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‘Nothing Bad Can Happen,' ‘The Selfish Giant,' & 'We Gotta Get Out Of This Place’ Take Top Honors At AFI Fest 2013

Another straight week of Hollywood and international films has wrapped up in Los Angeles, as AFI Fest 2013 drew to a close yesterday and announced its slate of juried and audience prizes. The selection this year had its share of Oscar-season glamour—“Saving Mr. Banks,” “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty,” and “Inside Llewyn Davis” all received gala screenings—but when it came time for the festival prizes, it was new, small-scale works from directors Clio Barnard and Katrin Gebbe that really impressed. Read More »

AFI Film Fest Review: ‘Lone Survivor’ Starring Mark Wahlberg, Taylor Kitsch, Ben Foster & Emile Hirsch

  • By Charlie Schmidlin
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  • November 13, 2013 9:19 AM
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Lone Survivor
Your average rock, tree, or branch will never appear harmless after “Lone Survivor.” With its depiction of warfare in Afghanistan moved to the unlikely setting of evergreens and jagged cliffs, the most horrific moments of director Peter Berg’s drama come from a body in free fall—and its eventual landing upon each. Never mind the fact that surrounding Taliban forces rain gunfire and RPGs down upon four injured American soldiers out on a recon mission; nature is the true enemy, and the extent of its cruelty is explored to the fullest over the course of the film’s harrowing two hours.

Watch: New Clip From 'Nebraska' Plus AFI Fest Bruce Dern Tribute Reel Introduced By Quentin Tarantino

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • November 12, 2013 12:36 PM
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The journey that started this past spring at the Cannes Film Festival capped off with an appearance last night at AFI Film Festival as Alexander Payne's "Nebraska" gears up to start rolling out in theaters soon. And in both the south of France and in sunny California, it was Bruce Dern who was the center of attention. He took home Best Actor on the Croisette and before the screening of the film last night, AFI Fest showed a special tribute reel to the man, with one very special guest introducing it.

AFI: David O. Russell Talks Immediacy Of Film, Says 'I Heart Huckabees' Is His Least Favorite Movie & More

  • By Charlie Schmidlin
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  • November 11, 2013 1:08 PM
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American Hustle, David O. Russell
With his films “The Fighter” and “Silver Linings Playbook” elating audiences the past two years at AFI Fest in Los Angeles on their way to Oscar gold, director David O. Russell is without a doubt in stellar standing with the festival and its many attendees. That consistency to quality—especially in Russell’s recent string of crowd favorites—is why he and a swath of his contemporaries gathered in the Egyptian Theater on Friday night to celebrate the helmer’s work and unique cinematic approach. Amidst a host of technical issues—uncomfortable chairs were swapped, mics cut out—Russell also screened the first six minutes of his new film “American Hustle,” which also had to be restarted due of sound loss. You can read our impressions of the deeply funny, manic footage over here, but first we’ve compiled a few highlights from the director’s wide-ranging, insightful talk.

David O. Russell Screens First Six Intensely Funny Minutes of ‘American Hustle’ During AFI Fest Tribute

  • By Charlie Schmidlin
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  • November 9, 2013 4:24 PM
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American Hustle
Last night in Los Angeles on the first full day of programming for AFI Fest this year, director David O. Russell and his eclectic body of cinematic work was celebrated at the historic Egyptian Theatre, and he also brought the first six minutes of his highly-anticipated new film, “American Hustle.” However, a host of technical issues—including screening the first two minutes almost completely without sound—led the director to grow a little ornery (“We should probably shut it off,” he said, before escaping the stage to settle the problem). But even those couldn’t dismantle the comic energy and early promise that his latest effort sampled.

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