General News

UNSPOOLED: 'Blair Witch' Cursed?

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Mar 19, 2001 | 11:50am EST

Wanna hear something scary? The shoot date for the "Blair Witch Project" sequel has been pushed back.

"The Blair Witch Project" All right, maybe the real scary news is that Artisan Entertainment is still forging ahead with a follow-up to last year's dog-and-pony show known as the "Blair Witch" box-office behemoth.

In any case, the deal is shooting was supposed to start this week — on Wednesday, to be precise (at least according to the casting breakdown sheet leaked to the media last month). Artisan mucky-mucks say the dates mentioned in the said memo were "contingent on casting" (and the availability of rocks and twigs, no doubt). The bottom line: Production won't get under way for at least another three weeks.

Have no fear, though -- no one's even talking about pushing back the release date for "Blair Witch 2." As always, the as-yet-unmade film is slated for a Halloween Y2K opening, the better to dupe, er, serve a nation of moviegoers.

"EDELWEISS" WAS A FLOWER, TOO: Maybe we ought to let them Germans vote for the Oscars.

"Magnolia" -- writer/director Paul Thomas Anderson's acclaimed ensemble drama left out of the Best Picture race by Academy Award types last week -- was awarded the Golden Bear award for best film at the Berlin Film Festival on Sunday in, you know, Berlin.

According to Reuters, the win was considered an upset over Wim Wenders' "The Million Dollar Hotel," aka The Movie That the Guy from U2 Helped Write. Usurped by "Magnolia," Wenders was left to pick up the Silver Bear prize. (Think how thrilled Nancy Kerrigan was to pick up the silver medal at the 1994 Winter Olympics.)

And thus ends our report on foreign film festivals that you've likely never go to.

MEL UNCUT: If you've ever watched "Mad Max" -- the first installment in the "Road Warrior" action series (known everywhere else on the globe as the "Mad Max" series) -- and wondered, "Say, how come Mel Gibson talks funny?," this item is for you.

Film lore tells us that 1979's "Mad Max," featuring a 23-year-old Hollywood-nonentity Mel Gibson, was redubbed for stateside audiences when some bright bulb figured Americans wouldn't be able to decipher those darn Aussies (Gibson, included). (This was before "Crocodile Dundee" showed us we really were one world.)

The end result was that for, lo, these many years, Gibson's voice was MIA. Until now. Last week in New York, an undubbed print of "Mad Max" debuted at Film Forum.

"With its original dialogue restored," Andrew Johnston writes in Time Out New York, "'Max' is quirkier and more iconoclastic than its Yankeefied version..."

Unfortunately, it still spawned "Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome."

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