Wong Kar-Wai’s The Grandmaster

Wong Kar-Wai’s The Grandmaster And Karzan Kader’s Bekas Bookend Fribourg Fest
Finnish/Iraqi/Swedish feature Bekas will open the 2013 Fribourg International Film Festival in Switzerland. The Swiss premiere revolves around two young boys in Iraqi Kurdistan. Closing the festival will be Wong Kar-Wai’s The Grandmaster, which recently had its world premiere at Opening Night of the Berlin International Film Festival. The film is dedicated to Ip Man, a martial arts genius who taught Bruce Lee. Twelve films will compete for the festival’s Regard d’Or prize. Fribourg’s international jury includes U.S. filmmaker Braden King (Here).

Spain’s Goya Ceremony Slammed for Political Tone
Pablo Berger’s Blancanieves took away top honors at Spain’s equivalent of the Academy Awards, the Goyas, but the ceremony is being remembered two days later for its political tone. Javier Bardem was expected to speak about the Saharawi people from the podium after winning a prize for his documentary Sons of the Clouds (Spanish Cinema Now ’12) and Spanish Academy president Enrique Gonzalez Macho took time to criticize a sales tax hike, which resulted in a large jump in theater admission prices. But they were joined by a chorus of others who criticized government cutbacks and corruption, which set a tone detractors say deflected attention from the films, The Hollywood Reporter reports.

Kevin Smith’s Clerks (1994). Image: VIEW ASKEW / THE KOBAL COLLECTION

Kevin Smith: Clerks 3 to Return as Book, Then Film
Randal and Dante made their debut in 1994 as the perennially counter-bound heroes of Clerks, made for $25,000 by the then-unknown Kevin Smith, and later returned in 2006’s Clerks II. Speaking Friday, Smith said he will likely write the next installment of Clerks as a book, releasing it chapter by chapter and taking into account audience feedback. He will then bring the story to the big screen at some point. Last March, Smith had said he wanted Clerks 3 to be a Broadway play, The Guardian reports.

Mississippi Ratifies 13th Amendment 147 Years Late
A University of Mississippi professor checked the state’s law after seeing Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln, discovering that a clerical error meant Mississippi had not ratified the 13th Amendment. The constitutional addition that abolished slavery is at the heart of Spielberg’s movie starring Daniel Day-Lewis, which is up for multiple Oscars later this week and was first seen at the 50th New York Film Festival. The State Senate and House passed the amendment in 1995, but the document was never sent to the office of federal registry for an official signature, Thompson on Hollywood reports.

Ai Weiwei Play to Open in London
The story of the arrest and detention of famed Chinese artist/filmmaker and dissident Ai Weiwei will be staged in London this spring. Howard Brenton’s #aiww: The Arrest of Ai Weiwei is based on conversations with the artist about his imprisonment in 2011. The play will debut at the Hampstead Theatre in April. Ai was the subject of of Alison Klayman’s documentary Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry (Human Rights Watch Film Festival ’12), which also looked at the artist’s struggle with the Chinese government. BBC reports.