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News from Film Review
June 2001

This is hardcore?
Christina Ricci The stars get saucy...

Christina Ricci has been in England recently filming Miranda, an £8 million sex thriller which also stars John Simm, Kyle MacLachlan and John Hurt and is being directed by Marc Munden, who made the BBC's mid-90s Vanity Fair mini-series. Director Munden, a former assistant of director Mike Leigh, said, “I have been waiting 20 years to make a feature film. It’s a huge jump for me!”

Based on a one-man show developed over two years by Rob Young at the Battersea Arts Centre, Miranda is about a woman of many parts — geisha girl, businesswoman, con artist, lap dancer and dominatrix — who ensnares an innocent Yorkshire librarian (Simm) in her complicated world of confidence tricksters, sadistic villains and sexual escapades. “I was sent the script out of the blue, read it, and really liked it,” said Ricci. “It’s fun pretending to be the same woman pretending to be different women. It’s like acting at acting.”

Meanwhile Heather Graham is set to shock even her Boogie Nights fans in her new film Killing Me Softly (it features rough sex, public sex and sado-masochism), and Juliette Binoche is to play a nun who poses for and is seduced by Renaissance painter Fra Lippi, played by Traffic star Benicio Del Toro in the raunchy period drama To Have Sinned.

Quentin TarantinoTarantino’s Sweat
Before he starts directing his own movie Kill Bill and finishes writing a Pulp Fiction sequel titled The Vega Brothers (reuniting Pulp’s Vincent Vega/John Travolta and Reservoir Dogs’ Vic Vega/Michael Madsen), Quentin Tarantino will star in Sweat for Samuel Hadida, his Dogs producer. Hadida is currently the darling of French cinema thanks to the box-office hit Brotherhood of the Wolf, and Sweat is a loose adaptation of the tense 1953 classic The Wages of Fear.

Hadida spoke to Film Review in Berlin on the set of Resident Evil, which he’s co-producing: “Sweat is a $4 million suspense thriller starring Tarantino, Michael Keaton, Joaquim de Almeida and Jean-Hugues Anglade. We start shooting on location in Morocco in April. It’s going to be hot, dirty and gritty and I’m already calling it ‘Reservoir Dogs on wheels’.” After Sweat Hadida will turn his attention to producing the new film for his Brotherhood of the Wolf director Christophe Gans. “It has no title as yet but will be a Gone with the Wind style epic romance set in the Napoleonic Wars.”

Dragon Slaying
Michelle Yeoh Now that Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon has become the top-grossing foreign language film of all time, director Ang Lee has announced he’s planning a prequel to his high-flying martial arts epic that would reunite stars Chow Yun-Fat and Michelle Yeoh. Lee revealed he’s working on the story for a second film but says he sees one major stumbling block to getting the prequel off the ground. “It would be very expensive,” he explained. “Everybody’s going to charge me five times as much! We got all the equipment for half price. When we went on location, they thought we were a TV crew. That’s not going to happen again.”

Before either Lee or Yeoh can even think of shooting another Crouching Tiger, they have other projects to complete. Yeoh just set up her own production company in Hong Kong, Mythical Films, and she is currently stocking up talent for her first film The Touch, a comedy-actioner set in Shanghai and the Himalayas. Lee is working on the film version of The Incredible Hulk, an American version of director Alain Resnais’ recent French musical hit Same Old Song and a bio-pic on famed illusionist and escape artist Harry Houdini. Don’t hold your breath!

Charlie: Izzard?Izzit Izzard?
Eddie Izzard really is Charlie Chaplin according to Jennifer Tilly. The two stars have just completed Peter Bogdanovich’s The Cat’s Meow — a film centred on the scandalous love triangle between Chaplin, silent star Marion Davies and newspaper mogul William Randolph Hearst in the 1920s. Tilly says that comic Izzard is so convincing as the silent comic genius, people will think Chaplin has returned from the dead. “He’s so sexy and he’s so perfect as Charlie,” she explained.

“People who have seen it have said it’s uncanny how he looks exactly like Charlie in the movie.”

Just a taste of Alan Jones' extensive news section.
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