053108 Sydney Pollack R.I.P.
. . . . . .I may have been lax in my updates but I could not let the month close out without at least mentioning the sad passing of actor/ filmmaker Sydney Pollack on May 26th at the age of 73. I seem to remember reading that he had dropped out of a directing project last year and had hoped his health was not declining. Sadly, cancer was taking its toll and despite acting in several movies recently, his last work behind the camera would be the 2005 documentary ‘Sketches of Frank Gehry’. He directed a few of my favorite films including ‘Three Days of the Condor’ and the underrated and often overlooked ‘The Yakuza’. Film critic Roger Ebert wrote a memorial piece about Pollack HERE. -Nate


050908 Vincent Cassel stars in two part crime drama: 'Death Instinct' and 'Public Enemy #1'.
. . . . . .The great Vincent Cassel is starring in back to back crime dramas about French criminal Jacques Mesrine. ‘Death Instinct’ is the first part and is due out this year with the second part ‘Public Enemy #1’ coming the following year. Of course, those are the French release dates, so there is no telling when the films will be released here in the ‘States. I should also note that Gerard Depardieu and Samuel Le Bihan (of ‘Brotherhood of the Wolf’ fame) are listed as having roles in one or both of the films. The films are directed by Jean-François Richet. The only film of his that I have seen was the remake of ‘Assault on Precinct 13’ which, while arguably not a great film, still had some really entertaining sequences in it. There have been some stills from film shoots posted on the web showing Cassel in action as well as a teaser trailer. Sadly, the teaser just shows Mesrine walking out of a prison cell while a narrator (in French) talks over the footage. The teaser can be seen on Youtube HERE. While finding the teaser I came across a montage of some images of the real Mesrine that someone posted. While the montage is nothing special, the images do make Mesrine look like he was quite larger than life. Fair warning that there are images of a dead body but if you still want to see what the real Mesrine looked like you can see the montage on Youtube HERE. -Nate


050808 Computer issues and a move cause some delays.
. . . . . . Now everything is finally falling into place and hopefully regular updates will resume as planned. Fist, I need to start on a down note. This one is for my friend Jon B. who rightfully gave me a hard time about not at least mentioning the passing of Ollie Johnston last month. For those who are not aware, Johnston was the last surviving member of Disney’s “Nine Old Men”, a group of animators that came to symbolize a founding group of artists that helped Walt Disney make some of the seminal works that created the Disney empire of today. There are far more knowledgeable commentators who wrote about his sad passing but I was particularly fond of filmmaker/ artist Brad Birds thoughts on the man at Cartoon Brew HERE.-Nate









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