Uwe Boll to tackle jail torture, genocide

Improvised drama 'Stoic' may get NC-17 rating, he says

CANNES -- Notorious genre director Uwe Boll is striking back at his critics with two improvised films aimed straight at the arthouse crowd: "Stoic," the true story of a prison rape starring Edward Furlong, Shaun Sipos and Sam Levinson, and the Sudan genocide drama "Janjaweed."

"Stoic" chronicles a 2006 incident in which three German men arrested for nonviolent offenses (played by Furlong, Levinson and Steffen Mennekes) rape and tortured a cellmate (Sipos) for 10 hours before helping the victim hang himself to cover up their crime.

The $2 million drama, now in post-production, was based on a treatment written by Boll and contains fully improvised dialogue by the actors. "It all started with a game of poker, where the loser had to eat a tube of toothpaste," Boll says. "He refused and was forced to eat it, threw up and was forced to eat his puke, and things escalated from there."

Boll says he had confidence in his cast, who all slept in the cell on the Vancouver set for a month, and especially Sipos ("The Grudge 2"), who Boll says actually ate a tube of toothpaste, though the vomit he ate from the floor was artificial. "I was prepared to throw out any of the actors after the first take," he said, adding that the final cut will be intense.

"When the actor licks his puke off the ground, he will be seen eating it for a minute, not just a little bit," Boll said. The director says he made the film to demonstrate "that even nonviolent people can turn into animals in a short time and that we all have this in us."

The film will be graphic and possibly released unrated. "Sometimes movies get an R rating for their social commentary, and that might happen, but from what I've shot the chance of an NC-17 is kind of high," he says.

Boll will shop the movie at the American Film Market in November and submit the films for next year's Sundance and Berlin fests, producing the project through his Boll AG outfit with Dan Clark.

His next project, "Janjaweed," will also be improvised based on his treatment. Its title is the name of Arab militia groups in Sudan accused of torture and genocide in Sudan. The story, which will also have improvised dialogue from actors, focuses on American journalists faced with the dilemma of leaving to report on the atrocities or staying to help the victims. Boll plans to shoot the film in South Africa in January, producing through Boll AG with Clark and "Hotel Rwanda" production consultant Chris Roland.

There are currently more than 250,000 names on an online petition calling for Boll to stop making films, but the director points out that 45,000 people have signed a pro-Boll petition in the last three weeks. He's not concerned about the violent reaction from critics and the online community at tackling such incendiary subject matter. "What can I lose?" he says. "I got so bashed for my video game adaptations I don't care anymore."
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