Cannes is full of announcements for films that may or may not eventually be made, but here's one that we really hope sees the light of day: Martin Scorsese and Lars von Trier have confirmed that they're going to collaborate on a documentary called "The Five Obstructions," an exploration of the filmmaking process based on a 2003 doc that von Trier made with his mentor, Danish director Jorgen Leth.
In that film, von Trier asked Leth to make five new versions of one of the veteran director's short films from the 1960s, but with a series of challenges that changed with each remake. One version had to be made in Cuba, with no shot lasting longer than 12 frames; another had to be made in "the worst place in the world" without showing that place; another had to be made as a cartoon. (Leth failed this challenge by using the rotoscoping technique, which meant the new version wasn't technically a cartoon.)
Von Trier, who has come to Cannes to show his new film "Melancholia" two years after his "Antichrist" caused a huge sensation at the festival, says the new film will follow the same pattern, as he poses different challenges to Scorsese.
Screen Daily says that Scorsese likely will be asked to recreate scenes from "Taxi Driver."
The film will be produced by von Trier's Zentropa Real and Scorsese's Sikelia Productions. TrustNordisk is handling international sales at the Cannes marketplace.
While details about the project are sketchy, more than a year ago the Film School Rejects website took note of a widely-disseminated rumor that Scorsese would be remaking "Taxi Driver" with von Trier, and compiled a list of 10 other directors and films they'd like to see the Danish provocateur challenge.
Among the directors, and challenges: Terrence Malick would be forced to remake the swarm of locusts scene from "Days of Heaven" indoors, with only 30 minutes of film and no voice-overs; Bernardo Bertolucci would have to re-do one of the most graphic scenes in "Last Tango in Paris" in a way that would receive a PG rating; and Woody Allen would be required to film the opening sequence from "Manhattan" in the White Sands Desert of New Mexico.