Celebrating 17 Years of Film.Biz.Fans.
by Brian Brooks
July 23, 2009 9:41 AM
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QuickShots | Bart as Critic, QFest, Venice, Comic-Con, New Wave, No Fest for Saudis

Peter Bart: Variety's closet film critic

In LA Times entertainment blog The Big Picture, Patrick Goldstein talks up how former Variety editor Peter Bart has departed from the trade's normal practice of not reviewing a film until its shown in a "public setting." Now as editorial director, Bart uses a new philosophy, according to Goldstein: "Once I've been to a screening and feel I have something to say, I run it on my blog, though I make a point of claiming that it's not actually a review." Judd Apatow's upcoming drama "Funny People" is a case in point.


Philadelphia QFest closes with "The Big Gay Musical" and awards

Philadelphia QFest closed its 15th year with "Patrik 1,5" winning for best feature and "Off and Running" taking best documentary. Best first time director went to Nancy Kassim for "Drool," while "Awakening" took best short film. The audience award for best feature went to "Hannah Free" and "Pop Star on Ice" won best doc in the category. "Looking For..." took best short. PQF opened with "Hollywood j'etaime" and "The Big Gay Musical" closed out the festival. Guests included "Pop Star" subject Johnny Weir, who was joined by Sharon Gless, H.P. Mendozza, Mink Stole and Chad Allen.


Speculating on the Venice Film Fest's roster

The upcoming Venice Film Festival is shaping up as a launching pad for plenty of U.S. kudos hopefuls, says Nick Vivarelli in Variety with a strong European lineup and new works from big-name directors including Steven Soderbergh, Michael Moore, Joe Dante, Werner Herzog and Todd Solondz, alongside Claire Denis, Jacques Rivette and Giuseppe Tornatore.


Tip-toeing through "New Moon" fans

Cinematical's Elisabeth Rappe arrived in San Diego on the eve of Comic-Con's start with "preview night," noting the throngs of devoted "Twilight" fans who have set up camp to get close to their idols and experienced a bit of a glare of disapproval from the diehards. "The New Moon fans have been camping out since Tuesday night, and they have quite the little commune going outside of Hall H. I had to stop by and see for myself and before I even approached the first tent, you could hear the hoots of derision. 'Have you even read Twilight?' said one woman to a fanboy critic. 'No? Then you can't judge what you don't know!'"


The new Cahiers du Cinema

The French film journal that was the unofficial house organ of the New Wave movement has named Stephane Delorme as its new editor, according to Davie Itzkoff in the Arts Beat blog of NYT. In a news release, the magazine said that Mr. Delorme, 35, had written for the magazine since 1998 and has been a member of its editorial committee since 2001, as well as a member of the selection committee of the Directors' Fortnight, a film series held concurrently with the Cannes Film Festival.


11th hour "No" to Jeddah Fest in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia's only film festival was cancelled at the 11th hour on Friday after apparent pressure from religious elements within the highly conservative Islamic kingdom, reports Ben Child for The Guardian. The Jeddah Film Festival, which was scheduled to open on Saturday with a lineup of 71 features from the Gulf and 15 European short films, had been a rare showcase for movie-makers in Saudi Arabia, where cinemas are virtually nonexistent.


News tidbits:

Reykjavik International Film Festival is now calling for application for their Transatlantic Talent Laboratory. Find more information on their site.

Rhode Island International Film Festival returns for its 13th year August 4 - 9 with the LGBT section of the festival focusing on marriage equality. For more information and a line up, visit the festival's site.

Canada's Kinosmith has acquired five films for Canadian distribution rights including: Sean Garrity's "Zooey & Adam," Kate Churchill's "Enlighten Up!" Sarah Goodman's "When We Were Boys," and Sarah Goodman's "Army of One."

Ryuhei Kitamura is set to direct and Holly Brix will write the feature film "Magdalena" based on Top Cow's comic book character "Magdalena," according to an announcement by Gale Anne Hurd's Valhalla Motion Pictures and Platinum Studios, Inc.

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