New Line to toe the corporate line
New Line Cinema, one of the leading independent production/distribution companies in the US, has lost its autonomous status within the Time Warner group and has been subsumed into Warner Bros. In its 40-year history, New Line enjoyed success with such diverse productions as The Lord of the Rings and Austin Powers trilogies, and the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise.
Meanwhile, director Gavin O’Connor has criticised New Line for again postponing the release of his thriller, Pride and Glory, which stars Edward Norton and Colin Farrell and was to open here and in the US next Friday.
“We’ve delivered something special and unique, a film that’s not for everybody but has something to say,” says O’Connor. “We’re all heartbroken.” Farrell adds: “This is the first time it’s happened to me, where a film I believed in so strongly, not only as entertainment but for its pertinent message and great performances, sits on a shelf. This is bizarre.”
Just the facts, please Ken
Director Ken Russell was often chided for blatant inaccuracies in his biopics such as The Music Lovers (Richard Chamberlain as Tchaikovsky), Lisztomania (Roger Daltrey as Franz Liszt), Mahler (Robert Powell) and Valentino (Rudolf Nureyev). In his column for The Times in London, Russell argued that there’s no longer a stigma for movies released directly to DVD. He cited five examples, but three of them (Flood, Save the Green Planet, Everything Is Illuminated) actually received cinema releases in the UK.
The other Charles Bronson
Nicholas Winding Refn, the Danish director of the Pusher trilogy, is now shooting Bronson in Nottingham. It stars Tom Hardy as Charles Bronson, but it’s not a biopic of the macho star who died in 2003. Hardy’s character is claimed to be Britain’s most notorious prisoner, who changed his name from Mickey Peterson to Charles Bronson and has served 34 years at Her Majesty’s pleasure, 30 of them in solitary confinement because of his involvement in hostage taking and rooftop protests.
Pat Shortt and Garage go large
Garage opens on six UK screens today and in Belfast. A prize-winner at Cannes last year, Garage won four Ifta awards last month, for best film, director, screenplay and actor (Pat Shortt). Lenny Abrahamson’s drama goes on DVD release here next Friday.
Concert orchestra plays sci-fi
There are some stirring scores on the programme – among them Star Wars and 2001: A Space Odyssey – when the RTÉ Concert Orchestra performs sci-fi movie soundtracks at the National Concert Hall in Dublin next Wednesday night. I’m particularly looking forward to their rendition of Jerry Goldsmith’s powerhouse music for the underrated Capricorn One.
David Brophy will conduct the orchestra at the show, which also promises scores from Star Trek, Stargate and The Rocketeer. www.nch.ie
Big stars are in Control
Oscar winner Tilda Swinton joins Bill Murray, Gail García Bernal and John Hurt in The Limits of Control, now shooting in Madrid. Jim Jarmusch’s film stars Isaach de Bankole (The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, Casino Royale) as a mysterious loner with a criminal plan. Don’t expect a conventional thriller.
Ken Russell: what a whopper
Edward Norton in the oft-delayed Pride and Glory