• [The Daily] Herzog, the Safdies, and More

    By David Hudson

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    “It has been half a century since Werner Herzog released his first full-length feature, Signs of Life (1968) which depicts a wounded German WWII paratrooper losing his mind on a torpid Greek island,” writes Joseph Hincks, introducing his interview for Time. “In the intervening years, he has directed more than seventy films, operas and TV shows, acted in a handful of movies, written several books, and won prizes at Cannes, Sundance, and Venice—though still not an Oscar.” Herzog tells him: “You can play the cello at age ninety and still be dignified and still create great music. Cinema is much more treacherous.”

    IN OTHER NEWS

    “Legendary filmmaker Roger Corman and his wife Julie have been sued by their sons in a family horror story fit for one of his B-movies,” reports David Robb for Deadline. “The sons claim their mother has ‘berated and abused’ their father for years to gain control of his vast library of films, which was sold last month to Shout! Factory and China-based Ace Film. . . . The sons, Roger and Brian, claim that the sale of 270 films under their father’s New Horizons Picture Corp banner—which they refer to as ‘stolen film properties’—violated an irrevocable trust agreement that would have provided them and their two sisters with $30 million-$40 million each. They are also suing Ace Film and Shout! Factory.”

    GOINGS ON

    New York. Robert Louis Stevenson’s 1886 novella The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde “has seen over one hundred adaptations on film and on stage,” writes Stephanie Monohan. “However, Stevenson’s gothic fable meets its match in Polish iconoclast Walerian Borowczyk (La Bête). Sordid surrealist Borowczyk’s The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Miss Osbourne (1981) is a phantasmagoria of its own, covered in blood and lace.” And it screens tonight at the Alamo Drafthouse.

    Also at Screen Slate, Chris Shields writes about Sergio Corbucci’s The Great Silence (1968), screening at Film Forum through April 10. “Jean-Louis Trintignant gives one of the most fully realized performances ever seen in a euro western as a mute gunfighter. He is not Eastwood’s resourcefully nihilistic opportunist or Nero’s steely eyed superhero, but a fragile protagonist tormented by his past.”

    Durham. The twenty-first Full Frame Documentary Film Festival opens tomorrow and runs through Sunday. Women and Hollywood’s posted interviews with directors Chiara Campara (Tempting Promises), Veena Rao (Rebuilding in Miniature), and Monica Klemz (A Singular Garden).

    London. Woodfall: A Revolution in British Cinema, a season now on at BFI Southbank throughout April, has prompted the BBC’s Vincent Dowd to talk with Rita Tushingham about auditioning for Tony Richardson’s A Taste of Honey (1961). “Somehow I wasn’t nervous—I just knew this was what I was meant to do.” Evidently. She won a best actress award in Cannes and was named most promising newcomer at both the BAFTA Awards and the Golden Globes.

    With the Sergio Leone season opening Friday and running through the end of the month at BFI Southbank, Jon Towlson writes up a list of ten “great spaghetti westerns.”

    Cannes. Benicio Del Toro will preside over the Un Certain Regard jury at the seventy-first Cannes Film Festival running from May 8 through 19.

    Jeonju. The Jeonju International Film Festival announced the lineup for its nineteenth edition running from May 3 through 12. It’s “a lineup that highlights the political and cultural complications of compiling a representative selection in Asia,” writes Sonia Kil for Variety.

    IN THE WORKS

    At the Playlist, Charles Barfield has a first batch of images from Claire Denis’s High Life, starring Robert Pattinson, Mia Goth, Juliette Binoche, and Andre Benjamin. It’s “the story of a group of criminals that are promised freedom if they go to space to investigate the possibility of alternative energy near a black hole. However, the plan is too good to be true for the criminals, who find themselves being experimented on as they journey through space.” Like just about everyone, we hope to see it in the Cannes lineup, which will be announced on April 12.

    “Adam Sandler has been set to star this fall in Uncut Gems, the next film by directors Josh and Benny Safdie,” reports Deadline’s Mike Fleming, Jr. IndieWire’s Zack Sharf: “Plot specifics for Uncut Gems are being kept under wraps, although the film is set in New York City’s diamond district. The screenplay was written by the Safdie brothers and their regular collaborator Ronald Bronstein.” Martin Scorsese and Emma Tillinger Koskoff are the executive producers.

    Also from Sharf: Zachary Quinto has “confirmed reports that Quentin Tarantino is behind a prospective third Star Trek sequel, although the actor reveals it’s not exactly a done deal.”

    “Fox Searchlight Pictures has signed an overall deal with Guillermo del Toro that covers live-action feature films to be written, produced, and/or directed by the filmmaker.” Dave McNary has more in Variety.

    “Kenneth Branagh will star in, and produce, A Gentleman in Moscow, the TV adaptation of Amor Towles’s novel,” reports Stewart Clarke for Variety. “Tom Harper (Peaky Blinders) will direct the series, which is set in Russia, starts in the 1920s and spans thirty years. It tells the story of a man ordered to spend the rest of his life inside a luxury hotel. Branagh will play the lead, Count Alexander Rostov.”

    Hugh Laurie is joining George Clooney in a limited series adaptation of Joseph Heller’s Catch-22, reports Deadline’s Nellie Andreeva. Clooney’s directing and Luke Davies and David Michôd are writing the screenplay.

    From the Hollywood Reporter’s Lesley Goldberg comes word that HBO “as handed out a formal pilot order to the half-hour comedy Mrs. Fletcher,” based on the novel by Tom Perrotta, who wrote The Leftovers and co-created the series (he’s also the author of Election and Little Children). Kathryn Hahn “will play Eve Fletcher, a divorced woman who drops her only child off at college and returns home to a very empty nest. Hoping to jump-start her love life, she adopts a sexy new persona and discovers that her world is full of unexpected—and sometimes complicated—erotic possibilities. . . . Nicole Holofcener will direct the pilot and also exec produce.”

    Cameron Crowe will produce a documentary about David Crosby, “the mustachioed one-third of the great Crosby Stills & Nash classic rock trio,” reports Deadline’s Greg Evans.

    LISTENING

    On the new Film Comment Podcast (51’30”), Devika Girish, Violet Lucca, and Nicolas Rapold discuss a good number of films screening at this year’s New Directors/New Films, running on through Sunday.

    For news and items of interest throughout the day, every day, follow @CriterionDaily.

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