I have just returned from the Broadway Screening Room, located in the Brill Building in New York City, after having been invited by director Ron Maxwell to a private showing of his film Copperhead, the last time it will be viewed before the picture is locked. I am very limited in what I can say about the film, but I will give you a few tidbits below. I am actually going to write my full review in the next few days and save it for the late May/early June 2013 release, since it is so fresh in my head. Before I get to some details, I just want to say it was great getting a chance to sit and chat with Ron for a few minutes before the film, and also to see actor Brian Mallon again, after we met in the summer of 2011 at the Gods and Generals Extended Director’s Cut world premiere in Virginia. However, in contrast to that film, and Maxwell’s other Civil War work Gettysburg, Copperhead is one that is going to stand alone in terms of films made about the War Between the States. Simply put, it is unlike any other made about the subject ever.
I would just like to start off this post with an announcement, to tell you all that the official website for Copperhead: The War at Home will be experiencing a complete redesign and upgrade in the coming days. This post below was going to be my latest write-up, and since I don’t know if I will be able to post it immediately, I wanted to share it here, and also because I have not written anything on the film for this blog in quite some time, after moving official coverage over there. Please enjoy!
When you think of directors paying tribute to past artists in their films, what immediately comes to mind? For me, it would be an instance in a horror movie, where, when someone is getting killed, or if something frightening is happening, you hear music that is eerily similar to what Alfred Hitchcock used in Psycho, during the infamous shower scene. How about paying tribute to an older actor or actress, who experienced some greatness earlier in their career, but is now getting on in years? In The Night of the Hunter (1955), director Charles Laughton, an ardent admirer of D.W Griffith and his many castings of actress Lillian Gish, led him to multiple close-ups of the elder actress’s face in the only film he ever directed, to reflect some of her past glory as a superstar of the silent era and also his admiration, though she was not as familiar with what was the present-day audience. As yet another example, in 1957, for the filming of his epic meditation on man, fate, life, and death, Ingmar Bergman used medieval religious paintings and ballads as the basis for his setting and haunting cinematography of The Seventh Seal.
Here’s our first look at the lead actress in Copperhead, Lucy Boynton who will be playing the character of Esther, along with the director. One by one we are starting to see all these characters revealed to us, and they each look fantastic! More to come…
For all the latest news, updates, pictures, and historical essays regarding the movie Copperhead, please click here to be directed to the special page we have set up on this blog for it. Also, make sure to check out their official website!
It’s time for a poll to take the pulse of Copperhead Nation, so I shall ask you all a very simple question: which actor or actress appearing in the film are you most looking forward to seeing? Though I am a fan of Jason Patric, having seen him in The Lost Boys, The Beast, and The Alamo, I can actually picture him in his role as a stubborn and righteous farmer caught up in the turmoil of the Civil War. I do not know why, but it just fits him well—though I do not know the intricacies of the plot, I can see him quite clearly performing as he is expected. Therefore, it is actually Angus Macfadyen, and not the New York-born Patric, who I really am eager to catch a glimpse of, whether it be a behind-the-scenes picture, or a little bit down the road, in the trailer and eventual film. Macfadyen is probably the most recognized actor in the cast, because, quite frankly, who hasn’t seen Braveheart? “Every man dies, but not every man really lives,” and you surely have not lived until you have seen that film, which includes his exquisite performance as Robert the Bruce. I shall save my full characterization of both he and Patric for a later time, but for now, I just have to say that I cannot get his depiction of the Scottish Noble out of my mind, perhaps because it is the only film I have seen him in. The highly talented actor of Scottish descent has to work through a lot on his plate to become an 1860′s Upstate New Yorker, but I think he can get the job done…don’t you? So there, long story short, that is my reason.
Thanks to a reader who just sent me this article from a French-Canadian news outlet, it appears that the very popular actor Francois Arnaud from Quebec has also landed a role in Copperhead. The complete cast list has not yet been furnished, as work on their IMDB page is still ongoing, so you can expect little updates like this until it happens. The website notes that Arnaud has become very well-known to English-speaking audiences due to his lead role in the highly acclaimed television series The Borgias. Another cast-member, Agustus Prew, has also worked on that show, while actress Lucy Boynton has starred in a British version, simply named Borgia. Along with Jason Patric who has appeared in The Alamo and Angus Macfadyen in Braveheart, it is nice to see so many actors who have experiences playing historical figures. Arnaud will be portraying a character named Warner Pitts, so hopefully, he will be able to get the American accent down-pat.