Specials: “Apocalypto” Poster. “Pan’s Labyrinth” rave, and more.

With all of the hubbub over a certain controversial film in recent months,
I’d almost forgotten about this…

Nice poster. Dumb slogan.

Salon’s Andrew O’Heihr returns from Cannes and raves and raves about Guillermo Del Toro’s new fantasy film Pan’s Labyrinth.

“Hands down the most exciting and original film I’ve seen here, and the one that had me in tears during its final scenes.”

He also liked A Scanner Darkly.

On one hand, “Scanner Darkly” is a paranoid futuristic thriller, but on the other it’s a pitch-perfect portrait of life in deadbeat slackerdom and Linklater’s funniest, loosest movie in years.

And this is very interesting to me… a new film from the director of Lantana, which has become one of my favorites…

“Jindabyne” — Ray Lawrence, the Australian director whose last film was the 2001 international hit “Lantana,” was back at Cannes (after 21 years) with this tale of four Aussie locals on a fishing trip who find a dead body. As with a similar discovery in “Lantana,” this event sets in motion an unexpected chain of circumstances. The setting here is rural rather than urban, and one could argue that Lawrence has restaged the basic subject matter of his earlier film in new surroundings. Still, it’s a powerful, compelling blend of thriller and character drama that should have long legs and a broad reach.

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  • DanBuck

    I nominate Renee Zellwiger.

    After all if she can find her way around with her eyes squinted shut, an invisible jet really wouldn’t throw her off.

  • Gaffney

    I think Gina as Diana is a brilliant choice.

    The strength and power power that she carries – you could believe her going toe to toe with Superman.

    But more importantly – the inner strength that she projects. Wonder Woman is a pacifist warrior; someone strong enough to kick your butt, and strong enough to choose not to. Requires a depth not found in just any actress.

    As to the race issue…

    First, let us establish the location of Amazon to avoid further geographic confusion. Take out your world globe. Find the point where Africa and Europe meet. Now spin the globe to the other side. Locate New York City. Put your finger on the offices of D.C. Comics in New York.

    Right under your finger (if you look closely) you will see a swarm of comic book writers. Amazon is located in their brains.

    Okay, here is where I am going to offend some people: Wonder Woman is a fantasy character, not an historical character. She isn’t Bruce Lee or Ray Charles.

    Yes, her iconic look is white. But Marston always meant her to represent more than a race or a skin color. Wonder Woman represents an ideal. That is why the races on Themyscira are often very mixed in the comics.

    And if we can find the right actress to carry that ideal…

    Will there be complaints from the fan base – the same ones concerned about hair color? Yep. And these will be the same complaints we heard when scrawny Christopher Reeve was cast to play a role that folks thought should go to a Schwartzenegger.

    But Christopher properly carried the ideal of Superman – and therefore his image and body-type immediately became the icon.

    There hasn’t been a film of Wonder Woman that has made an impression on the public’s conscious since, well, never. No matter what, this movie is going to be a re-introduction of the mythos (ala Batman Begins).

    If the script is good, and Gina does what Gina does best, then ladies and gentlemen, may I introduce our newest icon to America…


  • Anonymous

    How about Shara Worden of My Brightest Diamond & Sufjan Stevens’ band? :D

    See here (this may take a while to load)

  • Peter T Chattaway

    Amazonian may not equal black, but neither does Amazonian equal all-american white girl. If you’re after some kind of racial accuracy . . .

    I’m not a stickler for “racial accuracy”, in the sense that I don’t mind when Chinese actors play Japanese women in Memoirs of a Geisha, or when the British Helen Mirren plays Russians (see 2010: The Year We Make Contact and White Nights), or when Cubans play Italians and vice versa (see Al Pacino in Scarface and Andy Garcia in The Godfather Part III). There’s room for leeway here.

    But I would never cast a black man as Bruce Lee, or an Asian man as Ray Charles.

    And of course, you don’t have to be “all-American” to be “white”. I mean, since we’re talking about a character with connections to Greek mythology here, just look at My Big Fat Greek Wedding! (Then again, Nia Vardalos is actually Canadian, so of course she isn’t “all-American”. ;) )

    . . . wouldn’t you want some kind of latino/native indian blend? Just sayin.

    Eh? Oh, you’re thinking of the Amazon River in South America, not of the Greek mythological Amazonians after whom that region was named.

    This stunt casting can work in theatre . . .

    FWIW, I wouldn’t necessarily call it “stunt” casting in theatre; in theatre, “the play is the thing”, and we are less interested in documentary-like “realism” or “accuracy” than in how a person draws us into an imaginary space through their interpretation of a role that has been interpreted by others before and will be interpreted by others again.

    And FWIW, the same freedom that we enjoy on stage would apply to filmed adaptations of theatrical works, too; this is why it doesn’t bother me at all that Denzel Washington and Keanu Reeves play brothers in Much Ado about Nothing, or that the historically Jewish Jesus, Judas and Mary Magdalene are played by a Caucasian, a black man, and a Hawaiian woman in Jesus Christ Superstar.

  • Chris Durnell

    One can get away with casting supporting characters or minor characters as a different race, but making Wonder Woman black is like casting an Asian as King Arthur. This stunt casting can work in theatre, but not in movies. People already know what Wonder Woman looks like, and this isn’t it. This isn’t a racial thing either. If Wonder Woman appeared blond, people would be shaking their heads too.

    Bringing up mythological Amazons is not going to bring the debate to any kind of resolution. First, the Wonder Woman Amazonians are only loosely based on mythology. Inspired from them, yes, but you will find many things different – the entire idea of Paradise Island in fact. (In the comics, there are Amazonians of every race. That does not make much sense, but it’s within comic book logic, so I have no problems if OTHER Amazonians look like Gina Torres or anyone else.)

    Second, mention all the Libyan Amazons you want, the anicent Greeks mainly referred to the Amazonians being elsewhere. I believe the Libyan connection originated from the writings of the Roman Diodorus Siculus who wrote centuries after the main Greek myths which placed them around the Caucasus mountains – either in northern Asia Minor or the Ukrainian and Russian steppes which would make them Indo-European. Herodotus mentions historical Amazons as being fromt he steppes. None of the Greek myths mention Atlantis. Anything dealing with Atlantis is clearly an invention that came after Plato. So are we now going to argue about whether the Libyan Amazons or Caucasian Amazons take precedence?

    I haven’t seen Rachel Bilson and don’t know if she’d meet my ideal. However, in terms of physicality I’d want someone with the physical build (but not the looks) of Kristen Johnson from 3rd Rock from the Sun, someone obviously physically athletic.

  • aj

    i’m a little confused. rachel bi(l)son is the girl from “The OC”, right? i don’t remember seeing her in “Brick”.

  • T.C. Truffin

    RE: racial considerations–
    Amazonian may not equal black, but neither does Amazonian equal all-american white girl. If you’re after some kind of racial accuracy, wouldn’t you want some kind of latino/native indian blend? Just sayin.

    RE: Charisma Carpenter–
    Loved her in Angel, grew into a serious character who didn’t look entirely silly throwin’ down with the baddies. Haven’t seen her turns on Veroncia Mars and I refuse to sully myself with Charmed. However, GT with one hand tied behind her back and a burlap sack over her head kicks little CC’s tushie from here to next Tuesday.

    I know it seems like Jeffrey is trying to get the entire cast of Firefly back onto the big screen, but, you know, the man’s just right.

    Along those lines, perhaps Summer Glau could be enticed to play one of WW’s Amazon buddies.

  • Thom

    I am to busy getting excited over Whedon taking over the Runaways comic when Brian Vaughan leaves…I am just hoping Bilson is all rumor…

  • Peter T Chattaway

    Some Amazonian areas were in Africa. Libya, for example . . .

    Um, this is the same kind of thinking that led the makers of The Greatest Story Ever Told to cast Sidney Poitier as Simon of Cyrene. (Cyrene was a Greek colony in Libya with a significant Jewish population.) The fact that someone might have lived in Africa does not, in and of itself, make them black.

    Haven’t got a clue what the Moors have to do with any of this.

  • Banshee

    Some Amazonian areas were in Africa. Libya, for example, whose Amazons waged war against Atlantis. So do you really want to tell those Moorish ladies that they aren’t Amazons?

    (I’ll stand back here… where the blood won’t spatter my clothes….)


    There were historical Moorish woman warrior queens. Manly Wade Wellman wrote a novel about one, the Cahena, who led the Moors against the invading Muslims.

    Besides, Mediterranean civilizations were _in the Mediterranean_. Not all that unusual to see sub-Saharan folks.

    Also, we should remember that Diana was, technically, a vivified statue. So if you have artistic differences with her mom, I’ll… stand back here.

  • Peter T Chattaway

    I’m all in favour of colour-blind casting in some cases (e.g. Halle Berry as Catwoman, James Earl Jones as the voice of Mark Hamill’s father), but isn’t Wonder Woman supposed to be Amazonian? I mean, isn’t that the underlying premise of the whole thing?

  • March Hare

    Gina Torres as WW? Brilliant! Whose arm do I have to twist?

  • Gene Branaman

    Yeah, Bilson seems to girly-girl to me. Too fru-fru. Don’t get me wrong . . . WW should be all woman & very feminine but we have to believe she’s got real strength & power. I’m not sure Bilson can show us that.

    Plus, she’s too cute. WW should be physically striking & beautiful but never cute.

    Yeah, Gina would be fine. And maybe cast Nathan Fillian as Steve Rogers?

  • Julie D.

    I second that nomination.

  • Chuck

    You’re right. GT would be terrific.

  • Chris Burgwald

    I still like Charisma Carpenter as WW…