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Thompson on Hollywood

'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

Jessica Chastain & Ned Benson Talk the Long Road to TIFF Hit 'The Disappearance Of Eleanor Rigby'

One of the unforeseen but delightful surprises at this year's Toronto International Film Festival was "The Disappearance Of Eleanor Rigby." I must confess that, stumbling bleary-eyed into its first 9 am press screening, I did feel slightly concerned about the 190-minute running time of writer-director Ned Benson's debut.
  • By Matt Mueller
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  • September 23, 2013 6:04 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Rebellion, Corruption and Rejection: Norway Under the Radar at TIFF

Life just isn’t that easy in the three Norwegian films that premiered at TIFF this year, all of which played under the critics’ radar.
  • By David D'Arcy
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  • September 21, 2013 4:02 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Sackler Talks Astonishing TIFF Doc 'Dangerous Acts Starring the Unstable Elements of Belarus'

I learned a lot of things I did not know in Madeleine Sackler's astonishing documentary "Dangerous Acts Starring the Unstable Elements of Belarus," which HBO Documentary Films scooped up before its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival. (HBO will air the film in 2014.) The weird title starts to make sense when you see the movie, which chronicles the many hurdles placed in front of an underground theater troupe, the Belarus Free Theatre.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 20, 2013 2:25 PM
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Telluride and Toronto Winners and Losers: Who Came Out Ahead?

The fall film festivals are a crucible that send winners out into the award fracas and losers to lick their wounds.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 16, 2013 6:19 AM
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  • 3 Comments

TIFF Interview: How Alex Gibney Changed Gears on Biker-Doping Doc 'The Armstrong Lie' (CLIP)

Alex Gibney talks his new doc "The Armstrong Lie," which recently screened at the Toronto International Film Festival.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 14, 2013 3:07 PM
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WATCH: TIFF Press Conferences for '12 Years a Slave,' 'Gravity,' 'Prisoners,' 'Labor Day,' 'Enough Said' and More

Check out TIFF press conferences for "12 Years a Slave," "Prisoners," "Labor Day," "Gravity," "The Fifth Estate," "Enough Said," "The F Word," "The Railway Man," "Blood Ties," "Mandela," "August: Osage County" and "The Invisible Woman."
  • By Ryan Lattanzio
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  • September 11, 2013 12:57 PM
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TIFF, Day Four: Egoyan's 'Devil's Knot,' Hendrix Biopic 'All Is By My Side,' Jonze and Reichardt Q&A and More

I forgot to mention one of yesterday's highlights: while Maureen O'Donnell and I were waiting in line for the excellent documentary "Finding Vivian Maier," we were stunned to see a long phalanx of orange-t-shirted volunteers with linked arms making a human shield on either side of Susan Sarandon, protecting her from the hoi polloi as she left the first public screening of "The Last of Robin Hood."
  • By Meredith Brody
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  • September 11, 2013 11:48 AM
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TIFF Review: 'Standing Aside, Watching'

The heroine’s name is Antigone, but the myths at work in “Standing Aside, Watching,” are those of the American western, a western one whose heroine has more cojones than a dozen Gary Coopers. The film? A model of urgent, contemporary storytelling by Greek director Yorgos Servetas, with a sometimes spare, sometimes epic visual take on modern Greece and a story that synthesizes past and present, while creating its own drama.
  • By John Anderson
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  • September 11, 2013 6:56 AM
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TIFF Review: Teller's Clever Art Mystery Doc 'Tim's Vermeer' Plays Like Magic (CLIP)

“Tim’s Vermeer” is something that Mark Twain could have thought up. It applies a hard-headed empirical reality check in the spirit of Benjamin Franklin or Thomas Edison to the theory that the Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer used technology (lenses) to arrive at a precision that could not have been achieved with his eyes alone.
  • By David D'Arcy
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  • September 10, 2013 2:25 PM
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  • 0 Comments

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