For your hump day:
- Back in September of 2006, Lou Ye was banned from making films in China for 5 years because of Summer Palace, a film that mixed the Tiananmen Square massacre with a sexually explicit love story. Without China's permission, he'd screened the movie at Cannes and had scored himself another filmmaking ban (he'd previously had one for Suzhou River). Now the film is getting new life through Palm Pictures, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The company has picked up the North American theatrical and DVD rights, planning to release the film in late January. According to Palm, Ye can still do publicity for the film, and I guess his lust isn't getting stopped by caution.
- Nic Balthazar's Ben X has been riding the waves of success. It scored the top prize at Montreal's film fest this year, and is also Belgium's candidate for the foreign-language Oscar. To top that off, Variety reports that the director is planning to make an English-language remake of the film, which he will adapt into an American setting. The plan is to get a distributor and private investors to bring together the picture, with a budget between $8 and $12 million. X is about a mildly autistic teen who is withdrawn in real life and a warrior in online fantasy games, and I imagine it could be a pretty popular movie if they right people become involved.
- Finally, there's a new, Spanish social thriller on the way called Rabia, according to Variety. To be headed by Ecuadorian director Sebastian Cordero, the film will focus on "an immigrant couple who fall in love in a hostile mileu. Jose Maria, a construction worker, kills his foreman, and hides for a long time at the mansion where his girlfriend, Rosa, serves as a maid." While this may just sound like your ordinary thriller, there's a few things going for it. Actors Gustavo Sánchez Parra (Amores perros) and Leonor Watling (Paris, je t'aime) are attached, and the film comes from a book by Sergio Bizzio, who wrote the story on which the great XXY was based.