By Nigel M Smith | Indiewire November 11, 2011 at 4:12PM
Managing a brand new redesign wasn't the only thing keeping Indiewire busy this week. Among the highlights this week: Eddie Murphy dropping out of the Oscars and Billy Crystal coming to save the day, AFI Fest dolling out its awards, Charlotte Rampling opening about being a doc subject in "The Look" and much more.
News"Heartbeat," "Loneliest Planet" & "Bullhead" Among Top AFI Fest Winners
AFI Fest handed out Jury and Audience prizes druing a quick ceremony Thursday morning in Hollywood, with Alexandra-Therese Keining's "With Every Heartbeat" taking the festival's audience nod in its Breakthrough section, while "Bullhead" by Michaël R. Roskam took the prize in the New Auteurs section.
"Scenes of a Crime" and "Girl with Black Balloons" Top DOC NYC Awards
At a special gala screening of Jon Shenk's "The Island President," the 2nd annual DOC NYC film festival announced the winners for its juried awards. After a brief newsreel from Occupy Wall Street, directed by Jem Cohen, the awards got underway.
Morgan Freeman to Receive Cecil B. DeMille Award
The Hollywood Foreign Press Association will present Morgan Freeman with the Cecil B. DeMille Award at the 69th Annual Golden Globe Awards on January 15, 2012.
Brett Ratner Resigns, Writes Open Letter of Apology
Brett Ratner has resigned as producer of the 84th annual Academy Awards. Academy President Tom Sherak accepted Ratner's letter of resignation.
What to See, What to Skip: New Reviews This Week
This weekend, it's all about variety at the cinema. Three of the world's most well respected auteurs (Werner Herzog, Clint Eastwood and Lars von Trier) have new works opening, while Adam Sandler and some really dodgy 3D (courtesy of "Immortals") threaten to dominate the box-office. Get a feel for what's worth your money by checking out the reviews published this week on Indiewire and the blog network.
Critic's Notebook: The Essential Difference Between Brett Ratner and Lars Von Trier
This week, despite (or even because of) its floundering reputation, the Oscars mattered, perhaps more than ever before. By dispensing/accepting the resignation of Brett Ratner as producer of the 2012 ceremony, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences did more than send a message about the entertainment industry's zero tolerance for hate speech. It also brought Ratner the comeuppance he deserves -- probably as a human being, but certainly as a filmmaker.
FeaturesYes, Plans Exist to Finish the River Phoenix Vehicle "Dark Blood." Just Don't Expect to See It Soon.
Casting news circulates the internet like clockwork each week, but one story last month stood out from the rest because it involved a dead man: A brief item in The Hollywood Reporter set off a media frenzy with the report that director George Sluizer plans on completing his unfinished 1993 feature "Dark Blood," which came to an abrupt halt following the tragic passing of leading man River Phoenix from a drug overdose that year.
The Box Office Success Stories of 5 UK Indies
As the British Independent Film Award nominations made clear last week, it's been a considerably strong year for independent film in the UK.
Here Are The Top Grossing Lars von Trier Films
In honor of the North American release of "Melancholia" this weekend, Indiewire is taking a look at Lars von Trier's top grossing films Stateside. Mr. von Trier is known for many things, but box office success in North America is probably not one of them.
InterviewsCharlotte Rampling On Making Herself More Vulnerable Than Ever in Angelina Maccarone's Doc "Charlotte Rampling: The Look"
If there's anything to be gleaned from Angelina Maccarone's fascinating documentary "Charlotte Rampling: The Look," it's that its subject, the incomparable Charlotte Rampling ("The Night Porter," "Stardust Memories," "Swimming Pool"), is just as complex, wise, funny, sexy and mysterious as the array of memorable characters she's played over the last 45 years.
FUTURES | Director Hossein Keshavarz On Risking It All In Iran With His Debut "Dog Sweat"
We all know filmmaking can be risky, but rookie filmmaker Hossein Keshavarz went beyond the call of duty with "Dog Sweat." Leading up to the 2009 elections in Iran, the Iranian American writer/director took to the streeets of Tehran to shoot a drama clandestinely.
More Galas, but World Cinema Still Rules at AFI Fest
Since opening back in 1971 as FILMEX, later re-branded under the American Film Institute, AFI Fest has long been a Los Angeles showcase for the latest in international titles. While world cinema remains the event's biggest component, there's an increasing number of high-profile galas such as this year's opener, "J. Edgar."
Matthew Porterfield On His Beguiling Hybrid Doc "Putty Hill," Our DVD Pick of the Week
A beguiling amalgamation of documentary and fictional narratives, Matthew Porterfield’s second feature “Putty Hill” has been making waves on the film festival circuit since debuting at the Berlin International Film Festival last year. It lands on DVD and Blu-ray this week and it's Indiewire's pick of the week.