Thursday, May 22, 2008

New Kid in Town

When I was little, and after I got adopted, I remember being fascinated by this new thing called television. Oh, it was not new to households by then of course but to me it was this astonishing new and fascinating device, and I ended up watching it a great deal (makes sense then that I grew up to have work in it lol) and I especially watched many sitcoms. These were classic American comedies-some great like the Honeymooners, I Love Lucy, The Dick Van Dyke show, Andy Griffith and my fave Mary Tyler Moore, but also goofy, hokey stuff, like I Dream of Jeannie, Bewitched, The Flying Nun, F-Troop, Batman (the campiest show ever lol)the Munsters, The Adams Family, The Beverly Hillbillies, Gilligan's Island, and there was one ridiculous show called Green Acres. The basic premise of this show involved a silly obvious yet amusing plot line involving city dwellers who decided on the country life, and the resulting mayhem and goofy stories in their everyday adventures. As ridiculous that was, tales and books and shows involving people in new places new situation and new countries have always appealed to me.

There is word on a new program announced at Cannes, involving Zentropa and possibly Sigma Films involving this same type of thing: people from another country reflecting on the new place where they currently live. The report says that this is "a new pan-European production initiative..."aims to make eight films over a two year period." Indie wire says this is "a new series of feature films made by young directors with a nationality or background from the country in which they live. The initiative, which was detailed this morning in Cannes, is aimed at exploring the outsider's view on a country's culture."

Screen Daily notes the "partners include IDTV in Holland, Slot Machine in France, uj Budapest in HBungary, Ripple World Pictures in Ireland, heimatfilm in Germany, STI Studio in Poland and Sigma Film in Scotland. The rights will be divided between the companies.

A handful of projects are already in development, among then Greg Zglinski’s Ash Driver (Poland), Manyar I. Parwani’s Before We Die (Denmark), Robert Adrian Pejo’s Duke (Hungary), Iván López Núñez’s Evening Land (The Netherlands), a project from Jacqueline Perrin for Ripple World Pictures Ltd. In Ireland and a British project with director to be announced from Sigma."


Zentropa detailed the project's goals as threefold: "To raise awareness and encourage intercultural dialogue within the European union; develop young European talent within the different aspects of the audiovisual industry; and, to explore new ways of multilateral co-productions on a structural basis."

No idea who the director could be, or if they will be making the movie based out of Film City Glasgow but this surely is intriguing. I am uncertain if this is to be a personal based tale on the director's own personal experience or how the piece reflecting on the cultural differences and similarities I suppose would be presented. Now I am sure they are not thinking of stuff that you see in documentaries or on say TV news. I mean, we see those type of stories in weekly news pieces, heck Ive certainly lived in a different state/ country for a short while for work and filed pieces , but I am thinking is this to be a bit more involved.Of course there are a plethora of books and films involving people moving to another country and making. For example several of my favorite books have (disastrously) been turned into such films, including Peter Mayle's A Year in Provence. I do love Under the Tuscan Sun, and have thought many many times I just need to pick up on a whim and move someplace completely different, maybe Italy like that character or France or heh Scotland (how do you suppose the average Scottish person would react to people saying y'all all the time? could they understand me? :P)

Anyway the story of being a new kid in town is not new, but while i am unclear of the storylines involved here, this project shows a great deal of promise, so cant wait to hear more about this.

Bonus Video. While I had been tempted to play the classic Eagles New Kid in Town song (which is what popped immediately into my daft brain when I first read the news this am) I decided its more fun to show the loopy opening to Green Acres! Ah these were the good days :)

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