Saturday, August 05, 2006

'My Blueberry Nights' starts shooting Thursday

From John Beifuss' story in the CA:

After three weeks of delay, "My Blueberry Nights," an all-star cuisine-and-courtship road-trip movie from acclaimed Hong Kong director Wong Kar-wai, is scheduled to begin shooting Thursday in Memphis.

Stars Norah Jones, Rachel Weisz and David Strathairn are expected to be in town for the shoot, which is slated to run through Aug. 21 here.

Strathairn -- nominated for the Best Actor Oscar this year for his performance as Edward R. Murrow in "Good Night, and Good Luck" -- replaces Kevin Spacey, who has dropped out of the project. Weisz won this year's Best Supporting Actress honor for her role as a murder victim in "The Constant Gardener."

The movie's script is credited to Wong and veteran mystery writer Lawrence Block, but Wong traditionally uses a script only as a guideline, which is why schedule changes started almost immediately after production began June 21 in New York. Wong sometimes allows his stories to be directed in part by the locations, and in part by the suggestions and improvisations of the actors. Memphis is just one of multiple locations that will appear in the film.

The production originally had been scheduled to shoot in Memphis in July, at Downtown's Arcade Restaurant and Blues City Cafe. The movie has a new Memphis locations manager, however, and new locations are being scouted.

"My Blueberry Nights" is the story of a woman (Grammy Award-winning vocalist Norah Jones) who explores the sensual connection between love and food as she travels across the country. Weisz and Strathairn play two people she meets in Memphis; Jude Law and Natalie Portman are among the stars playing people she encounters in other locations.

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