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Thompson on Hollywood

Naomi Watts Nabs Achievement Award at Palm Springs Film Fest

The Palm Springs International Film Festival (January 3-14) will honor Naomi Watts with the Desert Palm Achievement Actress Award on January 5. Watts has a history with the fest, which previously honored her Oscar-nominated performance in "21 Grams" in 2003.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • November 20, 2012 11:58 AM
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Doha Tribeca Film Festival: Purvis & Wade Talk 'Skyfall,' Their Last Bond Movie, and Kinky 'Cocaine Nights'

At their Doha Tribeca Film Festival Masterclass, which took place on the rooftop of a hotel on the edge of the city's old souk (with a fighter jet screaming overhead to add to the 007 vibe), British screenwriting duo Neal Purvis and Robert Wade revealed why "Skyfall" will mark the satisfying conclusion to their five-film James Bond journey. The ride began nearly 15 years ago with "The World Is Not Enough" and continued with Pierce Brosnan's final 007 excursion, "Die Another Day," as well as all three of Daniel Craig's outings, "Casino Royale," "Quantum Of Solace" and "Skyfall."
  • By Matt Mueller
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  • November 20, 2012 6:12 AM
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Doha Tribeca Film Festival: Mira Nair Defends 'The Reluctant Fundamentalist,' Discusses Difficult Journey from Page to Screen

Director Mira Nair was put in the unusual position of having to defend her film, 'The Reluctant Fundamentalist', from conflicting suggestions of pro- and anti-American bias at the film's press conference as opening-night film for the 4th Doha Tribeca Film Festival. One regional journalist wanted to know why Riz Ahmed's Changez, the Pakistani protagonist who switches from successful Wall Street trader to fundamentalist Muslim professor (and possible terrorist) in a post-9/11 world, repeats the phrase, "I love America"; another questioned whether the film's mistrustful ending ultimately serves as a condemnation of the U.S.
  • By Matt Mueller
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  • November 19, 2012 4:11 AM
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DOC NYC Fest Announces Audience and Jury Awards; Winners Include 'Informant' & 'Rafea: Solar Mama'

New York's DOC NYC festival, which ran November 8-15, announces its jury and audience award winners. Included are Jamie Meltzer's "Informant," a portrait of radical activist-turned-FBI informant Brandon Darby, and Jehane Noujaim and Mona Eldaief's "Rafea: Solar Mama," with follows an illiterate Jordanian woman who becomes a solar panel engineer.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • November 16, 2012 1:48 PM
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Starz Denver Film Fest Announces Award Winners: Oscar-Entry 'Sister,' 'The Sapphires' & 'Rising from Ashes'

The 35th Starz Denver Film Festival, which ran November 1-11, announces its jury and audience award winners. Ursula Meier's brilliant Swiss Oscar entry, "Sister," Australia's "The Sapphires," following the formation of an Aboriginal girl-band in the 1960s,..
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • November 15, 2012 1:45 PM
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Santa Barbara Int'l Film Festival To Honor Ben Affleck with Modern Master Award on January 26

The Santa Barbara International Film Festival (January 24 - February 3) will honor Ben Affleck with the Modern Master Award on January 26 in the historic Arlington Theatre. The award, which in the past has gone to the likes of Christopher Plummer, James Cameron, Cate Blanchett, Clint Eastwood and George Clooney...
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • November 13, 2012 12:27 PM
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Brody Morelia Diary Day 4: 'Augustine,' 'Final Cut: Ladies and Gentlemen,' 'Halley' & 'Gespenter'

The day starts with “Augustine,” by young French director Alice Winocour, part of the films selected for Morelia by Cannes’ Critic’s Week. (Two previous films co-written by Winocour, “Ordinary People,” directed by Vladimir Persed, and “Home,” by Ursula Meier, showed in Cannes at Critic’s Week.) It’s the kind of serious-but-sexy movie that the French do so well:
  • By Meredith Brody
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  • November 13, 2012 12:13 PM
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New Directors/New Films 2013 Open For Submissions; Welcomes Programmers Koehler & Siegel

The Museum of Modern Art and the Film Society of Lincoln Center announce the 42nd edition of New Directors/New Films. The festival, which runs March 20-31 and is now accepting submissions, welcomes two new programmers: Robert Koehler (FSLC’s Director of Year-Round Programming) and Joshua Siegel (Associate Curator at MoMA).
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • November 12, 2012 5:29 PM
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Brody Morelia Diary Three; Prix Jean Vigo Shorts, Gabriel Figueroa, 'ABC Africa,' 'Post Tenebras Lux'

Even with the problems of the digital age –during Morelia I’ve watched digitized films freeze, or computerized subtitles fail to launch – I must say that the few times I’ve seen actual film copies projected here at Morelia, I’ve been shocked by the worn copies, full of scratches and dirt, and indifferent attempts at focusing by projectionists.
  • By Meredith Brody
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  • November 12, 2012 3:14 PM
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Brody Morelia Diary 2.5: Bunuel's 'Daughter of Deceit,' 'Magnificent Obsession,' 'Beyond the Walls'

“Daughter of Deceit” turns out to be unlike any other Buñuel film I’ve ever seen. Its melodramatic story of a man betrayed by his unfaithful wife who punishes her by giving away their baby, and then turning into a brutal nightclub owner who almost kills his unknown daughter’s husband -- before everything is briskly resolved happily and tied up with a bow -- is told with none of his trademark irony.
  • By Meredith Brody
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  • November 11, 2012 11:48 PM
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