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Film Comment News Digest: 5/12/14

By Gavin Smith on May 15, 2014

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The Class François Bégaudeau

When we last checked, Abdellatif Kechiche was thinking about doing an update of Héloïse & Abélard. Scratch that—now his next project is The Real Wound. Let’s hope he sticks to his plans this time. It’s a coming-of-age story about 15-year-old youth, adapted from a novel by film critic François Bégaudeau, who wrote and starred in Laurent Cantet’s 2008 Cannes Palme d’Or winner The Class. For Bégaudeau, it’s a dream come true: “I adore Kechiche, I’m a total fan, he’s the greatest living French filmmaker as far as I’m concerned. Now that he’s made films about all-white characters, now he can make an all-black and Arab story.” Accordingly, the location of the film has been shifted from France to Tunisia … Tilda Swinton reunites with I Am Love director Luca Guadagnino on an as yet untitled “sexy thriller” co-starring Ralph Fiennes, Margot Robbie, and Matthias Schoenaerts. It’s said to be an examination of the politics of desire between a man and a woman lost in the Mediterranean, and you get the idea, right? Guadagnino is still threatening to produce a remake of Dario Argento’s Suspiria to be directed by David Gordon Green, and has three other projects on the go, including an adaptation of James Ellroy’s The Big Nowhere and The Reliable Wife (a period romantic-thriller variation on Mississippi Mermaid about a mail-order bride who turns out to be a scheming vixen) ...

Tree of Life

Another update on Terrence Malick’s long-gestating Voyage of Time, which is suddenly being hawked at the Cannes market by French sales-and-production heavy-hitters Wild Bunch. It’s now described as “a celebration of the Earth, displaying the whole of time, from the birth of the universe to its final collapse, examining all that went to prepare the miracle that stands before us now. After the nebulae and supernovae, after the lands of lava and smoke, after the elaboration of the first cells, first fish, first amphibians and reptiles, this great wonder!” Yikes! Overreach alert! “Using words and music, we are encouraged to view the grand cosmos and the minute life systems of our planet with gratitude and awe, in Malick’s most ambitious film to date.” Malick has been working on this project since the 1970s. Wild Bunch producer Vincent Maraval added: “This is a classic for the future generations, Malick’s legacy to humanity.” So nothing too grandiose here …

Adele Exarchopoulos

Tobias Lindholm’s follow-up to A Hijacking will be A War, and completes his “desperate men in small rooms” trilogy initiated with the 2010 prison drama R. Once again starring Pilou Asbæk, the film portrays a Danish Army major whose life begins to unravel after he causes the death of a dozen women and children during a high-risk mission in Afghanistan and now faces a war-crimes tribunal … Gaspar Noé is back! The sensitive, life-affirming director of Enter the Void starts shooting his next film, the English-language Love, in June … Off to Paris for The Woman in Black director James Watkins, whose next project is action thriller Bastille Day, which stars Idris Elba and Blue Is the Warmest Color’s Adèle Exarchopoulos … Next project for Australian stuntman and prime mover in Blue Tongue Films Nash Edgerton (brother of actor Joel Edgerton) is American Express, starring and produced by Charlize Theron with backing by Megan Ellison’s Annapurna Films. Continuing to mainline testosterone, Theron is also producing and acting in Sean Penn’s The Last Face, which co-stars Javier Bardem and the ubiquitous Exarchopoulos …

My Sex Life ... or How I Got into an Argument

We’ve already told you Arnaud Desplechin is underway on a new film called Three Memories of Childhood, right? Well, what we didn’t tell you (because we didn’t know) is that it’s a prequel to My Sex Life… or How I Got into an Argument that takes us back to the teenage years of the characters in the 1995 film … And least promising sequel of the week has to be Spring Breakers: The Second Coming, a cash-in scripted by Irvine Welsh and directed by Jonas Akerlund, the man behind such bad-boy music videos as “Smack My Bitch Up” and the 2002 meth-addict comedy Spun.

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