The Diary: Tate Modern; Clint Eastwood; Michel Hazanavicius; Rhys Darby; Kevin Spacey


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The Independent Culture

Close encounters

As the West End prepares to go dark, at least in parts, for the Olympics, the Tate Modern is throwing itself wholeheartedly into the swing of things. As well as its giant Damien Hirst survey, the gallery is bringing forward the unveiling of the next Turbine Hall installation to coincide with the 2012 Games. Usually the opening salvo of Frieze week in October, this year it will open 10 days before the Olympics, on 17 July. The chosen artist, Tino Sehgal, is famed for not producing physical objects, preferring to create "live encounters between people". Previous works include gallery attendants bursting into song or dancing around visitors, while for his 2010 work at the Guggenheim, museum visitors were greeted at the base of the museum's spiral by a child and were then led up the ramp by a succession of characters – a high-school student, a young adult and finally an older adult – while discussing the idea of progress. Details about his Tate project are not yet known but are likely to play on the Olympic theme, incorporating Sehgal's love of movement and physicality, I'm told. "He likes the idea of Tate Modern being an old power station so is looking at ideas around creating energy using people."

All that jazz

There isn't much call for music in Clint Eastwood's rather serious new biopic, J. Edgar, but when a rare scene showing Hoover off-duty, relaxing in New York's famous Stork Club, called for a little background jazz, he knew where to turn. The director's son Kyle, 43, can be seen playing the double bass in the nightclub's band as Hoover enjoys drinks with Ginger Rogers. Eastwood Jr has previously provided soundtracks for several of his father's films, including Million Dollar Baby, Letters from Iwo Jima, Gran Torino and Invictus. J. Edgar allowed him to return to his musical roots. "At home we had music all the time. My father always made sure I listened to jazz. He took me to the Monterey Jazz Festival every year," he writes on his website. "What was really great was that being the son of Clint gave me backstage access to all the gigs and I was very fortunate to meet and talk with Sarah Vaughan, Count Basie and all the legends..." He will tour Europe with his band in February.

Searching the past for inspiration

He has already inspired a vogue for the silent films of the 1920s among 21st-century audiences. Now, the director of The Artist, Michel Hazanavicius, is looking to the 1940s for inspiration. His next film, according to Variety, will be a remake of the 1948 film The Search, about a mother's tireless quest to find her son, an Auschwitz survivor, in the aftermath of the Second World War. The original won two Oscars – for writers Richard Schweizer and David Wechsler, and a Special Juvenile Academy Award for the 11-year-old Ivan Jandl – as well as nominations for Montgomery Clift and director Fred Zinnemann. Hazanavicius will update the story to war-torn Chechnya. His wife, Berenice Bojo (Peppy in The Artist), will star as an NGO worker.

Flight plans

Rhys Darby, better known as hapless manager Murray in Flight of the Conchords, is preparing for his first ever tour of the UK this summer. It will be his first visit since he played at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2009. Then his show – a mixture of character comedy and silly sound effects – was greeted with lukewarm reviews. The comedian hinted recently that a Flight of the Conchords movie may also be in the works. "Recently we've talked, and the boys do want to make one so it's just a matter of finding time," he said on New Zealand radio at the end of last year. "I think next year pen will hit paper."

Power cut

Who reigns supreme in Theatreland? Not Mark Rylance, nor James Corden, nor even Joey, the famous War Horse. According to the Stage 100 Awards, announced last week, lowly actors and actresses are mere foot soldiers in the battle to rule the West End. Not one performer makes it into the Top 20 of the theatre magazine's annual power list – except for Kevin Spacey who scrapes in at No 14, in a joint entry with Sally Greene, as executive and artistic director of the Old Vic, respectively. Is there really no one out there with the star power to rival the suits?