Monday, December 8, 2008

Coming Soon to a Screen Near You

There you go – just a few weeks ago we got acquainted with Frank Trammell (with those atrocious eyeglasses and side burns as wide as Sydney Harbour Bridge) and now we have a few more -- not all from Hollywood, mind you, but they will all be coming to a screen, big or small, near you.

New mom, Amy Pohler has returned to "Saturday Night Live," reprising her role as Hillary Clinton to address her selection as Secretary of State. She touched on leaving her Senate seat: "It has been such an honor to serve you, the citizens of New York. Who am I kidding this is not my home state... Pack up the house in Chappaqua Bill! What's that? We never unpacked? Even better!"

Now, can you actually imagine SNL passing up on a chance to have Ms. Pohler’s Secretary of State eat yak eyeball soup while conducting diplomacy in Dukaaristan? Stay tune for more of Ms. Pohler! I wonder if this means, we’d get to see the real deal visit SNL more often or a stop at Jon Stewart soon, if only to debunk the funnies.

Meanwhile the outgoing Secretary of State also has a film coming up - “the first ever 'musical docu-tragi-comedy' in the history of cinema.” Courting Condi is a movie by British filmmaker Sebastian Doggart that portrays the quest of a love-struck man, actor Devin Ratray, who wants to win the heart of US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

From Courting Condi, Wikipedia

The movie blurb says:

“A spin on the Rapunzel fairy-tale, this unique romantic/political/biographic documentary feature will follow one love-struck soul's hilarious, emotionally engaging quest to woo one of the most mysterious figures in American politics, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Devin Ratray is an American Everyman - a 30 year old New York based website designer, musician and besotted admirer of Condi, who is doing all he can to meet her and penetrate her heart, soul and stretch limo. In contrast, Condoleezza Rice was judged most powerful woman in the world by Forbes magazine. She is currently Secretary of State and resides in Washington DC. She is single. COURTING CONDI will tell the life story of one of our era's most inspiring and controversial figures through an innovative combination of interviews, archive footage, animated stills and music. As Devin travels the country from Birmingham to Palo Alto to D.C., we learn more about this great lady from those who knew her best, and watch as Devin tries to win her heart.”

The Huffington Post is reporting that the Stanford Film Society (SFS) has canceled its Dec. 2 screening of "Courting Condi." Doggart believes that a conservative force within the University or even the federal government shut down the screening (Oh my!). Although the filmmakers speculated that Rice's supporters forced SFS to cancel the screening, SFS officers said they will not screen the film due to its poor quality. (Ouch!)

Courting Condi is scheduled for general international release in January 2009 and for transmission on Channel 4 in February 2009. I think this is going to open whether we like it or not - so might as well get the popcorn ready!

Now, beyond the Seventh Floor filmography, there are a couple more movies coming up:

"Real life hostage situation is now the basis for an untitled action thriller at Warner Bros that details the rescue of fifteen hostages in Colombia last year. The film will focus on Operacion Jaque (Checkmate), a five-year plan to locate and rescue three Americans who had been captured in 2003 by Colombian guerilla group FARC. The covert effort involved numerous governments, diplomats and intelligence services and a vast network of spies, military advisers and soldiers plus high-tech surveillance measures. New York Times Magazine’s foreign correspondent Peter Landesman will script the drama."

“We’re fed so many post-9/11 movies filled with political ambiguity, but this story is unequivocally about good vs. evil, with a happy ending,” Landesman said. The WB film will reportedly rely heavily on McLarty Associates as a resource. The consulting group was involved in the entire operation, having been hired by Northrop Grumman, which employed the three Americans. Read more here.

Movie Web is also reporting that Jessica Postigo is set to write Operation Checkmate, a drama based on the recent rescue of hostages held by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) for Screen Gems. According to Variety, Simon Brand is directing the drama. “The film will tell the story of the rescue from the viewpoint of military rescuers who duped FARC and freed 15 hostages, which included former presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt. Plan is to have the final 22 minutes of the rescue unfold in real time.”

So the screen race is on. Michael Douglas has been rumored to play Colombia’s President Uribe in one of these two films. Not fair! Who’s going to play Bill Brownfield, our Ambassador to Colombia? Or our Consular guys who's been at this since 2003? Brownfield is a career diplomat with three ambassadorships under his belt (including Chile and Venezuela; Hugo the Gladiator had threatened to kick him out of Venezuela twice, but never got beyond yak). Ed Harris would be great for the ambassador's role, except that he seemed to have less hair. British actor Jason Isaacs would, of course, be perfect unless you think James "the Soprano" Gandolfini could do better. Whatever. I admit that this is a nice opportunity to have our diplomats on the silver screen - just don’t make them wear those wide side burns and please - give them some un-Trammell roles.

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