Author Topic: James Gray  (Read 10528 times)

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max from fearless

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Re: James Gray
« Reply #45 on: October 06, 2013, 01:27:17 PM »
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Thanks for that Wilder!

Here's a really good interview with Gray from Mubi Notebook:

http://mubi.com/notebook/posts/love-sincerity-a-conversation-with-james-gray

wilder

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Re: James Gray
« Reply #46 on: October 09, 2013, 09:11:26 PM »
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James Gray May Direct Jeremy Renner's Steve McQueen Biopic; Calls 'Lost City Of Z' Epic & Hallucinogenic
via The Playlist

Filmmaker James Gray has made only five films in almost 20 years. Part of that is a deliberate pace and part of it is just the film business. He had a six-year gap between his striking debut “Little Odessa” and “The Yards” and the Miramax/Harvey Weinstein experience on the latter (the ending was changed for theatrical release) led to another seven-year gap. But coming off his latest film, “The Immigrant” – starring the rather impressive cast of Marion Cotillard, Joaquin Phoenix and Jeremy Renner – Gray has numerous options at his finger tips. In fact, at the moment he has a kind of pile-up of projects that are ready to go script-wise, but need the funding green light.

And there are several options. On top of the thriller "The Gray Man" which is still gestating, the two that look the most promising that are both ready to go are “The Lost City Of Z” which now has Benedict Cumberbatch attached and a sci-fi project revealed today to be titled, “To The Stars.” Penned by Gray and Ethan Goss – who has written extensively for the TV series “Fringe” – we received lots of details about “To The Stars” last time we spoke to the filmmaker. “It’s a marathon, not a sprint and I have a lot of projects on the go because it seems like the films have a life on to their own,” Gray said, alluding to the commercial failure of most of his earlier films, but their enduring and long-lasting shelf life. “That’s what saves me,” he said, characteristically self-deprecating. “Actors seem to like the work and people at the studios seem to remember the films more fondly then they were first initially reviewed.”

While Gray told Omelete this week that his sci-fi project may shoot in mid-2014, in our interview he suggested it could be either that or “The Lost City Of Z.” In fact, he said he’ll know this November come the American Film Market if Benedict Cumberbatch’s name will be enough to earn a green light or if he’ll have to get another actor on board. Gray called the project “enormous” citing several million dollars for the marine budget alone (it’s set inside the Amazon jungle and travels down that enormous river). “I hope it’s not my 'Fitzcarraldo,' ” Gray said, referencing Werner Herzog’s own Amazon-jungle epic. As for “The Lost City of Z” he describes it as David Lean but with a “slightly more hallucinogenic feel. Because [the protagonist] went to the jungle and sorta went mad.”

“The film will be a combination of different inspirations,” he said. “When we go into the jungle the movie will hopefully find its own language, but it is an epic movie and it’s very much in the early ‘60s, 65mm epic movie style, but I have a feeling it will get a little bit more hallucinatory then that. I have huge hopes and dreams for it.”

How does that become as personal and emotional as all Gray's films are? “That’s actually the easiest part of adapting this book – it either strikes you or doesn’t,” he said, describing the lead as an outsider. “This is a character that did everything he could to fit in and in the end he didn’t, but certainly [he] discovered something amazing. And that core struggle of his moves me very much and attracts me.”

Gray also wrote a biopic-like film about the legendary actor Steve McQueen for Jeremy Renner who was an admirer of Gray’s before he worked with him on “The Immigrant.” The two of them met after “The Hurt Locker” and Renner, who is also a producer on the movie, used his newfound Oscar-nominated juice to tap the filmmaker to pen the script. And it turns out Gray may end up directing that movie as well. “He was very good to me and a great supporter of my work,” Gray said of meeting Renner. “He still wants me to do that [Steven McQueen film], I may wind up directing that at some point.”

Meanwhile, the Boston crime drama "White Devil" is actually the one script Gray needs to complete (and he’ll be visiting the main character in prison soon), but he’s into the movie’s themes, which he calls somewhat similar to “The Lost City Of Z” – at least on the surface. It’s a Boston-based crime-drama about a Caucasian kid who is adopted into a Chinese family and ends up rising through the ranks of Boston's Asian crime syndicate. "Within a year he was the highest ranking white guy in the Asian mafia,” he said. “He basically appropriated the culture for his own. It’s a similar idea. A guy rejected by his own who did everything he could to fit in elsewhere even though it was illegitimate.”

“The Immigrant” will be released in the spring of 2014 by RadiusTWC.


Drenk

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Re: James Gray
« Reply #47 on: November 06, 2013, 04:37:57 PM »
+1
Robert Pattinson will play in The Lost City of Z!

And I'll see James Gray tomorrow for a masterclass. Unfortunately, not The Immigrant yet.
I'm so many people.

wilder

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Re: James Gray
« Reply #48 on: March 29, 2014, 02:50:38 PM »
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Making of Little Odessa


wilder

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Re: James Gray
« Reply #49 on: May 06, 2014, 02:59:48 PM »
+1
James Gray Says ‘Lost City Of Z’ Will Shoot Next; Talks His Sci-Fi Project, Dances With Brad Pitt & More
via The Playlist

Over the course of twenty years, filmmaker James Gray has only made five movies. For comparison, if you subtract Terrence Malick’s twenty-year absence from cinema, you roughly get six of his movies in a span of about twenty-one years. However, Gray didn’t go AWOL in France for two decades; he just obsessed over the same project for years and years.

The span between debut "Little Odessa" (1994) and his sophomore film "The Yards" (2000) was six years, and another seven years passed until "We Own The Night" (2007). “It’s because I’m an insane person,” Gray said in a recent interview with The Playlist. “For all my weaknesses, I never give up on getting a movie made.” Early versions of “The Yards” had Robert De Niro and Sean Penn attached (Mark Wahlberg, James Caan and Joaquin Phoenix would eventually star) and Brad Pitt danced around the lead in “We Own The Night” for several years too.

“ ‘We Own The Night’ fell through about forty different times, and [almost] got shelved. That’s why it took me six years to make,” Gray explained. In fact, Pitt’s flirtation with James Gray’s films is almost perverse. He was attached to three projects over the years including the upcoming “The Lost City Of Z” and “The Gray Man.”

“Brad contemplated doing [‘We Own The Night’] for a while,” Gray said. “I've long sort of danced around things that he was going to do, and he was dancing around things that I was going to do but it's never come to pass for one reason or another. Then yeah, when he decided not to do [‘We Own The Night’] and it sort of went on and was about to shelved at one point. But I was very pleased to have made it the way that I finally did.”

Pitt recently detached himself from the assassin film “The Gray Man” and the filmmaker said the movie has been put to bed for good, or as he likes to say “put on mothballs. Yeah, that one’s not going to happen.”

What is going to happen and will be next following Gray’s upcoming period drama, “The Immigrant” starring Marion Cotillard, Joaquin Phoenix and Jeremy Renner, is his long-gestating adaptation of the book “The Lost City of Z” (ironically, a project that Brad Pitt’s Plan B brought to him several years ago).

“’The Lost City of Z’ looks like it will happen,” Gray said with his casual cautiousness. “That's got Benedict Cumberbatch [in the lead] who's perfectly cast. I've raised the money for that, and I may go do that in January.” (Though last night at BAMcinematek, during a Q&A which yours truly moderated, Gray said September). Co-starring Robert Pattinson, who Gray confirmed is still attached and recently also said the film would likely shoot in Jan, “The Lost City Of Z” is set in 1925 and centers on a legendary British explorer who ventured into the Amazon jungle in search of a fabled civilization and never again returned.

Gray said the shooting locations will likely be the U.K., and for the jungle sequences, Colombia. What kind of movie should we expect? Last we spoke Gray teased the movie as “epic and hallucinogenic.”

“People have asked me about ‘Apocalypse Now’ and those kinds of movies,” he admitted about reference points for the movie. “Of course those are all great and they’re a huge inspiration and so is [David] Lean. But I’m really trying, the older I get to forget the kind of approach which I've had. On the last two movies I've watched far fewer movies beforehand and I'm trying to come at the pieces as organically as I can and not think of other movies. Now of course unconsciously that shit's always going to come out, I'm always going to rip off something.”

Gray also has a sci-fi project in the works, but it’s not quite as ready as some have suggested. Using the working title of “Ad Astra” (Latin for “To The Stars”), which he insists will change, Gray explained that he’s only done one draft, though he is getting closer to a state of completion. “Ad Astra” was co-storied with Ethan Gross, a writer on J. J. Abrams’ “Fringe” who also co-conceived the foundation of the first screenplay Gray ever wrote: “Mecca," a movie set during the '70s disco boom and loosely based on Casablanca Records president Neil Bogart and his relationship with making a star out of Donna Summers in the U.S.

“It’s the first thing I ever wrote; I was 21 years old,” Gray said with a kind of horror that someone had actually remembered its existence. “Universal optioned it actually, way back in 1991, for Rob Wise to direct, the guy who did ‘Amongst Friends.’ They couldn’t get it made there and ultimately, it just got put on mothballs.” Don’t expect that one to ever come back. “I haven’t read it in twenty years,” he said. “I’m sure it’s frightening.”

Gray had also worked on a film about legendary jazz legend Miles Davis at one point. “I had been very interested in it, but it’s such a complicated undertaking, and the truth of the matter is that I felt uncomfortable being a white Jewish guy making a movie about a person who had to deal with the brutal effects of bigotry,” he told Film Comment recently. “I also thought the script was never quite there. In a way I couldn’t solve it, because in one way or another all good biopics are love stories and I couldn’t find the love there.” Before I could barely ask, he reassured me that one would never happen either.

But projects are in the works (including “White Devil” and a Steve McQueen biopic), so fingers crossed that we don't have to wait too long for more from Gray. Much more from this interview and “The Immigrant” closer to its release on May 16th.

jenkins

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Re: James Gray
« Reply #50 on: May 06, 2014, 03:18:10 PM »
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this is a funny thing to say: somehow the immigrants has cemented gray and ok that's fine, we all agree he deserves it, so i just want to say i'm fucking bored by the routine of being impressed with yourself for how much you like the immigrants and i'm not as proud of you as you're proud of you for thinking gray has always been great

i said that to random people and based on conversations i regularly hear
"I must whisper it to you—not because Im ashamed but because it is so Dear to me that I must keep it close to me by whispering—"

wilder

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Re: James Gray
« Reply #51 on: May 06, 2014, 03:43:18 PM »
+2
Strange comment, dude. Carry on.

jenkins

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Re: James Gray
« Reply #52 on: May 06, 2014, 03:58:16 PM »
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the comment or the setting? sorry about the setting. the comment like i said it's to random people, not to you, it's to this bizarre conversational tone the movie's created in the movie community. we're talking about the guy who directed two lovers, we own the night, the yards, and little odessa. those movies are good. they are. so what's the surprise here?
"I must whisper it to you—not because Im ashamed but because it is so Dear to me that I must keep it close to me by whispering—"

wilder

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Re: James Gray
« Reply #53 on: May 06, 2014, 04:06:07 PM »
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Alright. Misinterpreted you.

jenkins

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Re: James Gray
« Reply #54 on: May 06, 2014, 04:27:25 PM »
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it's good we're having this conversation because i don't want to dissuade anyone from being pumped about this movie. the immigrants is something to celebrate, agreed

me, i saw we own the night and michael clayton on the same day, because they came out the same day, and to me we own the night was the clear winner. my friends and i continue to talk about its rainy chase scene. that right there says something. then two lovers bored into the hearts of movie fans. then videos of his interviews started appearing more and more. then there's a book about him. then, the immigrants. isn't that how these things happen?

for me it's like if lucrecia martel surprised everyone. something like that. something the cards have been saying. and i knew it was a funny thing to say so i started by saying it was a funny thing to say. k
"I must whisper it to you—not because Im ashamed but because it is so Dear to me that I must keep it close to me by whispering—"

wilder

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Re: James Gray
« Reply #55 on: May 06, 2014, 04:29:22 PM »
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k

k

k.

jenkins

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Re: James Gray
« Reply #56 on: May 06, 2014, 04:59:42 PM »
+1
i like what you did there

enjoyed chatting with you reelist and mel today. fyi. there's not really a place for me to say that and i wanted to say that
"I must whisper it to you—not because Im ashamed but because it is so Dear to me that I must keep it close to me by whispering—"

wilder

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Re: James Gray
« Reply #57 on: May 06, 2014, 05:07:17 PM »
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 :yabbse-thumbup:

Pas

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Re: James Gray
« Reply #58 on: May 29, 2014, 07:06:34 PM »
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Well I knew it first since I started the thread. Case closed.

Punch

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Re: James Gray
« Reply #59 on: June 11, 2014, 05:29:34 PM »
+1
does anyone want to see the interview on The Lost City of Z from his book?
"oh you haven’t truly watched a film if you didn’t watch it on the big screen" mumbles the bourgeois dipshit

 

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