Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Jurassic Eden

The Hollywood Reporter sez: Larry Charles' next film is being sold at Berlin, where it has picked up the comparative label "Boratmeets Fahrenheit 911". While the project is being kept secret, what little info can be scrounged up plays to the 911 angle much more than the Borat one, where the only strong connection is the apparently comedic tone and Charles as director.

So, what's the film about? Apparently, it is a lampooning of various religions from around the world, with Christianity, Judaism and Islam mentioned in the Reporter piece. The first distributor to bite was a Middle Eastern one, which certainly raises a couple of interesting questions.

A top-secret memo from Charles was shown to potential buyers at the festival, though none were allowed to copy it or remove it. What has been recalled and passed on doesn't add up to a lot, but we do know at least that the film has already been shooting - some scenes filmed in a Muslim gay bar in London, others in Vatican city (somehow!).

Charles' notes on the memo, when excerpted at least, don't seem as probing or intelligent as one might hope:

"Is religion an obsessive compulsive disorder?" he asks, and also notes that the Genesis story sounds more something a high concept Hollywood film, with Eve being created from Adam's rib. Well... sure it does. Stories, no matter how new or old, tned to have a lot in common. Mary Shelley's Frankenstein sounds like a high concept Hollywood film too. Gilgamesh. Homer's Odyssey. And, you know what, phrased the right way, they could all be slipped into the bible nicely too.

I'm expecting this film to disappoint those looking for something as smart, incisive or sophisticated as Borat but to please a number of those already on side simply looking to vent. I hope the finished project proves me wrong.

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