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The SAG Negotiates and In Praise of Zooey Deschanel

Posted by: Matthew Turner 17/04/2008 @ 17:29
Subject: Film

Films seen so far this year: 113

Screen Actors' Guild Negotiations: Here We Go Again…
This week the Screen Actors Guild began negotiations with the major studios, with the actors seeking a similar deal to the one granted to the Writers Guild, particularly in regard to proceeds from DVDs and internet downloads. Essentially, the current three-year contract expires on June 30th, so the union and the studios have until then to hammer out an acceptable deal and if they can't, we could be in for more strike action that would affect both film and television production almost immediately. What's worse is that the union itself seems to be divided, with the Guild (made up of both working and jobbing actors) recently rejecting a petition to allow only working actors to vote on strikes and contracts. Fingers crossed that they reach an agreement in time, because, frankly, I really want to know how Lost ends.

In Praise of Zooey Deschanel
Most film reviewers have their favourite actors or actresses and in particular, actors that they wish would either make more movies or deserve to be more famous than they are. I have loads, but top of my list is the lovely Zooey Deschanel. I first noticed her as the lead character's older sister in Almost Famous, when Cameron Crowe fills the entire screen with her face and gives her that delightful goodbye scene ("Some day, you'll be cool." – see the clip below). Since then, she's had a couple of great girlfriend roles (singing in the shower in Elf, posing strangely in a bowling alley in All the Real Girls) and she was brilliantly cast as Trillian in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, but she's not quite at the point where she's the star of the show. Her most recent appearance was a memorable two-scene cameo in The Assassination of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford (singing a song and doing a sexy fan dance), but what I really wish is that someone would make a movie about Kit, the character she plays in the otherwise dreadful Matthew McConaughey / Sarah Jessica Parker vehicle Failure To Launch, where she completely steals the film, to the point where you don't care about the leads at all and just want to see what she's up to. Basically, she's brilliant. Hell, I may even buy her album...

Top 10 Films On Release This Week (as recommended by me):

A few changes this week with Happy-Go-Lucky and In Bruges both making it into the top ten.

1. There Will Be Blood
2. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
3. No Country For Old Men
4. [REC]
5. The Orphanage
6. In Bruges
7. Happy-Go-Lucky
8. The Devil Came On Horseback
9. Son of Rambow
10. 27 Dresses

DVD of the Week: Rescue Dawn (out now, RRP £19.99)

This week's DVD of the Week is Rescue Dawn. When he made the 1997 documentary Little Dieter Needs To Fly, director Werner Herzog was so taken with the story of German-born US pilot Dieter Dengler (who was shot down and captured in Vietnam before staging a harrowing escape) that he turned it into a feature film starring Christian Bale. The DVD is packed with great extras, including over 50 minutes of Making Of featurettes (including interviews with Herzog and Bale), seven deleted scenes with optional commentary, a stills gallery and, best of all, a superbly informative commentary by Herzog himself - surely one of cinema's greatest speaking voices - who's interviewed by Norman Hill as they watch the film together. More commentaries should follow this format.

Stop Press: Midnight Movies announcement
Next month's Midnight Movies screening at the Curzon Soho will be a Roger Corman tribute double-bill of The Intruder (a terrific, rarely-screened low budget drama with a pre-Kirk William Shatner stirring up racial hatred in a small Southern town) and Vincent Price horror classic The Masque of the Red Death. In addition, Corman himself will be present to introduce both films.

Comments

by  Anonymous  21/04/2008 @ 13:25
Zooey Deschanel is fantastic, she really was the only part worth watching in that Failure to Launch film, that thing with the bird was just too funny
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