Twilight Star Rocks as Joan Jett
At this moment in her career, young Kristen Stewart—now known permanently as vampire-loving Bella in Twilight—probably has the sudden clout to do whatever she wanted. Her choice? Play Joan Jett, of course. Wouldn’t you? The talented Stewart will co-star as one-quarter of the original ‘70s bad-girl group, The Runaways (the band that also produced hair-metal star Lita Ford), in a biopic about the group’s rise and fall. The band turned the tables on music industry expectations by not conforming to manufactured girl-group norms, instead becoming role models for future women in rock with hits like “Cherry Bomb.” Other casting news isn’t available at the moment, but Jett herself will act as executive producer rather than get in front of the camera and unnecessarily remind anyone of her late ‘80s Michael J. Fox vehicle, Light of Day.
Lily Tomlin and Tina Fey Lend Voices to Miyazaki
It’s understandable if you still don’t recognize the name Hayao Miyazaki, but that doesn’t make it okay. The genius of animated film is known as the “Japanese Walt Disney” for a reason, with classics like My Neighbor Totoro and Spirited Away on his resume. Yet, in the United States, his movies are still relatively unknown. Hoping to change that, his latest film, Ponyo on the Cliff, has assembled an English voice cast for American release. Lily Tomlin joins Matt Damon, Tina Fey, Cate Blanchett, Liam Neeson, Betty White, and Cloris Leachman to bring the movie—about a 5-year-old boy and his friendship with a goldfish princess who wants to become human—to a wider audience. Look for this one to wash ashore sometime in 2009.
Maybe Not Quite the Taliban, But Close Enough
It’s good to have some perspective. Yes, the latest setbacks to the cause of the gay rights in the United States have been tough and galvanizing for many, resulting in a new wave of American activism. But for many lesbians and gay men throughout the rest of the developing world, just being out of the closet can mean imprisonment, death, or—if you’re Fadi Hindash, director of the documentary film Not Quite the Taliban—always having to look over your shoulder once your movie gets worldwide distribution. A look at the hidden nature of homosexuality in the Arab world, Hindash’s film, he says, will “[explode] some of our own myths from the inside.” It’ll make the film-festival rounds soon, as a European distribution deal has already been made. Watch for it.
Fans of old movies who haven’t seen 1958’s deliciously melodramatic Bonjour Tristesse with Jean Seberg, David Niven, and Deborah Kerr owe themselves that one. Based on the internationally successful, sensational novel by then-teenage French author Franoise Sagan, it tells the story of a jaded young girl’s romantic manipulations, which end tragically. Now Sagan’s own difficult life comes to the screen in Sagan, starring La Vie en Rose co-star Sylvie Testud. One of modern France’s best-known authors, the bisexual Sagan was friends with Truman Capote and battled various addictions before dying at age 69 in 2004. Already screening overseas, Sagan should see a stateside release soon, though no date has been set.
Romeo San Vicente’s own travels in France have been tragic only for the heartbroken men left in his amorous wake. He can be reached care of this publication or at [email protected]