Soon to be premiering Berlin comp entry Both Sides of the Blade by Claire Denis, Juliette Binoche has been spending more time working in the United States filming a trucker narrative in Paradise Highway for Anna Gutto and Antonio Campos‘ series “The Staircase” in 2021. Now comes word (via a tiny blurb in Variety) that she is set to return to work on Lance Hammer‘s long awaited sophomore feature. We knew that there was a project secretly making the rounds several years back but this is the first mention of the film’s existence.
Hammer was a major break-out filmmaker when Ballast premiered at Sundance and Berlin in 2008 with several year-end mentions and accolades to what would be radio silence for a decade plus (we even logged a formal complaint in our MIA series). Ballast was lensed by cinematographer Lol Crawley, who recently worked on Campos’ The Devil All the Time and worked on Brady Corbet’s two feature films and is attached to his upcoming third project, The Brutalist – so it’s not impossible to think that the actress was introduced to the filmmaker in these circles.
Gist: We imagine this will be an intimate film – but what’s intriguing about the Binoche casting choice is that there’ll be a foreigner presence on project set in America.
Worth Noting: If you stayed until the end credits, Lance Hammer’s name is among the thank yous for Mike Mill’s C’mon C’mon.
Do We Care?: Hell yes. When we spoke to Hammer in 2008 about considering a larger budget size for his next feature he was adamant on making his next feature on his own terms: “Not if it means giving up creative freedom. I would rather not make films. I mean, I have to be honest with myself that if I want to continue to make films the way I do I will never be given a large budget, but at the same time I don’t really care. I did something with Ballast that I’m proud of in some respects. Sometimes I wonder whether it’s good or not. But I feel like it was a good start and I hope to do better work at this budget level. Film budgets are so obscene these days and I have to say that it really contaminates the creative process.This is easily the most anticipated sophomore feature film in some time.”