(Feb. 29, 2020): Already a few producers are onto The Headlands, a small, engaging gem of a neo-noir play that just opened in Lincoln Center’s small Clara Tow Theater. Set in and around San Francisco in the present and near past, this atmospheric, slyly written mystery about the cold case death of a family man that a young Asian-American amateur detective pursues is ever so ripe for low-budget/high return film adaptation. The production, skewing young but crossing generations and ethnicities, offers a manageable handful of colorful, beautifully etched characters in an intrigue covering a few Bay area locations. The ever-evolving suspenseful plot also covers important themes of family and class divisions. The New York Times, in its recent review, politely withheld the delicious big twist and overlooked this modest work’s potential — in the right hands — as a big screen/streamer adaptation that could become another nice indie surprise.
SEE-WORTHIES! The Booksellers (March 6 through Greenwich Entertainment) because D.W. Young’s richly sourced, elegant doc is a fascinating, in-depth look into the world of serious bibliophiles and collectors (occasionally borderline hoarders), book/manuscript/autography/enthusiasts, antiquarian vendors, auctioneers and their stalking grounds. Many talking head denizens and luminaries of this relatively unheralded book-obsessed milieu further bring these written word passions alive. Especially amusingly, is bibliophile, noted writer’s block survivor and former Warhol discovery Fran Lebowitz, whose helpful, witty commentary brings this bookish galaxy down to earth. At last, out of print doesn’t necessarily mean out of sight.
DOINGHS! (Just Dinghy ideas and observations caught in the tradewinds and not all dumbh!): While producers could be mulling Sacha Baron Cohen to play late celebrity Anthony Bourdain in a bio-pic that has gotta happen, why not also considering (cue drumroll) Claes Bang, if he can kick his starring-in-entertaining-features-about-the-art-world habit?…
The ongoing explosion of film festivals everywhere and about everything only gets crazier. Just a few late February cases in point: The University of Illinois' 37th annual Insect Fear Film Festival, sponsored by the Entomology Graduate Students Association and the UIUC Department of Entomology, or, the City of Richmond, Virginia’s Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities’ inaugural “60 Second Short Film Fest” (still no rumored InGrown Toe Nails International Film Festival in the works).