Friday, June 3, 2011

Film Clips: Craig Brewer does Tarzan, Orpheum Summer Series starts, Ira Sachs preps new project.

Posted By on Fri, Jun 3, 2011 at 10:37 AM

Craig Brewer
  • Craig Brewer
Craig Brewer signs on for Tarzan: As Variety reported yesterday morning, Craig Brewer has signed on to write and direct a new version of Tarzan for Warner Bros, bringing the famous Edgar Rice Burroughs "king of the jungle" character to the big screen in a significant way for the first time since 1984's Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes.

This would be Brewer's biggest project — in budget, scope of production, and every other way — yet and one that would almost certainly have him shooting outside the South — indeed, probably outside the country — for the first time.

I talked to Brewer about this potential project roughly a month ago, when it was still in the pitching stage — and when he wasn't the only filmmaker making a pitch. (And when Tarzan, to be necessarily vague, wasn't the only established but dormant property Brewer was hoping to rehab.) Clearly, Brewer won over executives eager to tap into an under-developed but potentially lucrative commodity — so much so that the studio is already talking about the prospects of a trilogy. One also suspects that strong early test screenings for Brewer's Footloose remake, scheduled for an October 14th release, were helpful in landing this high-profile, high-stakes gig.

If there's one thing we've learned from following Brewer's career, it's that getting a feature film off the ground is terribly complicated, and there's a mighty gulf between conception and completion. For now, Tarzan is another title in a lengthy list of previously announced Brewer projects — Maggie Lynn, Mother Trucker, Gang Leader for a Day, the Charley Pride biopic — that have been at various stages of development over the years. And Brewer still needs to finish a script for this one. But, with major studio muscle behind this and an apparent desire to create a new franchise, don't be surprised if Tarzan is the next Brewer project to begin actual production. More on this to come.

Orpheum Summer Series: The Orpheum's long-running "Summer Classic Movie Series" starts tonight with a 7:15 screening of the 1961 Audrey Hepburn vehicle Breakfast at Tiffany's. Classic movie screenings — featuring lots of the Orpheum regulars — will continue through early September. The schedule:

7:15 p.m. Friday 6/3 Breakfast at Tiffany's
7:15 p.m. Thursday 6/9 To Catch a Thief
7:15 p.m. Friday 6/10 The Big Lebowski
7:15 p.m. Thursday 6/23 An Affair to Remember
7:15 p.m. Thursday 8/4 Beauty Shop
7:15 p.m. Friday 8/5 Gone with the Wind
7:15 p.m. Thursday 8/18 Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
7:15 p.m. Friday 8/19 The Wizard of Oz
7:15 p.m. Friday 8/26 Casablanca
8:00 p.m. Friday 9/2 Rocky Horror Picture Show

Additionally, the Orpheum is adding a second film series to play alongside the classic series, a "Memphis Film Fest" featuring six features shot in Memphis and two that are otherwise Memphis-connected (The Blind Side, set in Memphis but shot in Atlanta, and The Last Picture Show, featuring a breakout performance from a then-teen Cybil Shepherd). The schedule:

7:15 p.m. Friday 7/1 Hustle and Flow
7:15 p.m. Thursday 7/7 The Firm
7:15 p.m. Friday 7/8 Last Picture Show
7:15 p.m. Thursday 7/14 The Rainmaker
7:15 p.m. Friday 7/15 The Blind Side
7:15 p.m. Thursday 7/21 Great Balls of Fire
7:15 p.m. Friday 7/22 Memphis Heat
7:15 p.m. Friday 7/29 Walk the Line

Tickets for individual screenings are $7 for adults and $5 for children. See the Orpheum site for more details.

Ira Sachs
  • Ira Sachs
Ira Sachs 'Kickstarting' New Project: While Craig Brewer is trying to get a potential blockbuster off the ground, Brewer's fellow Memphis-connected Sundance winner, Ira Sachs, is trying to launch a more personal, less commercial project. Sachs, who won the Sundance jury prize with his Memphis-shot Forty Shades of Blue and followed that up with the higher-profile period film Married Life, has started an online fundraising effort, via Kickstarter, to complete production costs on a new film, an indie romance titled Keep the Lights On.

Sachs writes: "The film tells the story of two men in a decade-long relationship in New York City, and when completed will be one of a very few films that get made about contemporary gay life and love in America."

As of this morning, Sachs was less than $5,000 dollars away from his $25,000 goal, with eight days left in the campaign. To donate or learn more about the project, go here.

Brooks Screenings: The Brooks Museum of Art has a major screening coming up next Thursday, with two screenings of the acclaimed experimental documentary Gravity Was Everywhere Back Then, both featuring live musical accompaniment. You can read more about this event in this week's Local Beat column. Here's a video preview:

Gravity Was Everywhere Back Then from Brent Green on Vimeo.

Additionally, the Brooks will host a screening of last year's notable education doc Waiting for Superman next Tuesday, the late-’70s' New York DIY-filmmaking doc Blank City on June 12th, and the Indie Memphis sponsored Global Lens series starting June 16th. For more info on Brooks screenings, see the museum's event calendar.


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