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Rome Film Fest To Host World Premiere of FUR

CINEMA: Rome Film Fest has announced a major coup (undoubtedly the first of many) with the World Premiere presentation of the hotly anticipated biopic FUR, which stars Academy Award-winning actress Nicole Kidman as troubled New York photographer icon Diane Arbus. The film, which is slated to open in October in the US, is considered a major Oscar frontrunner for Kidman, director Steven Shainberg and film distributor Picturehouse.

The film tells the compelling story of famed photographer Diane Arbus, a child of New York privilege who turns her back on her wealthy family to pursues her dream of photography, particularly of marginalized "outsiders" (including drag queens, carnival freaks, the mentally ill and the urban poor). The film also stars Robert Downey Jr. as her enigmatic mentor, who helps her leave her patrician roots for a world of bohemia. Arbus' suicide in 1971 and her major support from leading art critics and museums has made her one of the most revered photographers of the twentieth century.

"I love Italy, a country with which I feel a great affinity�?, the Australian actress declared, "and I am particularly proud to be present at the baptism of this important film festival.".

The film, which is based on the award-winning biography of Arbus written by Patricia Bosworth, has a long history of development hell. Hollywood studio MGM originally optioned the book in 1984 as a possible starring vehicle for Diane Keaton. The film was never made, but announcements were made of its revival, with such diverse stars on tap as Barbara Streisand, Meryl Streep and Samantha Morton to play the troubled artist.

The film is a high profile follow-up for director Shainberg, whose debut feature SECRETARY was a Sundance Film Festival hit, bringing instant fame to fledgling actress Maggie Gylenhaal and re-igniting the stalled career of leading man James Spader.

The full title of the film is FUR: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus, and advance word on the project is that it takes a surrealistic view at Arbus' life, suffused by dream-like set pieces that mix her struggles to get away from the grip of her controlling family, with the decadent milieu that she seeked out for her artistic expression.

The Festival's Opening Night Gala will be held on October 13th in the Santa Cecilia Hall of the Auditorium Parco della Musica. Kidman will be on hand to officially open the Festival, which has already, in its first year, generated tremendous buzz as a "must attend" cultural and industry event.

Sandy Mandelberger
Festivals Editor

Comments (2)

Downey Jr.

Robert is always good I think. Every his performance is good.

Robert Downey Jr.

I have read that Robert Downey, Jr. gives an outstanding dramatic performance. Covered in fur, he is only able to use his eyes as his vehicle to display emotion. Who else but Robert Downeywith his unending energy, would be able to pull off such a role? I am so excited about seeing him in such an important film, where he is able to portray his diversified acting ability.


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Mandelberger Sandy
(International Media Resources)

Online Dailies of CINEMA: Rome Film Fest: October 18-27, 2007


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