Film Comment News Digest 3/24/14

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Item of the day: Joshua Oppenheimer will follow up The Act of Killing with The Look of Silence which continues the earlier film’s examination of the Indonesian genocide, this time from the point of view of a family who confront their son’s killers. Oppenheimer describes it as “a lyrical lamentation to silence borne of fear, but also a poem about the necessity and trauma of breaking it.” … Billed as “the very first Persian gangster film,” The Loner is the next from actor-producer Reza Sixo-Safai, star of Circumstance and A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night. An art-house crime thriller to be directed by Daniel Grove, it features Safai as Iran-Iraq War veteran caught between the Iranian and Russian mafia in Los Angeles, and is described as “Drive meets Taxi Driver set in the opium underworld of Tehrangeles.” Meanwhile Confidence director Maryam Keshavarz is prepping a film inspired by Hot Coffee, the 2011 documentary about the McDonalds lawsuit … Greg Mottola’s next project is Keeping Up With the Joneses, about an unfulfilled married couple who become suspicious of their sexy and charismatic new neighbors. So far it stars Zach Galifianakis and Jon Hamm …

Jerzy Skolimowski describes his next film, 11 Minutes, as a “catastrophic thriller,” suggesting that the Polish director’s bit part in Joss Whedon’s The Avengers was time well spent … The cast for John Hillcoat’s Triple Nine, a thriller about crooked Los Angeles cops planning a robbery, includes Woody Harrelson, Casey Affleck, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Kate Winslet, Aaron Paul, and Michael Peña … Mohsen Makhmalbaf lives! The Iranian exile is shooting in Tbilisi, Georgia, making his first English-language film, The President, in which the overthrown dictator of a fictional Caucasus country goes on the run disguised as a street musician and discovers the daily reality of the common people …

Everyone Else writer-director Maren Ade is underway on Toni Erdmann, another film about a strained relationship, this time focusing on woman whose father believes she has lost her sense of humor and proceeds to bombard her with jokes … John Travolta and Ethan Hawke will team with Ti West on In a Valley of Violence, “a revenge Western film set in the 1890s” … The White Knights, by Our Children director Joachim Lafosse, stars Vincent Lindon as the director of an NGO orphan-rescue mission in Darfur and Valérie Donzelli as a journalist who covers what proves to be a botched operation …

Tilda Swinton, Bill Hader, and Brie Larson will join the cast of Judd Apatow’s Trainwreck, a vehicle for breakout stand-up comic Amy Schumer, who wrote the script ... Roman Polanski is planning a stage musical version of The Fearless Vampire Killers … No pointless remake this week, but stay tuned…

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Meet the (New) Director: Tom Shoval, ‘Youth’ image

Meet the (New) Director: Tom Shoval, ‘Youth’

A North American premiere at this year's New Directors/New Films series, Tom Shoval's Youth received accolades at home in Israel where it won acting and editing awards as well as Best Israeli Feature at the Jerusalem Film Festival.

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