'Ben-Hur' among festival's retrospectives
The Weinstein Co.’s “My Week With Marilyn” will world preem this fall as the Centerpiece Gala film of the New York Film Festival, which also has lined up retrospective showcases of “Ben Hur,” Nicholas Ray’s “We Can’t Go Home Again” and a roster of movies from Japanese production company Nikkatsu Films.Helmer Simon Curtis’ “My Week With Marilyn” stars Michelle Williams as Marilyn Monroe in the behind-the-scenes tale of “The Prince and the Showgirl,” the 1957 pic that also starred Laurence Olivier, who is played by Kenneth Branagh. Dougray Scott, as Monroe’s new husband Arthur Miller, is among an ensemble that also includes Dominic Cooper, Judi Dench, Julia Ormond, Emma Watson, Derek Jacobi and Simon Russell Beale. Film is based on the diaries of Colin Clark, an assistant on the 1957 film. David Parfitt produces the movie, which TWC has set for release on Nov. 4. Meanwhile, the fest’s Masterworks series of retrospectives has lined up a slate that includes a newly restored version of William Wyler’s 1959 epic “Ben Hur” along with Ray’s little-seen, experimental 1976 offering “We Can’t Go Home Again.” The Nikkatsu tribute, timed to the company’s centennial, will feature 36 pics including Kon Ichikawa’s “The Burmese Harp,” Ko Nakahira’s “Crazed Fruit,” Shohei Imamura’s “Pigs and Battleships” and Seijun Suzuki’s “Toyko Drifter.” History of Nikkatsu encompasses the studio’s youth-oriented actioner output from the 1960s as well as its “romantic porn” series from the 1970s. “Marilyn,” skedded to screen Oct. 9, joins a fest slate that will kick off Sept. 30 with “Carnage,” Roman Polanski’s film version of Yasmina Reza’s hit play. Further selections remain to be announced. The 49th annual New York Film Festival runs Sept. 30-Oct. 16.