Darren Aronofsky Told a Bad Joke, and 6 Other Stories You'll Be Talking About Today

aronofsky_getty_225.jpgHappy September! Also in this edition of The Broadsheet: The Hunger Games has a Web site! (Sort of?) ... Hollywood eyes a summer box-office record ... The Church of Scientology goes to all-out war with The New Yorker ... A fest favorite is coming to theaters ... and more...

· Darren Aronofsky, whose Black Swan opened last year's Venice Film Festival, returned to the event this week as the jury president. In a press conference introducing the jury and paying tribute to the city's overhauled 80-year-old Palazzo del Cinema, Aronofsky addressed this year's opening-night filmmaker, George Clooney, and proceeded to commence open-mic night: "Let's just say you should be happy this building has been refurbished. Last year, I sat there between Natalie Portman and the president of Italy, and I think I peed in my pants. But they say the place has been redone, so I guess any humidity you feel there is your own." Try the veal? [THR]

· The Hunger Games has reportedly launched a viral site at thecapitol.pn, but all I see at press time is a black screen. ComingSoon.net has an image that either was there and has been removed or can be unlocked only through the magic of giving a shit. [thecapitol.pn]

· Good news for Hollywood, troubling news for moviegoers: "For the first time ever, the top five pics of summer were all sequels, each crossing the $200 million mark to power the Stateside B.O. to $4.24 billion as of Wednesday." The seasonal record of $4.34 billion should easily be surpassed by Labor Day. Get ready for The Help 2, I guess. [Variety]

· If you thought the Church of Scientology would take its thrashing at the hands of The New Yorker lying down, here's an epic, virtually unreadable counterattack urging you to reconsider. [Freedom Magazine via The Atlantic Wire]

· Great news! The gang at Phase 4 Films has acquired the psychological dark-comedy freakout Rid Of Me for theatrical distribution. James Westby's film, which debuted at this year's Tribeca Film Festival, features a tour de force performance by Verge designee Katie O'Grady as a woman whose marriage and identity unravel after being transplanted to her husband's hometown. [via Press Release]

· Also on the deals front: Oscilloscope Laboratories has picked up Rebel Without a Cause director Nicholas Ray's unfinished last film, We Can't Go Home Again, in addition to Susan Ray's documentary about her late husband's collaborative process on the project, Don't Expect Too Much. A restoration/reconstruction of Home will debut in Venice before visiting the New York Film Festival later this fall. [via Press Release]

· Not for nothing, but the rental-broker market in New York City? Skeevy! [The Awl]

[Photo: Getty Images]

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