Exciting updates (April 2014)

Hi everyone. I always start these updates with profuse apologies for the scarcity of posts in recent months. The main reason this time is that, as of September, I’ve been a semi-regular freelance film reviewer for The Village Voice, which has been very exciting but (needless to say) time consuming. My piece on the Tribeca Film Festival will be out sometime next week, and I’ll be adding a link to all my Voice reviews on the Blogroll, so keep checking!

I am also going on my belated honeymoon in three days, to Brazil (Rio, Foz do Iguaçu, the Pantanal and some beaches in the Northeast), and will be back in late April. I haven’t posted since January, and I felt it unkind to leave without at least an update on things to come shortly after I return. I’m also going to post entries on several random, unrelated not-on-Netflix movies in the next few days (something I haven’t done in awhile because I get such OCD about watching EVERY film by specific directors or actors and then interviewing/profiling them, which takes months and hampers the flow of the blog; sometimes you have to just settle for one or two films to write on!) So chew on that when I’m gone (and feel free to leave snarky comments!!)

But once May comes around, expect the following, in close succession:

1) an interview with Kim Darby, who played the spunky teen that held her own against John Wayne in the original “True Grit” (she appeared in several late 1960s-early 1970s films that are rarely discussed, and was kind enough to do so with me)

2) a quick analysis of what went wrong on the aforementioned, never-released “A Glimpse of Tiger” project with Elliott Gould and Kim Darby; Darby shared some thoughts on the experience, as did one of the film’s producers, and I will hopefully soon get Gould’s take

3) a discussion of “Grace Quigley,” a dark 1984 comedy starring the late Katharine Hepburn and Nick Nolte, about unhappy elders who pay a hit man to bump them off. The film, helmed by “The Lion in Winter” director Anthony Harvey and produced by Cannon Films, bombed at the 1984 Cannes Film Festival; was re-released a year later to even worse reviews; and was then given a third treatment by writer Martin Zweiback, whose original script Hepburn initially championed and who was supposed to direct the film. This version has only been seen on occasion at random festivals. Zweiback kindly sent me a VHS copy of his version as well as a streaming link to his extremely hard-to-find anti-war film (and sole directorial effort) “Cactus in the Snow”; he is awaiting a DVD transfer of another obscure film he wrote, “Me, Natalie,” starring Al Pacino and Patty Duke. Once I have seen these two films I will interview him about his career and his ongoing attempt to get HIS “Grace Quigley” properly released.

Others I hope to talk to for this entry: Anthony Harvey and Cannon magnate Menahem Golan (whom I’ve been trying to interview anyway, for the past two years, about his fascinating career. We are still in touch and this should happen soon).

4) an interview with Argentine filmmaker Juan José Campanella, best known for “The Secret in Their Eyes,” which won the 2009 Academy Award for Best Foreign Film. Campanella has a multi-varied repertoire and several of his films are not widely available in the States.

5) an interview with the always fiery Abel Ferrara (“Bad Lieutenant”), who I’m midway through speaking with via Skype. He’s been extremely generous with his time given that he’s currently trying to complete and/or release several films from Rome (his latest stomping ground). Tragically, most of Ferrara’s films have been designated as “Saved” (ie, not available now) on Netflix since I started this blog, and I want to find out why (sometimes Ferrara doesn’t know himself!)

6) that Menahem Golan interview!!

Thanks again to all that read this thing!

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