"Wasp" Director's Von Trier Project Welcome Cannes Surprise

by Anthony Kaufman
April 20, 2006 2:30 AM
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So here we go... The films selected for Cannes's official competition yielded few surprises, but the one title I had no idea was in the running was the first feature from Andrea Arnold, the British director of the Oscar-winning short "Wasp," which stars my favorite young actress Nathalie Press. The new film "Red Road" also features Press (*My Summer of Love"), and according to a recent article in Variety, is part of Lars von Trier's experimental "The Advance Party" group project, "which will see three different promising writer-directors make three different features all using the same actors playing the same characters." The other budding auteurs in the series are Dane Mikkel Norgaard ("The Old Firm") and Scot Morag McKinnon ("Worms").

Like Dogma 95, there are strict rules behind the project: the films must be shot digitally, on location, in six weeks in Glasgow, and are obliged to use nine stock characters who have been devised by Danish scribes Lone Scherfig and Anders Thomas Jensen.

"Red Road" producer Carrie Comerford told Variety: "If grubby-looking Jane -- not that there is a Jane -- is always biting her nails, she must carry that character trait. In one movie she may take a cameo role, in another, the lead."

Developed at the Sundance Screenwriters Lab, "Red Road" reportedly focuses on the story of a woman obsessed with the loss of her family and uses her job as a closed-circuit television surveillance operator to confront the man responsible for their death.

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