Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Two films in town

Here's an excerpt from John Beifuss' story in today's CA:

Memphians may see stars this week as dueling road movies starring Justin Timberlake, Samuel L. Jackson, Bernie Mac and Jeff Bridges roll into the Bluff City for a few days of filming.

Jackson and Mac play estranged Stax-style rhythm-and-blues veterans heading to Harlem's legendary Apollo Theater for a tribute to their late lead singer in the cantankerous buddy comedy "Soul Men," directed by Malcolm D. Lee (cousin of Spike), whose latest film, the Martin Lawrence family comedy "Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins," is now in theaters.

Bridges and Timberlake are an estranged (there's that word again) father and son making a pilgrimage to the bedside of a dying woman played by Mary Steenburgen in "The Open Road," a modestly budgeted independent production from writer-director Michael Meredith, son of football great "Dandy" Don Meredith. Kate Mara ("Brokeback Mountain") comes along for the ride as Timberlake's girlfriend.

"The Open Road" is scheduled to shoot here today and Wednesday, while "Soul Men" shoots Wednesday and Thursday and next Monday and Tuesday, after a break for the Easter weekend.

Unfortunately for the local economy and local film crew members, both movies are based primarily in Louisiana, to take advantage of that state's generous and well-publicized financial incentives for film production.

Tennessee recently enacted similar tax breaks, but film companies remain more familiar with Louisiana, which has provided a base for low-cost filmmaking for years. Said Sitler: "Now that we have our first 'poster child movie' for our incentives, 'Nothing But the Truth,' we hope to be able to capture these film companies on their next movies." (Set mostly in the Washington area, "Nothing But the Truth" was shot in Memphis last fall with Kate Beckinsale, Matt Dillon and Alan Alda.)

No comments: