Mick Jagger


If you’ve been patiently waiting for an Elvis Presley biopic to come along that does justice to the life and times of the legendary rockstar, then your lucky day might be coming soon, because a perfect storm of musical biopic experience has just come together to create a film project called Last Train to Memphis that’s planned to dramatize the early period of Presley’s life—where he transformed from being a kid with a guitar into the ultimate pop culture icon—and is based off of Peter Guralnick’s 1995 Presley biography of the same name. According to a report from Variety, the project is being put together by Fox 2000, who already scored big with the 2005 Johnny Cash biopic, Walk the Line. It’s going to be produced by Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger, who is also currently involved in a James Brown biopic starring Chadwick Boseman. And it’s to be directed by Kevin Macdonald, who saw great success with his 2006 biopic of Idi Amin, The Last King of Scotland, and who also has experience helming documentaries about famous musicians, including last year’s Bob Marley documentary, Marley. Last Train to Memphis is a movie that brings quite an impressive pedigree to the table.


James Brown

According to Deadline Hollywood, Tate Taylor (The Help) is in talks to take on the James Brown biopic that Brian Grazer has long wanted to make. If he signs on the dotted line, he’ll be joining an interesting production partner: Mick Jagger. The Hardest Working Man will be celebrated from his early beginnings in abject poverty to his rise on the global scene as a musical icon with a script comes from Jez and John-Henry Butterworth (Fair Game) who are no strangers to telling real-world stories. Hundreds of Brown’s songs have appeared in movies – making his impact cross media – and he also acted, most notably in The Blues Brothers and (as himself) in Rocky IV. Beyond that, his legacy is unarguably titanic, a performer who spanned decades and audiences while making a heavy impact on popular culture. His story is one worth telling, so hopefully this group does it true justice. And now the usual question that comes with any biopic of someone this famous – who do you get to play him?



The 1980s proved to be an interesting and difficult time for auteurs of the 1960s and 1970s. Directors like Copolla, Scorsese, De Palma, Altman, etc. offered works that were far from their classics of the previous decade, but many of these films have aged well and proven to be compelling entries within the respective ouvres of these directors precisely because they aren’t part of their canon. While British director Nicolas Roeg did not play a central part in New Hollywood in the same way as the directors I listed, his 1970s work was certainly part and parcel of this brief countercultural revolution in narrative storytelling. I see Roeg as something of a British equivalent to Hal Ashby: someone who made brilliant entry after brilliant entry throughout a single decade, only to fade out of the spotlight once the 1980s began. But unlike the late Ashby, Roeg has continued making films during these years, and The Criterion Collection has taken one of his most perplexing entries from the era of Reagan and Alf out of obscurity. Insignificance (1985) is a strange film about a strange time. Based on the play by Terry Johnson, Insignificance stages an impossible meeting between iconoclastic minds as the likenesses of Marilyn Monroe (Roeg’s then-wife Teresa Russell), Albert Einstein (Michael Emil), Joe DiMaggio (Gary Busey), and Sen. Joe McCarthy (Tony Curtis) move in an out of a hotel room as they share a variety of 50s-topical dramatic scenarios.



Today is a good day to be a musician who is far more interested in making movies than crooning out jams (or whatever the kids are calling it these days). Deadline Dartford reports that somehow, between wondering just who the hell that Adam Levine kid is and artfully arranging his collection of scarves, Mick Jagger had an idea for a film and now someone is penning it so that the Jags can also star in it. Celebrity is so choice. A History of Violence screenwriter Josh Olson (who also has credit on the Tom Cruise vehicle One Shot, thanks to his first draft of the Lee Child novel source material), will pen a screenplay for the film, currently called Tabloid. Jagger himself cooked up the idea for the flick, which he also hopes to star in. The film follows “a global media mogul with dubious morality, and…a young journalist who gets seduced and sucked into that immoral world.” Jagger is gunning for that mogul role. Jagger has appeared in a few feature films over the years, but mainly in smaller and often uncredited roles. He has, however, had some meatier roles in films such as Freejack, Bent, and The Man From Elysian Fields. And, trivia! Jagger was once set to play a main character in Werner Herzog’s ill-fated Fitzcarraldo. He then started his own production company back in 1995 to make his own projects (wise).


Alternative Top Ten List

This time last month, critics across the web and in print were compiling their mandatory best-of lists. While I often get annoyed when some lists with grander goals are given a degree of resonance they don’t in fact deserve (I’m looking at you, AFI), I do see the fun of the end-of year list ritual and honestly enjoy reading and writing such lists myself. But the thing is, I’m not primarily a critic for FSR, I’m a columnist. Thus, it’s nowhere near mandatory that I see everything released in a given year. I’ve been generously given the privileged position here of seeing what I want to see and writing about what I find interesting to write about week-in and week-out. While I receive occasional screeners for indie flicks and docs, I no longer live in a town that holds press screenings, so any new releases I choose to write about come into fruition because I, like your average cinephile (take note, Kevin Smith), have paid to see a movie that I think deserves my time, words, and money. This long digression is to ultimately say that my critical opinion of a given year at the end of that calendar year doesn’t ultimately mean all that much. My annual Top 5 contributions are based on comparatively few films seen by December 31. It’s typically not until sometime in February that I have anything resembling a top 10 list of my own that I can stand by, having finally seen former limited […]



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published: 01.28.2015
published: 01.28.2015
published: 01.28.2015
published: 01.27.2015

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