independent

Monday 21 April 2014

Reel Life: Declan Cashin

With the 50th anniversary of JFK's assassination coming up in November, Hollywood is going Kennedy-mad in a bid to culturally reflect upon – you know, cash in on – the milestone.

The latest Camelot-themed movie news is that David O Russell – he of Silver Linings Playbook fame – is interested in helming Legacy of Secrecy, based on a factual book on the role the Mob might have played not only in Kennedy's murder, but also that of his brother Bobby as well as Martin Luther King.

There are rumours that Leonardo DiCaprio is close to signing to play the main character of the informant, with Robert De Niro as his FBI handler.

At the same time, JJ Abrams' name has been linked to an adaptation of Stephen King's 11/22/63, an alternate history in which a teacher goes back in time from the present day to stop JFK's murder.

Elsewhere, Cate Blanchett has just inked a contract to play the lead role in Blackbird – written by playwright David Mamet – about a present-day woman who begins to suspect that her late grandfather was involved in the alleged conspiracy to kill and cover up the death of the president.

Stephen Gyllenhaal – director dad of actors Jake and Maggie – is making a movie entitled The Kennedy Detail, which tells the story of JFK's death from the point of view of his Secret Service protectors, while Tom Hanks is producing Parkland, an ensemble drama along the lines of Emilio Estevez's ambitious, flawed Bobby, set in the Dallas hospital where both Kennedy and Lee Harvey Oswald died.

No word yet on whether Oliver Stone is considering a rerelease of his brilliantly bonkers 1991 conspiracy-fest JFK – perhaps in 3D or with 33 per cent added tinfoil-hat wearers.

Q Here's one to make you despair – just what you want at the start of a Bank Holiday weekend. According to a report released last week by the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, only 28.4 per cent of characters who spoke a line of dialogue in the 100 top grossing movies of 2012 were women. Believe it or not, that miserable figure is actually down from 32.8 per cent three years ago.

When they are on-screen (being silent, presumably), 31.6 per cent of women are shown wearing sexually revealing clothing, the highest percentage in the five years the USC have been tracking the trend.

Oh, and get this: 56.6 per cent of teen girl characters in films last year wore sexy clothes, an increase of 20 per cent since 2009.

Rather hilariously, this report comes at a time when Hollywood has been congratulating itself on the number of female-driven/female-friendly blockbusters it has produced in the last couple of years – namely The Hunger Games, Bridesmaids and the Twilight sequels. If the industry thinks it's doing well in this regard, real progress will be very slow indeed.

Q Dublin's Midnight Movie Film Club, known as Hollywood Babylon, is back at the Light House Cinema, and this year's roster of flicks all come from the summer of 1984.

The next screening is Purple Rain on June 15, then Revenge of the Nerds on July 13, Dune on August 17, Indiana Jones and The Temple of Doom on September 14, and a double bill of The Terminator and Streets of Fire on October 19.

For more, see www.lighthousecinema.ie.

Irish Independent

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