteran singer, but not one moment was believable. But Haynes overcomes the challenge of Dylan’s stiff on-screen presence by reaching out to others to bring the singer/songwriter alive. No one knows for sure how “I’m Not There” will turn out. The one certainty is that it will be a must-see.

Sunday, July 23, 2006


Believe it — 'Saw III’ is old-fashioned, Hollywood moviemaking

My favorite summation regarding the hugely popular “Saw” horror movie franchise comes from a friend involved with publicity for its 2005 sophomore installment. Moviemaking does not get any more golden age, old school, and Hollywood dream factory than this.
Production began and finished on “Saw II” last summer. Editing and fine-tuning took place in early fall. By October, mere months after the start of filming, “Saw II” was in theaters and on its way to becoming one of the most profitable films of the year. Was Warner Bros. ever this efficient at the height of its assembly line moviemaking?
The scare franchise created by Leigh Whannell and James Wan continues full throttle with a special presentation of “Saw III” featuring cast and filmmakers at the July 2006 Comicon International in San Diego and news that its trailer will premiere Aug. 4 in front of another Lionsgate horror film, the scream-worthy cave thriller “The Descent.” Confirmation of the Aug. 4 trailer premiere soothes devoted “Saw” fans anxious for the film’s Halloween opening. Any worries about the trailer giving away key surprises are unwarranted. True to its dream factory lineage, “Saw III” is still being stitched together in preparation for scaring its growing fan base this fall.

The trailer for “Saw III” premieres August 4 in front of “The Descent.” Lionsgate Films will release it in theaters across America this Halloween.

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