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  1. #1
    Senior Member Country: UK DB7's Avatar
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    OSCAR-winning director ROMAN POLANSKI is seeking a British-only cast for his new version of CHARLES DICKENS's OLIVER TWIST - because he wants the movie to be as realistic as possible.



    THE PIANIST filmmaker wants his stars to compliment the huge sets of nineteenth century London when he starts filming in Prague, the Czech Republic, in June next year (04).



    Oliver Twist's producer ROBERT BENMUSSA says, "It's a huge project. It's a two-year job. After the heavy emotional and personal story of The Pianist, Polanski wanted to make a family film.



    "We spent a year reading scripts and searching for the right story. Then we discovered the last film of Oliver Twist was made by DAVID LEAN in 1948. There was a musical in 1968, but Lean's was the last straight version."

  2. #2
    Senior Member Country: UK DB7's Avatar
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    Ben Kingsley Starring in Polanski's Oliver Twist Source: Variety Monday, April 26, 2004





    Variety reports that Ben Kingsley will play Fagin and 10-year-old English actor Barney Clark will essay the title role in Roman Polanski's Oliver Twist. Polanski has also cast Jamie Foreman as Bill Sykes and Frank Finlay as Mr. Brownlow in his adaptation of Charles Dickens' novel.



    The film, which starts a four-month shoot July 12 in Prague, is produced by Alain Sarde and Robert Benmussa, the team behind Polanski's The Pianist. It will be shot entirely in the Czech Republic, with interiors and exteriors built on Barrandov Studios' backlot.

  3. #3
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    I think Roman Polanski will have to at least match Sir David Lean's version for me to like it, but I'm sure with Sir Ben Kingsley they could do well.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Country: UK DB7's Avatar
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    Director Roman Polanski is currently adapting a new version on the classic fable OLIVER TWIST for the big-screen. The film follows Oliver, an orphan, who meets a pickpocket on the streets of London. From there, he joins a household of boys who are trained to steal for their master. In the film the role of Fagin is played by Sir Ben Kingsley and the young Oliver by Barney Clark. The film is shooting over in Prague.








  5. #5
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    Sconesandjam:

    I think Roman Polanski will have to at least match Sir David Lean's version for me to like it, but I'm sure with Sir Ben Kingsley they could do well.
    Will Polanksi downplay the Jewishness of Fagin that was present in the original novel and in Lean's version? That was overdone & stereotyped quite a bit.



    Steve

  6. #6
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    If it's Polanski, expect MacBeth.

  7. #7
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    In the novel and Lean's film the *Jewishness* was crass anti-Semitism. Dickens can be excused as he was drawing on stereotypes of the time but Lean and Guinness can't in the light of the Holocaust and similar depictions of Jews in Nazi films.



    Guinness claimed that he heard his strange Gollum-like accent spoken by Jews in East-End cafes, even if this were true, Fagin would probably not have spoken with a foreign accent as this was the time before the mass immigration of Jews due to the pogroms in Eastern Europe.



    I enjoyed Robert Lindsay's complete revision of the role in a recent TV production. His was a credible Fagin whose criminality had nothing to do with his ethnicity.



    I have high hopes of the Polanski/Kingsley Fagin.

  8. #8
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    The last time I went to see "OLIVER" the stage musical Fagin was played by Gary Wilmot. Without the use of any make-up and just employing his stagecraft Wilmot eradicated all *Jewishness* from the Fagin character.

  9. #9
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    Okay, this is probably a dumb question, but why would Polanski film Oliver Twist in Prague instead of London? Is it due to bugetary reasons or something? Either way, it seems almost sacreligious, you know?



    But if you're interested, the guys at the Jack the Ripper site have unbelievable amounts of information about Victorian London, and especially the Jewish community in Victorian London. Even if you're not so interested in the case itself, the amount of background information in simply phenomenal. I think Charles Booth's diaries have also been digitized & are available online, but I can't remember where off the top of my head. Hmm...



    [url edited. grr..]

  10. #10
    Senior Member Country: Great Britain
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    er...daisymum: possibly he's not allowed to come here?



    rgds

    Rob

  11. #11
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    Oh, I had completely forgotten about that. How embarrassing.



    Thanks for setting me straight...

  12. #12
    Senior Member Country: Australia IlllIIllllIIii's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dylan View Post
    In the novel and Lean's film the *Jewishness* was crass anti-Semitism. Dickens can be excused as he was drawing on stereotypes of the time but Lean and Guinness can't in the light of the Holocaust and similar depictions of Jews in Nazi films.

    Guinness claimed that he heard his strange Gollum-like accent spoken by Jews in East-End cafes, even if this were true, Fagin would probably not have spoken with a foreign accent as this was the time before the mass immigration of Jews due to the pogroms in Eastern Europe....
    Oh dear! Do Polanski and Kingsley need to be excused or condemned?

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