Harmony Korine's Mister Lonely

Kamera's newswire has been notified that Harmony Korine's new project (his third film), Mister Lonely, has gone into post-production - whether that means it will be hitting the screening theatres any time soon is another story, although we have also been notified that Tartan will be spreading the love in the UK, so the chances are good. So, all those rumours about a comune of impersonators in Scotland are true, as far as the story in the this film goes. Here's the description sent to us (plus picture):

"A Michael Jackson impersonator (DIEGO LUNA) lives alone in Paris and performs on the streets to make ends meet. At a performance in a retirement home, Michael falls for a beautiful Marilyn Monroe look-alike (SAMANTHA MORTON), who suggests he move to a commune of impersonators in the Scottish Highlands. At the seaside castle, Michael discovers everyone preparing for the commune's first-ever gala - Abe Lincoln, Little Red Riding Hood, the Three Stooges, the Queen, the Pope, Madonna, Buckwheat, Sammy Davis. And also Marilyn's daughter Shirley Temple and her possessive husband Charlie Chaplin (DENIS LAVANT)."

MISTER LONELY, we were also told, was filmed in Scotland, Panama and France. The cast is more stellar than you would expect: Diego Luna, Samantha Morton, James Fox, Denis Lavant all ring in to boost their indie credits. More fun members of the cast include Anita Pallenberg and Werner Herzog, who also appeared in Korine's previous effort, Julien Donkey Boy.

Oscars 2007

Here are the results of the Oscars 2007.


Screening: The Hermitage Dwellers

Our friends at the Goethe-Institut have informed Kamera's newsdesk about an upcoming screening next Tuesday at their London branch that caught our attention. So here's the info sent in:

TUE 27 FEB 2007 7PM



Netherland 2006, colour, 72 mins. Directed by Aliona van der Horst.

With English subtitles.

"Not the art, but the people who work in the Hermitage museum in St. Petersburg are the focus of this documentary film. These Hermitage dwellers all have their own very personal reasons for considering the palace of Catharine the Great their "home." For them, it is a safe haven that quite literally has managed to keep the cruel Soviet history outside its walls. What starts out as a playful kaleidoscope of people and events in the museum gradually unfolds into a poignant account of how the dwellers’ pain is transformed by their intimate relationship with a piece of art.

We meet with several "Hermitage-niks"—including Olga Bogdanova, the head of museum maintenance, icon curator Alexandra Kostsova, museum attendant Valentina Barbashova, and art handler Vadim Kuptsov, among others—each of whom explains their own very personal reasons for considering the palace of Catherine the Great their "home."

For Russians the Hermitage is regarded as a place of pilgrimage. For these workers, however, the Hermitage has also been a safe haven from the tumultuous events of Russian history and the hardships of contemporary Russian life. Indeed, each of them explains how their personal traumas and difficulties have been transformed by having developed an intimate relationship with a favorite piece of art. For them, surrounded everyday by remarkable beauty, the Hermitage has become a place of emotional healing.

For Vadim, formerly in the military in Azerbaijan, where he saw things that no one back home would believe, his job is a tonic for his troubled soul. He likes to look at Rembrandt's Prodigal Son because "it's about forgiveness." Valentina was an atomic engineer who lost her job in the wake of Perestroika. She supplements her meager pension by working as an attendant at the museum and spends many days in the company of Sweert's Portrait of a Young Man, whose subject was as impoverished as she is. Juna Zek is a metalworks curator who admires the precious collection assembled by Catherine the Great and walks through the rooms where she once slept. Alexandra, aged 82, is an icon curator who has spent her entire life rescuing inestimable icons from destruction. Finally, seventy-six-year-old Olga is the unofficial czarina of the Hermitage who runs her department with a firm hand.

THE HERMITAGE DWELLERS also uses archival footage to reveal that while this revered institution has usually managed to keep twentieth-century history outside its walls-from the Revolution, the terror of Stalin, WWII, and the harsh post-Soviet years-these events have also left their indelible mark on the museum.

The film traverses throughout this vast complex, gliding up staircases and through grand exhibit halls, showing curators at work in storage rooms filled with rare art works, groups of tourists and schoolchildren gazing up in wide-eyed wonder, staff members dining and dancing at a Victory Day celebration, and, of course, many of the world-famous paintings and artifacts on display."

Goethe-Institut London+

Independent Spirit Awards

The winners of the Independent Spirit Awards will be announced today. Here's a link to the list of nominees +


New on Kamera - 21/02/07

Calum Waddel interviews upcoming horror movie star, Jillian Swanson. Full article
here +


The blog Solace in Cinema has posted news about the Tarantino and Rodriguez double whammy, due out on April 6 in America, Grindhouse. The latest news is that the final poster seems to be ready and that The Weinstein Company will be splitting up the film into two pieces in foreign territories because of their lack of tradition in double bills. The distributors fear those non-English speaking audiences will not get the concept, or perhaps that they are not post-modern enough.

But there's a petition against the split.

Full article +


Will Write and Direct for Food

Kamera has teamed up with Southbank Publishing to offer its readers the opportunity to purchase for a reduced price Will Write and Direct for Food, by the celebrated director Alan Parker. Known for his acidic wit and uncompromising approach to film making, Parker has often resorted to humour in cartoons, to get his view across. Studio heads, actors and crew, all come under Parker's merciless pen. However, and often to Parker's surprise, the recipient enjoyed the message and framed it. Many of the director's doodles, drawings and sketches adorn the walls of actors, producers, directors and movie executives around the world, often taking pride of place, next to the all-smiling première or award-winning photographs.

This unique collection contains over 200 mini masterpieces from Sir Alan Parker who Will Write and Direct for Food...

"It was always a curiosity to see my vomited scribbles on some studio executive's wall, the very executives they were aimed at. Not that they stay up long. Studio personnel are an itinerant bunch: they come and they go, and I've made 14 films with 14 studio heads. They don't stay long in their jobs, and fade away faster than a Technicolour negative." - Alan Parker

Promotion Link +

Berlin's 2007 winners

Here's a link to this year's results in BERLIN +


Factory Girl's homophobic overtones

I haven't seen Factory Girl yet, but for me reason I have already taken such a dislike for it that I thought it worthwhile to link to an article in Slate Magazine, a publication that surely tell it like it is, making a scathing review of this film, due out in the UK on 16 March.

"Factory Girl isn't just a bad movie, it's a 90-minute insult to the culture it pretends to be capturing, and what I really want to say—as I would almost never say of anything I see or read or listen to—is that I hated it."
Jim Lewis

Full article +


New on Kamera - 15/02/07

Hot off the print, as it were, are a review of a book on the films of Luis Buñuel+ , written by Ian Haydn-Smith, and an article about the late film poet, Margaret Tait+ , written by myself.

Enjoy them.


New on Kamera

We have news on the UK Regional Critics award + , reviews of Babel + , Blood Diamond + and Notes on a Scandal+ plus an in-depth review of the DVD release of Derek Jarman's
Wittgenstein + .


Coming up: Fast Food Nation

Richard Linklater's much-anticipated fictionalised rendition of Eric Schlosser's book Fast Food Nation is coming to the UK soon and, having caught a preview last night, I'm happy to recommend it. The film opened to mixed reviews in America last November, but in my view it has been criticised for the wrong reasons, such as narrative strands that lead to no conclusion. It is a bleak film that, despite its specific take on the fast food industry, touches on several topics pertinent to globalised capitalism, making it holistic and transnational in relevance. Full review around the time of its 23 March release. Meanwhile catch some video excerpts of the production:

Fast Food Nation's official site +