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Rising Sun 

Philip Kaufman directs Ashley Judd in a new thriller set in San Francisco

Wednesday, May 29 2002
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Rising Sun Philip Kaufman (Quills) is rapidly revving up to direct Ashley Judd in Blackout this summer in San Francisco. He's planned a 13-week shoot for the Paramount thriller, beginning July 15. "It's a policier about a woman detective who's looking for a killer, and she comes to believe that she might be the killer she's looking for," Phil's son and longtime producer, Peter Kaufman, said last week. "[Screenwriter] Sarah Thorp's thing was to write as if it could be a male character, not just a woman-in-jeopardy film."

The production office is currently being staffed, and Kaufman senior has hired cinematographer Peter Deming (Mulholland Drive, From Hell). "We're planning to shoot the whole film in San Francisco, as opposed to other sides of the bridge," Peter said. But he was reluctant to divulge any specific locations, saying only that the movie would take place mostly on city streets (like Phil's S.F.-set Invasion of the Body Snatchers). Although production begins in less than two months, the rest of the cast hasn't been locked up.

Edge of Seventeen "Teachers like it," Mission High senior Theresa Hernandez told the group of teens in an S.F. University High class last week. "They give us A's." "It" is Queer Geographies: Mapping Our Identities, Hernandez and Rachel Bolden-Kramer's 12-minute peer education video addressing homophobia and the isolation of gay youth. "We come from a low-performing school," Bolden-Kramer said. "We don't have a video editing room. But we were still able to tell our story and be educators."

Hernandez and Bolden-Kramer made their visit during the last session of instructor Chesley Chen's filmmaking class at the Pacific Heights private school, and his students had summer on their minds. They had little to say after watching the film, but clicked to attention when Bolden-Kramer related that she and Hernandez had sent tapes with their college applications. The filmmakers' spring tour of local schools, organized by Frameline Distribution, ends with a bang: Queer Geographies will screen in the S.F. International Lesbian & Gay Film Festival's "Not for Adults" program at the Castro on June 20. Everyone 18 and under gets in free.

Scream S.F. native Liev Schreiber -- OK, his family moved to New York before his first birthday -- is adapting Jonathan Safran Foer's recent best-selling novel Everything Is Illuminated, planning to direct the film from his own screenplay next year in the Ukraine. "I'm starting to think, maybe, that directing really is a great Machiavellian endeavor and you should be more manipulative about it," Schreiber confided with a smile during a visit earlier this month. "But I'm not very good at that. I tell people what I need. 'You can understand it if I can understand it. Help me get here.' And most actors are more than willing to oblige." Schreiber supplies the only blast of personality in The Sum of All Fears, coming out this Friday; the movie's lead actor (that would be Ben Affleck) is so unrelentingly bland I thought he was computer-generated.

High Hopes The Balboa Theatre and ASIFA, the association of animation buffs, honor the late, great Chuck Jones on May 30 with a rare big-screen show of Jones' enduring cartoons. ... As is its tradition, the Red Vic screens S.F. State's 42nd annual Film Finals show, this one on June 4. ... Skouras Films acquired Lynn Hershman Leeson's Teknolust, with a September opening planned for S.F. and N.Y., followed by debuts in other hip burgs. ... Moulin Rouge director Baz Luhrmann is gearing up to stage Puccini's La Bohème at the Curran in mid-October as part of the "Best of Broadway" series; he'll open the opera on the Great White Way in December.

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Michael Fox

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