PARIS – Another year, another Cannes Festival and in preparation the Cannes authorities have released a poster which will be hung above the Palais du Cinema in May.
In the past Cannes has gone with icons of cinema history – Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward, Marcello Mastronianni and Ingrid Bergman – as a way of both celebrating the glamour of the movies but also the prestige that they have achieved. This year is no different and the most famous European film festival is paying tribute with an image of Kevin James in Paul Blart Mall Cop.
Thierry Fremaux spoke EXCLUSIVELY about the thinking behind the decision:
There are two cinemas in this world. There is the cinema that existed before 2009 and the cinema that came after 2009. That year was the year of Paul Blart Mall Cop starring Kevin James, the heir of Chaplin, Keaton, Sandler, and directed by Frank Coraci, the American Fellini as he known around these parts. I believe with Paul Blart looking down on the Croisette, this festival will be inspired to ever greater heights and also humbled to some extent about the task of carrying on the great legacy that Coraci and James have left us.
A recently restored version of Paul Blart Mall Cop will also be shown as part of a season of digitally restored Kevin James films, – including Here Comes the Boom and the rediscovered classic Grownups – which will be shown during the festival. Of course Paul Blart has a long history with the festival after Paul Blart 2 opened the festival only last year.
The Cannes Film Festival takes place from 11th of May to the 22nd.
HOLLYWOOD – Charting the unsuccessful attempt by Deuce Bigalow ‘comedian’ Rob Schneider to make a movie of Frank Herbert’s classic Science Fiction novel, Schneider’s Dune is a thoughtful documentary about an almost masterpiece, an epic and what could have been ‘the best Science Fiction film never made’ (The New York Times).
Often praised by peers as a visionary consistently let down by inferior material, Schneider has also been a lifelong fan of Science Fiction. Throughout the Eighties, the young comedian wrote script after script based on Isaac Asimov’s Foundation series. When those attempts came to naught and emboldened by his growing success on Saturday Night Live, Schneider turned his attention to the massive 1963 Frank Herbert novel which had previously been made into a film by David Lynch in 1984. Schneider says:
I always felt that the Lynch film had got some major aspects of the book wrong. In a way that film is great as a Lynchian play with the future, but it just doesn’t sustain the sweep of the story and I had a feeling I could do it.
Casting himself as Paul Atreides, Schneider wrote a script and prepared to direct. George Lucas – a fan of the book and Schneider’s Tiny Elvis – was on board as a consultant and producer, but the two ultimately fell out over a comic character Lucas wanted to introduce into the film, who would later become Jar Jar Binks. ‘This is the one time in comedy history when Rob actually had more taste,’ jokes collaborator John Milius.
Jonathan Demme‘s documentary is an entertaining portrait of a period as well as of the non-making of an almost classic. Talking head interviews with all the principles – except for Meg Ryan who pulled out of the project at a late stage for undisclosed reasons – are enlightening though there is the rosy hue of nostalgia distorting some of the harder economic realities. And despite Schneider’s presence there are moments of genuine comedy such as the casting reel, which shows Robert Downey Jr and James Caan struggling to get into their roles, Duke Leto and the Beast respectively.
Ultimately, heavy drug use and a spiraling budget doomed the project, but its influence can still be seen in such far flung regions of the galaxy as Paul Blart Mall Cop and I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry.
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