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Caryn James

Sundance at Home: “The Power of Story” Panel

  • By Caryn James
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  • January 28, 2011 7:30 AM
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This is even more Sundance at home than I expected: my flight from New York was cancelled yesterday, and although the Sundance staff tried hard, there was no way to book another that would have gotten me to Park CIty in time to moderate today's panel on “The Power of Story.” (And I thought it was a joke when someone told me Delta stands for “Don’t Ever Leave the Airport.”) But we can all catch the live-stream.
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The Season Of Depressing Movies: Why Make Yourself Sad?

  • By Caryn James
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  • January 28, 2011 3:30 AM
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  • 1 Comment
Biutiful is eloquent, touching, artistic and – let’s be honest – one of the saddest movies you’ll ever see. You won’t leave the theater dancing. But you won’t be sorry you saw it.

Predicting the SAGs; Is It Time to Retire the Word Actress?

  • By Caryn James
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  • January 28, 2011 3:00 AM
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The Screen Actors Guild Awards often line up with the Oscars because the groups overlap so much: the actors’ branch of the Academy far outnumbers any other. Here are a few things to look for when the SAGs are handed out on Sunday.

Weekend TV: SAG Awards, “Episodes” Marathon

  • By Caryn James
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  • January 28, 2011 2:30 AM
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The weekend’s best TV is full of Oscar buzz and inside-Hollywood comedy.
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Watching Sundance at Home: “Life in a Day” Streams Live Tonight

  • By Caryn James
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  • January 27, 2011 7:20 AM
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Is it a gimmick, a solid doc or both? We’ll see when producer Ridley Scott and director Kevin Macdonald’s web-centric experiment, Life in a Day, premieres tonight at Sundance and also live-streams on YouTube (8 ET).
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Movie Review: The Tough Yet Poetic "When We Leave"

  • By Caryn James
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  • January 27, 2011 2:47 AM
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A young man points a gun at a woman while she walks down the street holding a small boy’s hand. As we soon learn in the long flashback that leads us full circle to this point, the man is the woman’s, Umay’s, much-loved younger brother, and she has been trying desperately to create a life with her son apart from her intolerant, old-world family. From this very first scene, Austrian writer/director Feo Aladag’s remarkable, tough yet poetic When We Leave makes us feel we have stepped into Umay’s prisonlike existence, set in the world of Turkish immigrants in Germany.

TV Review: Eye-Opening HBO Doc About “An Afghan Fallen Star”

  • By Caryn James
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  • January 26, 2011 2:30 AM
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  • 6 Comments
Afghan Star, Havana Marking’s illuminating 2009 doc about the Afghan version of American Idol, leaves you wondering what happening to its most compelling character: not the young man who won the competition, but Setara, who responded to being voted off by doing more than singing in her modestly veiled costume. She actually danced – scandalous enough even in the post-Taliban years – and let her scarf fall off her head, leading to death threats against her. Now Marking give us an eye-opening follow-up about Setara, who is not quite the rebel many viewers might have expected. .
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What the Oscar Nominations Got Right and Wrong

  • By Caryn James
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  • January 25, 2011 5:22 AM
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There were some genuine, mostly happy, surprises among the Oscar nominations – hard to do with those nominations coming so late in the glut of awards season. Here are some highlights and lowlights:

Will James Franco Be the Best Oscar Host Ever?

  • By Caryn James
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  • January 25, 2011 3:56 AM
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Here’s what I learned watching the Oscar nominations on TV this morning: James Franco could be the best host ever if he goes off message and abandons the hokey script the writers are bound to give him.

TV: Skins Returns, Resembling The Little Fockers

  • By Caryn James
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  • January 24, 2011 6:22 AM
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Since MTV’s Skins premiered last week, the show about sex-drug-and-alcohol-fueled teens has hit the headlines in a snowball of outlandish responses, beginning with an inflammatory front-page story in the New York Times. According to the story, unnamed MTV executives suddenly worried that the show might violate child pornography laws, which say children cannot be shown in sexually explicit or suggestive situations. And (whoops!) MTV had already made a big deal of the fact that its actors are actual teenagers. Since then, several advertisers dropped out of the series, including Taco Bell, GM and Wrigley. (Even though the first show had a substantial audience for MTV, over 3 million viewers.)
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