Speaking of Britney Spears, Us Weekly reported a couple weeks back that she has been offered the part of the Virgin Mary in Sweet Baby Jesus, “a satirical retelling of the nativity story” that is being produced by Frenchman Philippe Rebboah:
The character Mary is a pregnant 19-year-old unsure of her baby’s paternity who goes into labor on Christmas Eve in Bethlehem, Maryland, as rumors swirl that the birth is Jesus Christ’s second coming.
A true curio for Vincent Gallo’s hardcore fan club, vet musicvid director Erick Ifergan’s “Johnny 316″ takes Oscar Wilde’s “Salome” and transfers it to Hollywood Boulevard. This “Sally” never dances, but she does meander the boulevard in a movie that similarly wanders and never finds a groove, tone or point of view. The rather inspired central idea of Gallo as a modern-day John the Baptist goes undeveloped, with a ton of pretense in its wake. Well-received in Locarno, pic will lure fests with its indie name cast and may score with buyers at Euro art labels.
Lensed in 1998 (while Gallo was struggling to get completion funds for his first film, “Buffalo 66″), pic was then reworked with added shooting and finally finished in 2006 (with a corresponding copyright date). Gallo’s co-star Nina Brosh, who plays Sally, was one of the world’s hottest supermodels at the time of shooting, and seemed prime for a film career. Nine years later, Brosh has retired from modeling and showbiz for a quiet family life in her native Israel, leaving behind “Johnny 316″ as her only film credit. . . .
Roughly following some beats of Wilde’s bizarre drama, the script traces Sally’s initial fascination with the self-proclaimed holy man, her erotic attraction and his rejection, followed by her final act of vengeance. The vast difference with Wilde’s version (or with any other, even the compressed version in such films as Nicholas Ray’s “King of Kings“), is that this Salome’s reaction is so dramatically delayed that it seems to come out of nowhere.
As a work capturing the atmosphere of life on Hollywood Boulevard, “Johnny 316″ offers up a genuine time capsule of the street’s seedy, late-’90s condition before recent renovations. A slightly younger Gallo convincingly summons a spiritual and peaceful guy (in an ice cream suit), in what amounts to a solo performance. By contrast, Brosh looks out of her element. . . .
For what it’s worth, the IMDB currently has the film listed under its original, almost decade-old title Hollywood Salome (1998).
And hey, whatever became of Al Pacino’s Salomaybe?