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Agnès Varda Begins New Documentary; Hong Sang-soo Shooting In Cannes with Isabelle Huppert

Written by on May 16, 2016 

Agnès Varda

Word of a new Agnès Varda project is hardly commonplace — it’s sometimes unclear if she’s even still working — so this tentative announcement gets more attention than most others. Said project, per Variety, is “a celebration of images, still and moving, and the way they are shown, shared and exhibited,” and likely an autobiographical celebration at that: as co-directed by the Bansky-like French photographer JR, the picture “will focus on faces, encounters, huge images related to people and mostly the growth of an unlikely friendship between a 33 year old youngster and an 88 year old lady.” (I’ll save you the Wikipedia search and mental arithmetic by noting that, yes, JR is 33 and Varda is 88.)

Varda is immediately forthcoming about the project, saying, “As my life draws to a close, I find myself wanting to see ever more faces, to film or photograph them, to keep them in images if not in my memory. JR, with his imagination and talent, gives me the opportunity to create with him new ways to share images.” (Consider this early evidence of as much.) That much already sounds good, and it just gets better: Cohen Media Group will handle North American distribution.

Isabelle-HuppertMuch more commonplace is news of a new Hong Sang-soo feature. Before Right Now, Wrong Then even opens in the U.S.its follow-up may very well be done — an assumption we can make because the follow-up to that has already started rolling cameras. Chosun Media tells us Hong is currently in Cannes, filming with Isabelle Huppert (reuniting after In Another Country), Kim Min-hee (reuniting after Right Now) — both of whom would already be present for Paul Verhoeven’s Elle and Park Chan-wook’s The Handmaiden, respectively — and, per Drama Beans, newcomers Jung Jin-young and Jang Mi-hee.

Little about the title is currently available, save for a notice that Huppert will play “a part-time high school teacher and writer.” It’s possible that nothing else will be revealed until we can see the thing for ourselves — or until we see it a second time, or a third — yet it’s, of course, already an immensely promising work.

janusz kaminskiAnother seasoned artist is staking out a directorial effort, but this is an altogether different set of circumstances — and a project that could either leave a big mark or land with a resounding thud. Such is the question when cinematographers switch duties and sit in the director’s chair, as longtime Spielberg DP Janusz Kaminski will do on The Rabbit Garden, a biopic of Jerzy Kosinski, a writer and Holocaust survivor who’s perhaps best-known for penning the material that became Hal Ashby’s great Being There. [Deadline]

As scripted by Jamie Dawson, the film will tell of Kosinski’s turbulent life “plagued with allegations of plagiarism and sex-addiction,” which ended with a 1991 suicide. Unless, God forbid, some sort of Oscar-baiting sanitization is in store, Kaminski might not play to the nosebleeds here — perhaps a sign he’s got something very strong to give us.

Production begins next year.


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