Grindhouse split in two

Sorry for the delay in posting this, but in case you hadn’t heard Grindhouse is going to be split in two for UK audiences.

Grindhouse posterThe plan is to release Quentin Tarantino’s Death Proof in September and then Robert Rodriguez’s Planet Terror at some point in the future.

Here is the official press release from the film’s UK distributor, Momentum Pictures:

Tarantino’s Death Proof will be released via Momentum Pictures/Dimension Films on September 21 with Robert Rodriguez’s Planet Terror released at a later date to be confirmed shortly.

Death Proof will screen In Competition at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, May 16-27 2007 continuing the festival’s long and successful collaboration with the filmmaker whose 1994 movie Pulp Fiction won the coveted Palme D’Or.

Tarantino’s Death Proof is a white knuckle ride behind the wheel of a psycho serial killer’s roving, revving, racing death machine.

Rodriguez’s Planet Terror is a heart-pounding trip to a town ravaged by a mysterious plague.

Inspired by the unique distribution of independent horror classics of the sixties and seventies, these are two shockingly bold features replete with fake trailers, missing reels and plenty of exploitative mayhem.

Rodriguez and Tarantino set out to make two very different, very complete movies which will be distributed separately internationally where the culture of grindhouses grinding out movies back to back is not familiar.

Harvey Weinstein stated, “We are very proud of “Grindhouse,” which earned overwhelming rave reviews for its audaciousness and boldness. Based on US audience’s positive reactions to Quentin Tarantino’s ‘Death Proof’ and Robert Rodriguez’s ‘Planet Terror’ combined with their resistance to the three-hour running time, we’ve revised our UK release plans to allow audiences the chance to see the films separately, like they will be shown in all international territories. We are really excited about launching the new version of ‘Death Proof’ in Cannes and about the international release for both movies.”

Harvey and Bob Weinstein were clearly devastated by Grindhouse’s disappointing opening in the US, especially after all the great buzz and reviews it got. But September feels a little late – won’t it already be out on Region 1 DVD by then?

> Official site for Grindhouse
> Reviews for Grindhouse at Metacritic

Blade Runner DVD news

Interesting news on the ‘proper’ director’s cut of Blade Runner.

Film Ick reports:

The director’s cut of Blade Runner is finally due later this year. Not the so-called director’s cut – the real director’s cut. The film the way, at last, Ridely Scott wanted it.

Joanna Cassidy’s official site has broken the news that she has completed reshoots of her scenes: “Joanna has just finished re-shooting her scenes from the original Blade Runner movie. Joanna is wearing her original outfit (which she kept over from the first production). These new scenes will be part of the upcoming special Blade Runner DVD re-release. Check back for more details”.

Plus, they have more information from another source about the re-shoots for the DVD:

The shots are for the sequence in which Cassidy’s character Zhora is chased through the streets. In the original film, the chase shows Zhora in flat boots but previously we saw her put on heels – the reshoots feature heels; the control wires for the squib that released Zhora’s blood was previously visible – not any longer; a wound make-up that was missing in some angles is now in place;

Zhora gets a second shot in the chest now, whereas she didn’t before; the lighting is much improved; several new angles have been taken and, depending on the edit, the sequence could end up looking rather different overall.

All very interesting but it makes you wonder how much longer we’ll have to wait for this landmark film to be available as Ridley Scott intended it.

> Find out more about the Blade Runner at Wikipedia
> Extensive Blade Runner fansite

The Painted Veil

A polished and moving adaptation of Somerset Maugham’s 1925 novel features two excellent lead performances from Naomi Watts and Edward Norton.

Painted Veil posterDr Walter Fane (Edward Norton) is an expert in infectious diseases who is posted to China. When his mismatched, funloving wife Kitty (Naomi Watts) has an affair it drives them apart. But as they struggle to adapt to their rural location amidst a cholera outbreak, they begin to see each other in a new light.

Often literary adaptations can be restrained and stodgy affairs, but director John Curran has crafted a sensitive and moving film. Watts and Norton dovetail each other nicely and bring a powerful sense of passion lurking beneath their cool social exteriors. Watch out too for the excellent Toby Jones in a supporting role as a fellow ex-pat worker in the Chinese village.

The rural locations (it was shot around Guilin) are frequently used to beautiful effect, often proving an effective counterpoint to the disease and emotional suffering of the principal characters. Special mention should also go to Alexandre Desplat who contributes a lush score that mixes Eastern and western melodies.

> Check out our interview with John Curran & Edward Norton
> Visit the official site
> IMDb entry for The Painted Veil
> Reviews for The Painted Veil at Metacritic
> SoundtrackNet review the score by Alexandre Desplat
> Check out the showtimes for The Painted Veil at your local cinema

This is England

Shane Meadows again proves that he is one of the most exciting directors working in British cinema with this tale of a skinhead gang in the early 1980s.

This is England posterWhen a young boy named Shaun (Thomas Turgoose) is picked on at school he joins a skinhead gang where he finds friendship and a new sense of identity. As the gang is gradually taken over by more racist members, he starts to learn harsh lessons about his new friends.

Set amidst the backdrop of the Falklands War in the early 1980s, it manages to make some powerful parallels to the present day whilst brilliantly recreating the period itself with a varied, affecting soundtrack and a telling eye for detail.

It also features some truly remarkable performances. In the lead role of Shaun, young Thomas Turgoose gives an impressively mature turn that never slips in to sentimentality. As Combo, Stephen Graham is scarily convincing, giving a brilliantly intense performance as the racist leader of the gang.

A lot of British films get stuck in the dim drawing rooms of Merchant-Ivory or the phoney gangster chic of Guy Ritchie, so it is a joy to see a British filmmaker retain his own voice like this. A deeply moving rites-of-passage story, it also reconfirms Meadows as one of the most accomplished and distinctive directors currently working.

> Visit the official site
> IMDb entry for This is England
> Excellent Shane Meadows fansite with a lot of detail on This is England
> Mark Kermode interviews Shane Meadows for The Culture Show on BBC2
> Buy the wonderful soundtrack at Amazon UK
> Jon Savage with an interesting Sight and Sound article on the film