TIMOTHEE CHALAMET STARS AS NICK CAVE IN YOUNG NICK

HOLLYWOOD – Andrew Dominic’s Young Nick is a triumph, boasting an amazing performance by Timothée Chalamet.

Call Me By Your Name and Ladybird star Timothée Chalamet once more pulls out the stops. This time with a bravura performance as Australian post-punk singer Nick Cave in a new film tracing the origins of the Australian nick cavemusician. Young Nick begins in Australia with the teenager Nick still searching to find his way through the world. Writer and director Andrew Dominic – and pal of Nick Cave – knew Nick Cave as they both group up in the same world. This is evident in the closely observed miseries of 80s suburban Australia. Guy Pearce is superb as Cave’s confused father, who is out of his depth with his rebellious son.

Liam Hemsworth is slightly too old to play Mick Harvey, the Birthday Party and then Bad Seeds guitarist, but he manages his part with aplomb. The interaction between the two makes for some of the funniest dialogue of the film. Cave reveals himself something of an idealist against the hard Ozzie pragmatism of Harvey.

SNEAK PREVIEW

The Scenes of the gigs are great. So vibrant and full of life. From the disastrous school disco to the local club where the first tentative steps towards stardom look to be foiled by the over zealous attentions of the local police.  But it is Chalamet’s performance which is creating early buzz and talks of a possible Oscar nomination down the road. He shows the charisma that made Cave the figure he would become. But equally he manages to suggest the vulnerabilities at the heart of the character. The music is obviously dynamite with a mix of mostly Birthday Party tracks but with an evocative use of From Her to Eternity as the film transitions to a wintry London. And an assault on musical history from out antipodean heroes.

Dominic has created a deeply entertaining, visually sumptuous and startlingly intelligent film. Perhaps his best movie since Chopper. And it is important to note, this isn’t a film for fans only. If you go in without knowing anything about Cave – who stills remains a select taste – there’s still plenty to enjoy in this punkish portrait of a rebel without a cause.

Young Nick comes out in 2020.

SUNDANCE REVIEW – ROB SCHNEIDER’S DUNE

SUNDANCE- Alex Gibney’s shocking new documentary tells the story of the best science fiction never made: Rob Schneider’s Dune.

Frank Herbert’s novel Dune has proven a disaster for many film makers. First Ridley Scott tried and failed. Then Alejandero Jodorowksi. Then Alan Parker, John Boorman and David Lynch. Admittedly David Lynch actually completed the film but by then no one was interested because they knew the one that mattered – Rob Schneider’s – would never be seen.

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.

Alex Gibney‘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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SUNDANCE REVIEW – EATING BACON WITH MALCOLM

SUNDANCE REVIEW – Naomi Watts and Viggo Mortenssen star in Eating Bacon with Malcolm.

Eating Bacon with Malcolm tells the story of a young boy – newcomer Jake Seed – who on the death of his father, temporarily loses the urge to eat bacon. His mother has buried herself in work to avoid grief and the neglected kid needs also to contend with a new city, where mother and son have moved to. In flashback, Malcolm’s relationship to his inspirational father is seen through a series of breakfasts the two ate together, while Naomi Watts the mother, is buried in work.

A bittersweet comedy, the occasionally flimsy conceit is more than held up by some exceptional performance – particularly from newcomer Seed. The only blot is Mortensen who spends the whole film randomly using insulting racial epithets. He seems to be trying to prove a point. The ever reliable Watts is amazing as the mother who has thrown herself into her work and slowly discovers that she is losing her son. But Seed is the revelation. It’s almost as if Jess Plemons ate Timothée Chalamet and then shit him out as a young Paul Newman. The final scene – where SPOILER Malcolm eats bacon – had the audience in tears. Music by the one guy from Radiohead who hasn’t done a score yet was acoustic guitary.

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CORRECTION: KRISTEN STEWART’S COMMENTS DIDN’T PRAISE HITLER

SUNDANCE – We would like to correct an interview with Kristen Stewart published in Studio Exec today which has since been taken down.

In the interview, Kristen Stewart, who is in Sundance to promote her new film with Kelly Reichardt Certain Women, made some comments which were erroneously transcribed and then published.

In the interview Ms. Stewart said:

I really enjoyed working with Kelly. I think she’s a very strong woman and in the film-making scene today we need more women like Kelly standing up and making vital and challenging cinema, not just because they’re women, but because they’re movies are original and rock.

This was unfortunately mis-transcribed and reported as saying:

I really enjoy watching old Nazi propaganda films. I love Hitler. He was the best. That little mustache? I mean, yeah I’d hit that. What we really need now is a new Hitler. I mean I could do it, but I’m busy.

And while responding to a question about beef jerky, her answer was correctly reported as ‘Yuk, I don’t like that at all’, the question was unfortunately mis-written as ‘So the Jews?’

We offer our sincere apologies to Kristen Stewart and wish her all the luck in the world with her new movie Triumph of Certain Women.

SUNDANCE BURIED UNDER AVALANCHE

UTAH – Robert Redford’s Sundance Film Festival – the forum for American Independent Cinema – has tragically been buried under a massive avalanche.

The avalanche began at two o’clock this afternoon in Park city after a showing of the new Jesse Plemons film Other People. The applause was not necessarily a factor, a spokesperson for the police said, ‘but it can’t have helped.’

What you have to understand that up here in the mountains, in January, there is an awful lot of snow and what with people enthusing about the latest Barack Obama – Michele Obama film, or that new film by the guy who did Broken Circle Breakdown, the queuing and the general chatter, something is going to give at some point. It isn’t like it is necessarily someone’s fault but it usually is.

Over 15 thousand people are thought to be buried in the snow and many film critics and film makers who for some reason were unable to go to Sundance have said things like ‘Oh well’ and ‘I hope they’re all okay’, while barely disguising delighted smiles.

Late news came in that a large group of directors, execs and critics have survived the avalanche in some strange air bubble/ice cathedral. Led by Werner Herzog, they have immediately sprung into action and started filming a whimsical documentary about their imminent deaths.

Sundance will continue until next week.

5 FACTS YOU NEVER KNEW ABOUT SUNDANCE

UTAH – Sundance is American Independent cinema’s annual gathering, taking place in the high altitude resort of Park City and promoted by Robert Redford. But how much do we really know about this most secretive of cinematic happenings.

The Studio Exec FACT squad – under the direction of Steven Soderbergh – were dropped by helicopter to find out.

1. Although success at Sundance is a guarantee of lifelong wealth (see Steven Soderbergh), failure at Sundance can result in the payment of a terrible price. Filmmakers whose films are met with anything less than enthusiasm are ritually stripped of their clothes and forced to run through the snow in the nude, midst pelting stones and stinging mockery. 

2. The name Sundance comes from a role that Robert Redford played in the film Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. However, for the first seven years of its thirty year existence the festival went by a number of names, including: ‘The Big Halsy Fest’, ‘The Sting Fest’ and the ‘The Bob Woodward Festival for the Appreciation of the Cinematic Arts.’

 3. Paul Newman also started a film festival in Berlin, Germany called ‘The Butch Cassidy Film Festival’ but he was so cool, he forgot to tell anybody about it and, after a disastrous inauguration year, it changed its name to ‘The Berlin Cassidy Film Festival’ and then ‘The Berlin Film Festival.’

4. Approximately 62% of the state of Utah are Mormons, which means for a film to be shown, there must be no scenes of coffee drinking and at least two wives per male character. 

5. The first film ever to be shown at the Sundance Film Festival was The Bad News Bears Go To Japan. The filmmakers were stripped naked and forced to run through the snow in the nude, midst pelting stones and stinging mockery.

For more FACTS click HERE.