THERE’S SOMETHING OLD WORLD AND ARISTOCRATIC ABOUT DANNY Hitlist THE BEST FILM & DVD RELEASES*
✽✽ The Headless Woman Argentinean filmmaker Lucrecia Martel’s gripping and sparse psychological road chiller. See review, opposite. Filmhouse, Edinburgh from Fri 19 Mar. ✽✽ Lourdes Curiously compelling French pilgrimage fable. See review, opposite. GFT, Glasgow; Filmhouse, Edinburgh from Fri 26 Mar. ✽✽ Kick-Ass Superior superhero flick. See feature, page 22 and review, page 44. General release from Wed 31 Mar. ✽✽ The Kreutzer Sonata See feature, left and review, page 44. Filmhouse, Edinburgh from Fri 26 Mar. ✽✽ Trucker One woman, one road, one epiphany. See review, page 44. GFT, Glasgow from Sun 21-Wed 24 Mar. ✽✽ The Queen of Spades Atmospheric 1948 melodrama on new digital print. Cameo, Edinburgh from Fri 19 Mar (matinees only). ✽✽ The Father of My Children Never be a film producer. Compelling drama based on a true story. Cameo, Edinburgh from Fri 26 Mar (matinees only). ✽✽ House DVD reissue of nutty 1977 Japanese ghost story. See Horror DVD round-up, page 55. Out now (Eureka). ✽✽ The House of the Devil Evocative satanic horror on DVD. See Horror DVD round-up, page 55. Out Mon 29 Mar (Momentum). ✽✽ Sous le Soleil de Satan Bizarre but memorable 1987 Palme D’Or winner starring Gerard Depardieu finally emerges on DVD. See review, page 55. Out Mon 22 Mar (Eureka) ✽✽ Johnny Got His Gun Blacklisted writer Dalton Trumbo’s celebrated anti-war film re-emerges on DVD. See review, page 55. Out Mon 22 Mar (Arrow).
London-born, Los Angeles-resident filmmaker Bernard Rose talks to Miles Fielder about Russian authors, classical music and drug dealing
B ernard Rose’s latest film The Kreutzer Sonata combines all of his aesthetic interests – literature, classical music, erotica and horror. It’s an adaptation of Russian writer Leo Tolstoy’s novella that uses the titular piano/violin duet by Beethoven as the catalyst of a jealous husband’s descent into madness. Updated to contemporary LA, Rose’s film has wealthy Edgar Hudson (played by Danny Huston) snaring himself a trophy bride, beautiful classical pianist Abby (Law and Order’s Elisabeth Röhm), only to fall prey to increasingly tortuous suspicion of her infidelity.
The film is the second of a planned trilogy of low- budget, modern-day-set Tolstoy adaptations – the first was Ivansxtc, which launched Huston’s acting career – and it’s also the second film in which Rose (pictured) has used Beethoven’s music following his composer biopic Immortal Beloved. Meanwhile, eroticism and horror have been running themes throughout Rose’s career, dating back to his debut, the 1988 British chiller Paperhouse, and his subsequent 1992 adaptation of horror writer Clive Barker’s typically erotic short story, Candyman.
‘Tolstoy was able to document his state of mind in an almost horrifically honest way,’ Rose says, ‘and he was working in a golden age of the novel before Freud. I think that’s why his books transcend the culture in which they were written. So, he’s easy to adapt to a modern context, because the things people go through haven’t changed. ‘I did make a period version of Anna Karenina,’ Rose continues, ‘shot in the palaces of St Petersburg.
42 THE LIST 18 Mar–1 Apr 2010
I think Beverly Hills today is a very good parallel to St Petersburg or Moscow of the late-19th century, the wealth, the underclass and so on. Unless the story is about a specific historical event, there’s no need to set it in the past. ‘And with The Kreutzer Sonata,’ Rose says, ‘one of the things I could do, which the novel couldn’t, was include the music, and it’s an incredible piece of music. So I was able to use the Beethoven with the Tolstoy.’
The film is Rose and Huston’s third Tolstoy collaboration – the youngest son of the Hollywood dynasty had a role in Anna Karenina. ‘Danny’s an old friend,’ Rose says. ‘I couldn’t make a film this way, low budget, small crew, short schedule, with an actor who wasn’t. And he’s just right for these Tolstoyan roles. There’s something old world and aristocratic about Danny. When I cast him as the Hollywood agent in Ivansxtc, he was working as a director. But I thought he was perfect, because he seemed like a movie star, and I thought he should be one.’
Rose’s next film, an adaptation of former drug smuggler Howard Marks’ autobiography Mr Nice, is out later this year. Rose hopes his and Huston’s third and final Tolstoy adaptation, Boxing Day, will also be completed this year, the author’s centenary. ‘It’s going to be based on the story Master and Man,’ Rose says, ‘which is about two men, a wealthy man and his driver, who get lost in the snow.’ Sounds like another horror movie.
The Kreutzer Sonata, Filmhouse, Edinburgh and selected release from Fri 26 Mar.