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Body Language: Alfama Films Set to Produce Luca Guadagnino’s Body Art

It seems David Cronenberg hasn’t had enough of Don DeLillo, with Variety reporting that the director is set to go in front of the camera in Luca Guadgnino’s adaptation of DeLillo’s 2001 novella, The Body Artist. Apparently retitled as Body Art, the exciting pairing of Isabelle Huppert and Sigourney Weaver, first announced by the Hollywood Reporter last week, really peaked our interest. Oh, and for some extra special zaniness, Denis Lavant is along for the ride as well. Paolo Branco of Alfama Films, (the company also behind Cosmopolis), will also be the production-distribution company behind this project. And Raf Simons, the artistic director of Dior will be designing costumes for Weaver and Huppert. Guadagnino has a few projects it seems he’s currently working, including the widely reported James Ellroy adaptation The Big Nowhere, but it seems Body Art is set to film this summer, so this may be next in his queue.

The Gist: The body artist of the title is Lauren Hartke (Huppert), whose older husband, a film director (Cronenberg, we presume) commits suicide. Retreating to live in their summer home, Lauren discovers a strange man (Denis Lavant) in an upstairs room who seems to be a reincarnation of her spouse, but whose appearance varies each time she sees him. Weaver will play a journalist that is apparently involved due to her reporting on the public works of the body artist.

Worth Noting: Simons also created Tilda Swinton’s costumes for Guadgnino’s 2009 film, I Am Love, which earned costumer designer Antonello Cannrozzi an Oscar nod. And, of course, Cronenberg previously adapated a 2012 film version of DeLillo’s Cosmopolis starring Robert Pattinson.

Do We Care?: Based on the director, original source material, and the thus far announced four major cast members (especially that lofty pairing of Huppert and Weaver), we couldn’t be more on board with this project, which is shaping up to be a deliciously strange concoction. We’re hoping Body Art gets to bow at Cannes 2014.

Los Angeles based Nicholas Bell is's Chief Film Critic and covers film festivals such as Sundance, Berlin, Cannes and TIFF. He is part of the critic groups on Rotten Tomatoes, The Los Angeles Film Critics Association (LAFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS) and GALECA. His top 3 for 2021: France (Bruno Dumont), Passing (Rebecca Hall) and Nightmare Alley (Guillermo Del Toro). He was a jury member at the 2019 Cleveland International Film Festival.

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