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First Louisiana International Film Festival Opens With 'Twenty Feet From Stardom' and Star Merry Clayton

I thought I was the canary in the coal mine, attending the First Louisiana International Film Festival, a first for Baton Rouge and for me: I've never before attended a film festival's inaugural iteration. But it turned out to be a fabulous four days, with more movies, parties, and panel discussions than one girl could humanly attend. Not to mention crawfish.
  • By Meredith Brody
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  • April 24, 2013 6:14 PM
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Review Roundup: Michael Bay's 'Pain & Gain' Is a Soulless Macho Farce

I had the misfortune of seeing Michael Bay's "Pain & Gain" at CinemaCon, which Paramount mystifyingly screened to the nation's exhibitors, who tend to be a conservative family-oriented bunch who are always begging the studios to release less R-rated fare. Don't get me wrong.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 23, 2013 2:05 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Tribeca: Breakout Director Sean Dunne Talks 'Oxyana' and a Portrait of a Town's Addiction

When people describe Oceana of ten years ago, they describe an idealistic small town--"kind of like the 50s," says one man interviewed in Sean Dunne's first feature documentary "Oxyana." People in the town of 1,400 used to keep doors unlocked and let children play freely in the streets. Now, people are afraid to walk alone in a residential neighborhood. Locked doors don't prevent break-ins from people "trying to feed addictions." People have nicknamed the town Oxyana, after oxycontin, the drug that has addicted hundreds and taken countless lives in the West Virginia town.
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • April 23, 2013 2:56 AM
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The Woman Who Would be Queen: 'Game of Thrones' 3.4 Recap and Review

Mother of Dragons: Emilia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen
Emilia Clarke is still on fire in Season Three of HBO's "Games of Thrones." We're feeling a little prescient this week after noting, last week, how commanding Clarke has been in the sequences set in the Slaver's Bay city of Astapor, where her character, Daenerys Targaryen, is negotiating with the vile and condescending slave breeder Kraznys mo Nakloz (Dan Hildebrand) for an army of The Unsullied, identical-looking eunuch warriors.
  • By David Chute
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  • April 22, 2013 1:14 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Weekend Preview: Tom Cruise's 'Oblivion' a Mediocre Mission, Francois Ozon's 'In the House' Liked by Critics

Tom Cruise apocalyptic vehicle "Oblivion," which is expected to score about $30 million when it opens wide this weekend, is a rare thing these days: a movie that arrives full-blown from the head of its filmmaker. While critics agree that Joseph Kosinski's spectacular piece of grown-up sci-fi boasts impressive visuals, some complain that the familiar sci-fi rehash -- unfavorable comparisons to "Total Recall" keep coming up -- bogs down the film.
  • By Anne Thompson and Beth Hanna
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  • April 19, 2013 2:37 PM
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  • 2 Comments

Can Cruise and Universal Make Kosinski's Sci-Fi 'Oblivion' a Global Hit? Review and Roundup

Tom Cruise went overboard praising Universal execs at the premiere for Joseph Kosinski's "Oblivion" (April 19). "I've been doing this a few years now," he told the Dolby Theater crowd. "Making films today, it takes a village, as artists it's about problem solving." You need the studio behind you, is what he meant: they need Universal to do a good job selling this movie, which started to open April 10 around the world and has already earned $70 million overseas.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 19, 2013 1:43 PM
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  • 4 Comments

Tribeca Review: 'Raw Herring' Is Miraculous Exercise in Single-Shot Cinema

Any cinematographer worth his salt is probably already aware of “Raw Herring,” which may not sound appetizing to everyone (with onions? serve ‘em up …) but is a miraculous exercise in the art of the camera. It may also serve as a breath of fresh air to audiences fed up with the sterile artifice of so much CGI-driven cinema.
  • By John Anderson
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  • April 19, 2013 1:29 PM
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Review: Budding and Seasoned Voyeurs Collaborate with Mixed Results in Francois Ozon's 'In the House'

Francois Ozon's psychological mystery “In the House,” which is adapted from the play by Juan Mayorga, works as an interesting companion piece to Ozon’s 2003 film “Swimming Pool.” Both center on a middle-aged literary curmudgeon who develops a fantastic fixation on a young, enticing and distinctly threatening protégée, while blurring the lines between reality and lurid imagination. What events actually happen, and what events get cooked up along the way by a smart, jaded mind all too willing to introduce a little excitement to the story?
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • April 19, 2013 1:19 PM
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  • 2 Comments

Review: Urban Poverty and Youthful Pluck Coexist in Ken Loach's 'The Angels' Share'

Just four days after the death of Margaret Thatcher, the divisive British prime minister who transformed the United Kingdom during the 1980s, Ken Loach's new film "The Angels' Share" opened last Friday at the the IFC Center in Manhattan's West Village. The timing, although of course coincidental, was instructive: it was Thatcherite policies that created the very socioeconomic conditions that Loach and screenwriter Paul Laverty--a long-time collaborator of the English-born director--set out to highlight in their film.
  • By Jacob Combs
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  • April 16, 2013 11:19 AM
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Media Roundup: Multiple Changes in Movie Coverage

The April 4 death of Roger Ebert unleashed an unprecedented outpouring of affection and appraisal. Ebert embodied the old and the new, the tough-nosed competitive reporter and film enthusiast as well as the new model internet communicator and brand-builder. On the one hand, he revealed as outmoded the film critic as expert expounding down to their audiences. But he also exemplified the authoritative experienced veteran whose opinion was valued. He had clout.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 16, 2013 6:53 AM
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  • 0 Comments

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