Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Ridley Scott Says 'Exodus' Would Never Get Financed Starring "Mohammad So-and-So From Such-And-Such” Ridley Scott Says 'Exodus' Would Never Get Financed Starring "Mohammad So-and-So From Such-And-Such” Natalie Portman Logs On To Steve Jobs Biopic With Michael Fassbender Natalie Portman Logs On To Steve Jobs Biopic With Michael Fassbender James Cameron Says 'Avatar' Sequels Will Make You "Sh*t Yourself With Your Mouth Wide Open” James Cameron Says 'Avatar' Sequels Will Make You "Sh*t Yourself With Your Mouth Wide Open” Welcome Back To The Park: The First Trailer For 'Jurassic World' Is Here Welcome Back To The Park: The First Trailer For 'Jurassic World' Is Here Watch: 2-Hour 'Deleted Magic' Explores Deleted Scenes & Alternate Footage From The Original 'Star Wars' Trilogy Watch: 2-Hour 'Deleted Magic' Explores Deleted Scenes & Alternate Footage From The Original 'Star Wars' Trilogy New Character And Plot Details Emerge For 'True Detective' Season 2 As More Cast Members Confirmed New Character And Plot Details Emerge For 'True Detective' Season 2 As More Cast Members Confirmed James Gunn Says Shared Universe Model Is "Flawed," Plus Listen To "Awesome Mixtape Volume Zero" For 'Guardians' James Gunn Says Shared Universe Model Is "Flawed," Plus Listen To "Awesome Mixtape Volume Zero" For 'Guardians' 'Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens' Trailer Hits Theaters This Friday 'Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens' Trailer Hits Theaters This Friday Christian Bale Admits He Was Initially "Jealous" When Ben Affleck Was Cast As Batman Christian Bale Admits He Was Initially "Jealous" When Ben Affleck Was Cast As Batman Watch: First Trailer For Thomas Vinterberg's 'Far From The Madding Crowd' Starring Carey Mulligan Watch: First Trailer For Thomas Vinterberg's 'Far From The Madding Crowd' Starring Carey Mulligan Watch: Zac Efron Talks About His Masturbation Techniques In 'The Interview' Segment With James Franco Watch: Zac Efron Talks About His Masturbation Techniques In 'The Interview' Segment With James Franco Watch: Footage From "Sick," Unreleased Marilyn Manson Video, Directed By Eli Roth & Featuring Lana Del Rey Watch: Footage From "Sick," Unreleased Marilyn Manson Video, Directed By Eli Roth & Featuring Lana Del Rey Watch: 3 Graphic, Very NSFW Clips From Lars von Trier's 'Nymphomaniac Vol II — Director's Cut' Watch: 3 Graphic, Very NSFW Clips From Lars von Trier's 'Nymphomaniac Vol II — Director's Cut' The Best Documentaries Of 2014 So Far The Best Documentaries Of 2014 So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The Best Films Of 2014 So Far... The Best Films Of 2014 So Far... SXSW Review: Spierig Brothers 'Predestination'  Starring Ethan Hawke SXSW Review: Spierig Brothers 'Predestination' Starring Ethan Hawke From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki The 10 Best & Worst Movie Sex Scenes The 10 Best & Worst Movie Sex Scenes All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More

First Images Of Joaquin Phoenix, Jeremy Renner & Marion Cotillard In James Gray's 'Low Life'

Photo of Kevin Jagernauth By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist April 25, 2012 at 8:24AM

The French adore James Gray. And we don't blame them one bit. With only four films to his name, he has already inspired a book dedicated his works, published by the France based Syecdoche Books (limited to 1000 copies, but it's bilingual and features interviews with Gray and the various actors he's worked with over the years). Thus, we're not entirely surprised that the first look for his upcoming "Low Life" would arrive not on a website, or in an American trade publication, but instead courtesy of Liberation, who also have the first profile on the film.
8
Jeremy Renner Marion Cotillard Low Life

The French adore James Gray. And we don't blame them one bit. With only four films to his name, he has already inspired a book dedicated his works, published by the France-based Synecdoche Books (limited to 1000 copies, but it's bilingual and features interviews with Gray and the various actors he's worked with over the years). So we're not entirely surprised that the first look for his upcoming "Low Life" (a working title) arrives not on a website, or in an American trade publication, but instead courtesy of French language newspaper Liberation, who also have the first profile of the film (and thanks to Jerome for the scans).

Starring Joaquin Phoenix, Jeremy Renner and Marion Cotillard, the project marks the first period piece for the director, but it's another New York City tale, chronicling the journey of a Polish immigrant (Cotillard) who becomes caught between a cabaret owner/pimp (Phoenix) and a magician who wants to save her (Renner). Richard Brody at The New Yorker managed to parse the paywalled article, and once again, the deeply thoughtful and intelligent Gray is touching upon a variety of fascinating influences both aesthetically and thematically for the film.

Cinematographer Darius Khondji notes that the photographs by the Italian architect Carlo Mollino along with the tenor of Robert Bresson’s “Diary of a Country Priest" are serving as the template for “the perfect texture for filming the grain of the skin, and the kind of lighting which would give the ensemble a sort of religious aspect.” Paintings by Everett Shinn and George Bellows are also reference points for the look of the film. But while his previous efforts are indebted to Italian neo-realist films, the author of the Liberation article notes that this time around, Gray is visually attempting "to distance himself from the formal realism of his previous films in order to seek out the element of myth."

When we spoke with Gray last month, he indicated that his own family history played a part in shaping the story and it's something he elaborates on here. His great-grandfather ran a bar during the 1920s, when the film is set, with Gray saying, “The bar was supposedly frequented by a whole bunch of gangsters, bohemians, and eccentrics, and my great-aunt often spoke to me about a certain Max Hochsten, who was the local pimp.”

All told, this is easily one of our most anticipated films of the year. Gray himself told us just before he started editing, "I think it's going to be my best work. What I shot was not just my best work, but the actors doing their best and I'm very excited about it for that reason." He's currently in the midst of a 15-week editing schedule, and a Venice or TIFF premiere is looking likely. Until then, check out these images of what he's got brewing.

Low Life Crowd
James Gray Low Life
Joaquin Phoenix Marion Cotillard Low Life vertical
Low Life Quad vertical
Jeremy Renner, James Gray, The set of the Nightingale

This article is related to: James Gray, Joaquin Phoenix, Jeremy Renner, Marion Cotillard, The Immigrant


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates