In today’s jammed Movie News Rundown: A Q&A packed with Slamdance intel; a lost Stanley Kubrick noir is coming to the screen; Borat star Maria Bakalova joins a Judd Apatow pandemic movie; Danny Trejo wrote a memoir and reveals his best friend; the new Sean Baker movie sounds good.
Congratulations to Travon Free: His short film “Two Distant Strangers,” which we wrote about here, has been shortlisted in the Oscars Live Action Short Film category. And here are the other Oscar shortlists.
Inside Slamdance: We get a lot of questions about the Slamdance Film Festival, and in the latest MovieMaker podcast, festival president and co-founder Peter Baxter and festival manager Adele Han Li share some answers. Did you know there’s a Slamdance Bible? And that Christopher Nolan used to be kind of shy about promoting his work? The festival arrives Friday and you can listen to our Q&A on Google or Spotify or here:
Lost Stanley Kubrick Film Coming to the Screen: The Hollywood Reporter has the exciting news that producers Bruce Hendricks and Galen Walker have optioned the right to a Stanley Kubrick noir film Lunatic at Large. I know, I know: It won’t be a Stanley Kubrick film if Stanley Kubrick isn’t directing. But he worked with screenwriter Jim Thompson on a 70-page treatment, with plans to direct.
More Congratulations: The Cucalorus Film Foundation announced that Byron Hurt will chair its Board of Directors for 2021-2022. Hurt’s film “Hip Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes” screened at the 2007 Cucalorus Film Festival, and he is a past member of the Cucalorus Works-in-Progress Lab with his upcoming documentary Hazing. He has also served on the board for the last two years and been a mentor for the program. “I look forward to being a key member of the leadership team at Cucalorus, and contributing to its growth,” Hurt said.
And Even More Congratulations: BlackStar Projects, which celebrates visionary Black, Brown, and Indigenous film and media artists, has added three new full-time members of its team: Sara Zia Ebrahimi as Deputy Director; Leo Brooks as Communications Design Associate; and Sydney Alicia Rodriguez as Program Associate. It also added Taj Reid, EVP, executive design director at Edelman, to its Board of Directors.
Maria Bakalova, Fred Armisen and Pedro Pascal Walk Into a Bubble: Judd Apatow is making a comedy for Netflix called The Bubble about a group of actors living in a pandemic bubble as they try to complete a film, and the bubblicious cast includes Borat Subsequent Moviefilm breakout Maria Bakalova, Karen Gillan, Pedro Pascal, Fred Armisen, Keegan-Michael Key, Leslie Mann, Iris Apatow, Peter Serafinowicz, and David Duchovny, Variety reports.
We Still Have So Many Items to Go: Cue The Californians.
Danny Trejo Has a Memoir: Written with… Donal Logue? I have to admit I didn’t even know they knew each other, but it turns out they’re best friends. Trejo announced that Trejo: My Life of Crime, Redemption, and Hollywood, is coming July 6 from Atria Books, and will be published simultaneously in English and Spanish. “A special thank you to Donal Logue, who is not only an incredible actor but a beautiful writer. We’ve been on sets together for everything from Reindeer Games to Sons of Anarchy, but the three years we spent working on this book brought us closer than ever,” Trejo said in a statement.
Reached for Comment, Logue Agreed They Are Great Friends: And shared the cover.
Some twenty plus years of friendship and a few years of concerted effort went into the writing of this book. The more I know Danny, the more I am amazed. Thanks @MHMwrites. pic.twitter.com/3O0QZSwp0E
— donal logue (@donallogue) February 9, 2021
Sean Baker’s New Movie: Deadline reports that FilmNation Entertainment has landed worldwide rights to Red Rocket, Sean Baker’s followup to the absolutely brilliant The Florida Project. The film stars Simon Rex, Bree Elrod and Suzanna Son, and is a dark comedy about a pimp living off women in the adult film industry. Leaving L.A. for his hometown of Texas City, Texas, he meets a young woman named Strawberry at a local doughnut shop and falls back into his old habits, Deadline explains.
It Seems Important to Note: That Baker’s magnificent Tangerine also involved a donut shop, and that Danny Trejo owns a donut shop. This is a sign that everyone should check out Alice Gu’s terrific documentary The Donut King. “It’s an immigrant-makes-good tale filled with uplift and downfall in equal measure, and there’s no glazing over the heartbreak,” wrote The Wall Street Journal‘s Joe Morgenstern, my favorite movie critic.
Main image, above: Typewriter at the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado, where Stephen King was inspired to write The Shining, which Stanley Kubrick adapted into a film Stephen King didn’t like.