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Albert Brooks Talks Drive, Comedy as Anger, Tweeting and Stanley Kubrick

Albert Brooks Talks Drive, Comedy as Anger, Tweeting and Stanley Kubrick
People often underestimate how good comedians can be as actors. Who knew Albert Brooks could play dark? Revered by a cadre of loyal followers for his riotous passive-aggressive romcom protagonists, Brooks’ turn as gangster Bernie Rose in Nicolas Winding Refn’s Drive dumbfounded many critics, who gave him raves.
  • By Anthony D'Alessandro
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  • September 19, 2011 2:08 AM
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  • 6 Comments

Fall/Holiday Preview: Five Glorious VFX Films to Watch, None Set in Present

Bill Desowitz lists five VFX films to watch this fall and winter season, and the reasons why:With all due respect to the highly-anticipated The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn-- Part 1 and Mission: Impossible-- Ghost Protocol, in which Edward and Bella and Tom Cruise's Ethan Hunt spiritually go to hell and back, the real VFXy films to look out for this fall/holiday season are Hugo, Real Steel, Immortals, Anonymous, and Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows. They possess the necessary CG eye candy and potential Oscar prestige, plus there's not a contemporary story among them.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • September 16, 2011 2:04 AM
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  • 0 Comments

In the No, Run-Up to Telluride: The Show from Swinton and Clooney to Veloso and Waters

We have several folks covering festivals this year--David Gritten and The Playlist are in Venice while Meredith Brody and I are in Telluride--along with Eugene Hernandez, who's covering for indieWIRE. Here's Meredith's first missive:Part of the appeal and the mystique of the Telluride Film Festival, aka the Show, is that you’re buying a pig in a poke. Since the Festival doesn’t release any of its program, whether new titles, tributes, or revivals, in advance, you have to trust in its distinguished reputation -- as Roger Ebert has memorably written, “[It’s] like Cannes died and went to heaven…” -- and take a leap into the void.
  • By Meredith Brody
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  • September 2, 2011 3:44 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Another Trip to the Moon with Méliès: Behind the Digital Restoration of VFX Landmark

While waiting for Hugo (Nov. 23), Martin Scorsese's 3-D valentine to Georges Méliès, TOH columnist Bill Desowitz writes a fascinating account of how digital advances made possible the painstaking restoration of the first movie blockbuster from the father of special effects, A Trip to the Moon (1902). The new version of the landmark 14-minute short, which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival, will screen at Telluride this weekend and at the Academy's Goldwyn Theater on Tuesday. What a way to mark the 150th anniversary of Méliès's birth.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • September 2, 2011 3:35 AM
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Oscar Talk: Venice and Telluride, Carnage, Ides of March, W.E., Contagion, The Artist

In Contention's Kris Tapley is here in Telluride with me, while Guy Lodge is in Venice. We all got on Skype for this week's Oscar Talk, which delves into early reaction to Venice titles from George Clooney (The Ides of March), Madonna (W.E) and Roman Polanski Carnage and a movie Kris and I saw in L.A., Steven Soderbergh's Contagion, as well as Cannes title The Artist, which is showing in Telluride. Friday Kris and I should get a crack at The Descendants, Martin Scorsese's George Harrison doc and Albert Nobbs, starring Glenn Close.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 2, 2011 3:00 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Oscar Talk: From The Help, Rise of the Apes and Woody to the Fall Fest Circuit and Beyond

Oscar Talk: From The Help, Rise of the Apes and Woody to the Fall Fest Circuit and Beyond
Oscar Talk is back. The first podcast of the fall season with In Contention's Kris Tapley runs for a good hour, so gird your loins, Oscar mavens, listen and weep. We cover the Cannes films, the summer releases, the Fall Festival entries and the end-of-year possibilities. We talk Meryl and Glenn and Malick and Chastain, debate the merits of sleeper Warrior and admit that we both cried over cancer patient Joseph Gordon-Levitt in 50/50. Next week we'll post from Telluride. The award season begins.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 26, 2011 4:00 AM
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  • 4 Comments

Meirelles' 360 To Open London Film Festival, What Will Close?

Fernando Meirelles’ 360 will be the opening night film at the 55th BFI London Film Festival, which will be the last under the stewardship of artistic director Sandra Hebron. Meirelles has history with the LFF – The Constant Gardener opened the festival in 2005 – although many Brit pundits had been expecting Hebron to unveil a world premiere to crown her final year. But that’s never been a major motivation for the LFF’s extremely popular head when it comes to programming Europe’s largest non-competitive film festival. Although the 2009 festival opened with a splashy world premiere for The Fantastic Mr. Fox, last year’s LFF debutante was Never Let Me Go, which bowed first in Toronto. The same will go for 360.
  • By Matt Mueller
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  • August 24, 2011 7:46 AM
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Trailer Watch: Scorsese’s George Harrison Doc

Trailer Watch: Scorsese’s George Harrison Doc
Martin Scorsese’s documentary George Harrison: Living in the Material World will explore the late, great Harrison's life as a musician, filmmaker, philanthropist, artist, and arguably the most attractive Beatle. The three-and-a-half hour documentary, which will premiere in two parts at the New York Film Festival before heading to HBO, will include interviews from Harrison's peers, collaborators, and friends—including Eric Clapton, Paul McCartney, Yoko Ono, Ringo Starr, Phil Spector and Tom Petty.
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • August 24, 2011 5:09 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Fall Fest Trailer Watch: From Hysteria and Dangerous Method to Anonymous and Scorsese's Harrison

We're collecting trailers from films coming up on the fall fest circuit. A smattering is below.
  • By Jacob Combs
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  • August 18, 2011 6:38 AM
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  • 0 Comments

George Clooney's The Descendants To Close NYFF, Main Line-Up of 27 Films

George Clooney's The Descendants To Close NYFF, Main Line-Up of 27 Films
The 49th New York Film Festival closer on October 16 will be Alexander Payne's family drama starring George Clooney, The Descendants (Fox Searchlight), which will already have played Venice Telluride and Toronto by the time it makes its way to New York. The festival had gone after Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (Focus Features) for the opening night slot, but was unable to liberate Gary Oldman from his duties on The Dark Knight Rises, and never chased after the film for other slots due to its September 16 opening in the U.K (stateside opening is November 18). Payne will also participate in a one-on-one On Cinema conversation.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 17, 2011 4:50 AM
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  • 4 Comments

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