When last we reported on Running Scared-director Wayne Kramer’s Pawn Shop Chronicles, the picture had attached Paul Walker to star with Limp Bizkit’s Fred Durst set to direct. That’s old news. What’s current is the casting of Elijah Wood, Matt Dillon, Brendan Fraser and Vincent D’Onofrio in the dark comedy. The plot seems pretty much the same, which involves a local pawn shop in a small Southern town that is a link between a man searching for his kidnapped wife, two white-supremacist meth addicts and a down-on-his-luck Elvis impersonator. Production on the Adam Minarovich screenplay is underway in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Hit the jump for more casting news on Pawn Shop Chronicles.
Jennifer Lynch’s Surveillance marks a long awaited return to the big screen for this definitive, and often surprising, filmmaker. Borrowing a page from the Japanese master Akira Kurosawa, Lynch has crafted a film that’s both a taut thriller and a stunningly detailed story told from the perspectives of three witnesses. In pure Lynch fashion, however, nothing is as it seems – even at the final moment.
Surveillance is the first feature film Lynch has directed in over a decade, coming after her lauded and oft criticized feature film directorial debut, Boxing Helena. It’s a dark movie with a perverse sense of humor and all the characters are just a few bad decisions away from hurting themselves and others, but eventually it all comes down to one question: will telling the truth save your life?
Like an onion, Lynch peels the layers and lets the story find its voice through a talented, unorthodox cast that includes Julia Ormond, Bill Pullman, Pell James, Ryan Simpkins, Cheri Oteri, French Stewart, Kent Harper, and Michael Ironside. The low-budget feature was lensed by DP Peter Wunstorf on location on the plains of Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada.
Jennifer Lynch is a compelling filmmaker of strong convictions who was only 19 when she wrote the screenplay for Boxing Helena. She became a published novelist at age 22 when she wrote The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer, a best-selling Twin Peaks tie-in book which appeared on the New York Times Best-Seller List for 15 weeks. In 1993, at the age of 24, she added the distinction of being the youngest woman in American film history to direct a feature film from her screenplay, Boxing Helena, which was nominated for a Grand Jury prize at Sundance the same year.
After the jump is what she had to tell us about her new film, Surveillance:
A stunning actress whose remarkable skill and talent have graced the screens in some of the most beloved films of all times, Julia Ormond has most recently been seen in two of the most highly anticipated films of 2008: “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” from director David Fincher and “Che” from director Steven Soderbergh. She is currently filming “The Wronged Man” for television and has another film in post-production, “Temple Grandi”n, starring Catherine O’Hara and David Strathairn.
Her latest film, “Surveillance”, is a taut, over the top thriller directed by Jennifer Lynch in the tradition of Akira Kurosawa’s “Rashomon”. Ormond plays Federal Officer Elizabeth Anderson who, along with her partner, Sam Hallaway (Bill Pullman), arrives at a small mid-western police station in the middle of nowhere to investigate a string of vicious murders told from three distinctly different perspectives by the surviving witnesses.
It’s been a hell of a day on the highway. One zealot cop (Kent Harper), a strung out junkie (Pell James) and an eight year old girl (Ryan Simpkins) all sit in testimony to the roadside rampage, but as the Feds begin to expose the fragile little details each witness conceals so carefully with a well practiced lie, they soon discover that uncovering ‘the truth’ about the crime spree can come at a very big cost.
Julia Ormond is a terrific actress and we really appreciated her time. After the jump is what she had to tell us about the role:
Pell James most recently appeared in David Fincher’s Zodiac. Her other credits include The King opposite Gael Garcia Bernal and William Hurt, Broken Flowers opposite Bill Murray directed by Jim Jarmusch, as well as Undiscovered. She next will be seen in Against the Current opposite Joseph Fiennes directed by Peter Callahan and recently completed The Tree of Life with Terrence Malick.
In Jennifer Lynch’s dark, psycho-thriller, Surveillance, James plays a strung out cokehead named Bobbi, one of three witnesses whose Rashomon-style version of reality may hold the key to solving a string of violent murders that plague a lonely stretch of road in the middle of nowhere. When the Federal Officers (Bill Pullman and Julia Ormond) are called in to investigate the mayhem, they slowly expose the fragile little details each witness conceals so carefully and discover the truth they’re looking for comes at an enormous price no one expected.
Pell James turns in a wonderful performance and we really appreciated her time. After the jump is what she had to tell us about her new film:
At today’s press junket for Jennifer Lynch’s new movie “Surveillance”, I was able to ask Pell James some questions about another of her upcoming projects, Terrence Malick’s “The Tree of Life”. While most directors and movie studios are happy to tell you about an upcoming film, anything involving Terrence Malick is always a mystery, until you see the finished project.
According to Wikipedia, the film stars Brad Pitt and Sean Penn and it’s a boy’s journey from the innocence of childhood to his disillusioned adult years as a lost soul in the modern world.
Of course, who really knows what it’s about, as there has been talk of dinosaurs in the film. Here’s what special effects guru Mike Fink told Empire a few months back:
“We’re animating dinosaurs, but it’s not Jurassic Park. The attempt is to treat it as if somehow a camera wound up in the middle of these periods when dinosaurs roamed the earth and creatures first started to emerge from the sea onto the land. The first mammals appearing. We’re doing a number of creatures all seriously scientifically based. I think when it’s finished it’ll be something that’s referred to for years.”
While this sounds like it could get pretty crazy, I’m sure Mr. Malick has a plan. Anyhow, while Pell James didn’t reveal too much, if you’re a fan of Mr. Malick’s, I’m sure you’d like to read what she said. It’s after the jump: