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Thompson on Hollywood

Oscar Nominated 'Dirty Wars' Glimpses Into Shadow World of U.S. Counterterrorism Via Tenacious Reporter

Oscar nominated "Dirty Wars," the riveting documentary by journalist Jeremy Scahill and director Rick Rowley that probes the shadowy world of U.S. paramilitary operations, almost didn't get made. Or rather, it almost didn't become the film that premiered at Sundance in Januar 2013y to critical plaudits and had a stateside release this past June, via IFC Sundance Selects.
  • By Jacob Combs
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  • January 17, 2014 10:11 AM
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  • 3 Comments

'Out in the Dark': The Love that Dare Not Speak Its Name Dares to Challenge Borders

Michael Mayer came to the topic of "Out in the Dark," his debut feature which had its world premiere earlier this month at the Toronto International Film Festival, through a combination of chance and unexpected passion. The Israeli-born filmmaker was eating dinner in Los Angeles with a friend from Tel Aviv who mentioned his work with gay Palestinians living in Israel and told Mayer about their legal, political and emotional uncertainties. "It kind of blew me away," he told me in a phone interview last week. "It was the first time since film school when I was like, 'oh shit, I want to tell that story.'"
  • By Jacob Combs
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  • September 24, 2013 3:17 PM
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  • 1 Comment

WATCH: Exclusive Clip from Upcoming TIFF Doc 'The Dark Matter of Love'

In her new documentary about an American family and their adopted Russian children, director Sarah McCarthy examines the complex interplay of politics, family and love.
  • By Jacob Combs
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  • August 30, 2013 1:32 PM
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  • 0 Comments

LGBT Activists Challenge the Status Quo in Documentaries 'The New Black' and 'Call Me Kuchu'

To the outside observer, political movements can become reduced to a series of rarely-challenged expressions of conventional wisdom. But two new documentaries "The New Black" and "Call Me Kuchu," which are landing on the scene contemporaneously, present a compelling challenge to assumptions about LGBT rights.
  • By Jacob Combs
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  • June 25, 2013 1:06 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Review: 'Free China': A Struggle For the Future of China's Soul

Michael Perlman's new documentary "Free China: The Courage to Believe" which opens Friday in New York City for a week-long run, is a brave, upsetting, unabashedly political film that examines the dissonances between China's remarkable economic rise and its appalling human rights record. But for Perlman and the rest of the team behind "Free China," the film is not only about highlighting China's humanitarian offenses--it's about rallying the West to push for the dissemination of free information to the Communist state.
  • By Jacob Combs
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  • June 7, 2013 6:06 AM
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EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: Gibney Talks Manning and Assange, Stars of his 'WikiLeaks' Expose

Until recently, nobody knew who Bradley Manning was. Now he's all over the media, having pleaded guilty to ten charges (and not guilty to 12 others) before a Maryland military judge (see his leaked testimony here) for “misusing classified data,” the unlawful possession of classified material, exposing a cache of files, including videos, military logs and 250,000 State Department cables, and the transfer of this material to WikiLeaks. These charges carry a maximum sentence of 20 years in jail. “The more I read the cables, the more I came to the conclusion that this was the type of information that should become public,” he told the judge.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 31, 2013 12:14 PM
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  • 2 Comments

America Gets the Dystopic Treatment in New Animated Indie 'Silver Circle'

It's 2019, and runaway inflation has sunk the American economy into a cesspool of sky-high prices and rampant unemployment. A loaf of bread costs $50; bars advertise bargain deals on $90 beer Tuesdays.
  • By Jacob Combs
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  • March 18, 2013 4:07 PM
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  • 0 Comments

'The Gatekeepers' Director Dror Moreh's Oscar Acceptance Would Have Honored Slain Prime Minister Rabin; Film Shunned by Israel

Cinemascope has published Dror Moreh's Oscar acceptance speech (which he didn't get to recite on stage because "Searching for Sugar Man" won over his doc "The Gatekeepers"). In the speech Moreh dedicates the Oscar to Israeli prime minister Itzhak Rabin, who was assassinated in 1995 by a right-wing Jew "because he dared to dream about peace."
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • March 2, 2013 1:19 PM
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Michael Moore, In Defense of 'Zero Dark Thirty' - A Movie 'About How We Don't Listen to Women'

There comes a point about two-thirds of the way through 'Zero Dark Thirty' where it is clear something, or someone, on high has changed. The mood at the CIA has shifted, become subdued. It appears that the torture-approving guy who's been president for the past eight years seems to be, well, gone.
  • By Michael Moore
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  • January 25, 2013 3:12 PM
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  • 2 Comments

Kathryn Bigelow Opens Up About 'Zero Dark Thirty,' Torture and Truth on TIME Cover Story and Colbert Report

In addition to her appearance on the Colbert Report (watch below), "Zero Dark Thirty" director Kathryn Bigelow is the center of this week's TIME cover story, "Art of Darkness." The director, who rarely speaks with the press, is opening up to deal with and defend herself against the controversy surrounding "ZDT" and its torture debate.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • January 24, 2013 3:02 PM
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  • 0 Comments

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