Issue 9: What’s New? (14 September)

No time to keep up-to-date? No problem. Every issue, RSL rounds-up relevant goings-on in the world of fact-based cinema. We start with a sports drama that’s causing headaches for the America’s National Football League…

One to watch!

ConcussionWill Smith stars as forensic neuropathologist, Dr. Bennet Omalu, in upcoming sports drama, Concussion. The doctor faced an uphill battle against the all-powerful NFL after he discover football-related brain trauma, CTE, in a professional US football player.

Written and directed by Peter Landesman, the film is due out on Christmas Day in the US and on 26 January in the UK. It co-stars Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Alec Baldwin and David Morse.

As might be expected, there has been some pre-game controversy surrounding the film, with the NFL moving quickly to head off the potentially damaging PR. You can read more about it here, courtesy of The Hollywood Reporter, which also managed to get its hands on a scene that was cut over defamation concerns.

More trailers…

More US football with My All American. Finn Wittrock plays Freddie Steinmark, a young man who beats the odds (don’t they always?) to play American college football under the watchful gaze of legendary University of Texas coach Darrell Royal (Aaron Eckhart). Due out in the US in November, the film was written and directed by Angelo Pizzo, who’s got a long pedigree in the sports biopic genre, including Rudy and Hoosiers.

We move on to the 1920s art world with The Danish Girl. Already gaining a lot of publicity, the film stars The Theory of Everything Oscar-winner, Eddie Redmayne, as transgender artist Einar Wegener/Lili Elbe. The film focuses on the love story between Wegener/Elbe and Gerda Wegener (Alicia Vikander). Directed by Tom Hooper, the script was adapted from David Ebershoff’s novel by Lucinda Coxon. It’s out in the US in November and in the UK in January, following showings at the Venice and Toronto film festivals.


In the works: Screen Daily reports that a biopic of Tenzing Norgay is in the works. The Indian and Nepali sherpa accompanied Edmund Hillary on the world’s first successful ascent of Everest in May 1953. The film will be helmed by Australian high-altitude director Jennifer Peedom, whose documentary, Sherpa, was recently screen at the Telluride Film Festival.

In the works: Variety reports that Cate Blanchett will take the lead role a film about Lucille Ball. Aaron Sorkin will write the script and the story will reportedly focus on the comedienne’s 20-year marriage to Desi Arnaz.

Quick hit: According to The Hollywood Reporter, Josh Gad will play late film critic Roger Ebert, alongside Will Ferrell as ‘sexploitation’ filmmaker Russ Meyer, in Russ & Roger.

Quick hit: S. Leigh Savidge’s book and documentary, Welcome to Death Row, about a key period in the history of hip hop, is reportedly headed for the big screen.

Quick hit: The CIA’s co-operation with the making of Kathryn Bigelow’s 2012 film Zero Dark Thirty reportedly triggered internal investigations over allegations of gifts and access to classified material. Read more here.

Festival watch…

Venice Film Festival: Running between 2 and 12 September 2015, the Italian festival featured screenings of Everest, Black MassSpotlight and Rabin, The Last Day, a political thriller which tells of the official investigation into the 1995 assassination of Israeli Prime Minister, Yitzhak Rabin.

Teluride Film Festival: Running between 4 and 7 September 2015, the Colorado festival featured screenings of Black Mass, Spotlight, Suffragette and Steve Jobs. Also on show was Abel Gance’s 1927 silent classic, Napoleon.

Toronto Film Festival: Running between 5 and 11 September, the Canadian festival featured a screening of Lance Armstrong drama, The Program. You can find an interesting article on the film here.

On the big screen…

Legend: Much-hyped British crime flick starring Tom Hardy as both Ronnie and Reggie Kray – twin gangsters who terrorized London in the 1960s.

Everest: Dramatizes a true life expedition to Mount Everest that was devastated by a severe snow storm. Take a look at the trailer:

Out to buy & rent…

Pasolini: Abel Ferrara directs and Willem Defoe takes the lead in this film about the influential writer, poet, filmmaker, activist Pier Paolo Pasolini, and the mystery surrounding his death.

A Royal Night Out (2015): Royal shenanigans at the end of WWII.

Dog Day Afternoon (1975): A 40th anniversary edition of the Al Pacino classic. Read our analysis here.

Saint Laurent (2014): Tells of the fashion designer’s life from 1967 to 1976, a period which marked the peak of his career.

Breaker Morant (1980): A dramatisation of a real life incident during the Boer war in which three Australian officers went on trial for the murder of POWs and a German missionary.

Hitler: The Last Ten Days (1973): A dramatisation of Hitler’s final days in an underground bunker, based eye-witness accounts.

Issue 10 of RSL is out on 28 September.