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  • The Playlist
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    Paul Haggis Prepping Tell-All Exposé About His Years In Scientology

    Gives Up Dream To Ever Work With Tom CruiseAfter 35 years as a devoted follower to wacky fake religion/cult Scientology, director Paul Haggis left in a blaze of glory in 2009. Following the group's inaction after a San Diego branch supported Prop 8, Haggis penned an angry screed that ended up online...

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  • Spout
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    See More Real Life Superheroes in the Documentary "Superheroes"

    I'm pretty shocked at how popular the story on real-life superhero Phoenix Jones was this week. Similar news about actual "Kick-Ass" types were all over the Internet last year with less notice outside of the movie blogs (and these costumed civilians have been gaining in numbers for years). For some ...

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  • The Playlist
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    My Favorite Films Of 2010: Christopher Bell

    I'm going to put it bluntly: If The Playlist didn't take me on as a contributor I would have never seen as many movies as I had, and nearly half of my list would probably be sitting in my Netflix queue well into 2011. So without being sappy (and yes, in being totally public about it), I appreciate t...

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  • Peter Bogdanovich
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    Kiss Me Deadly

    Talk about the tension between a director and his material—which was one of the critical cornerstones of the French New Wave’s reassessment of American movies—-and they were the first to point out this frisson in the work of iconoclastic director-producer Robert Aldrich; perhaps most noticeably in his aggressive independent film, the dark and dangerous 1955 thriller, KISS ME DEADLY (available on DVD). Aldrich hated detective-fiction writer Mickey Spillane’s novels so much that he took one of the author’s most popular and typical Mike Hammer private-eye stories and transformed it into not only the best picture ever made from Spillane (which is...

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  • The Playlist
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    How Do You Like That? Terrence Malick Gave Ben Affleck & Matt Damon Notes On 'Good Will Hunting'

    Plus Barry Pepper Talks The Untitled Malick DramaThe renaissance of Ben Affleck continues apace. After some impressive supporting roles in the likes of "Hollywoodland" and "Extract" and a burgeoning directorial career, the actor -- whose career was not so long ago in severe trouble -- booked a role...

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  • Caryn James
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    TV Review, Downton Abbey: Such Elegant Social Upheaval

    In 1912, the aristocrats and servants at Downton Abbey live in a world where bad news comes by telegram – like the one informing Lord Grantham that his cousin and heir has been lost with the Titanic. By the end of this sumptuous, endlessly entertaining miniseries, it is 1914, a new-fangled telephone...

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  • Indiewire
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    Academy Narrows Visual Effects Race To Seven

    The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences today announced that seven films remain in the running in the Visual Effects category for the 83rd Academy Awards. Oddly, the race will be narrowed down to five for the actual nominations (a new rule, as it's normally just three), leaving just two film...

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  • Spout
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    Entering Cinephilia Through the Cerebral Gate

    In one of the entries in Slate's 'The Movie Club,' a year-end exchange of films between writers Dana Stevens, Dan Kois, Stephanie Zacharek, Matt Zoller Seitz and former Spout editor Karina Longworth, Seitz argues that "emotion is the gateway drug to all cinephilia." And once again, due to my heartle...

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  • The Playlist
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    Kevin Macdonald's Crowdsourced YouTube Doc 'Life In A Day' To Stream For Free On Jan. 27

    With his big budget medieval pic "The Eagle" set to debut next month, it's easy to forget that director Kevin Macdonald got his start in documentary film, with the excellent "Kindertransport," "One Day In September" and "Touching the Void" under his belt. Earlier this summer it was revealed he was teaming with Ridley Scott's Scott Free production company on a rather ambitious project, "Life In A Day." The idea was simple if somewhat of a logistical challenge: On July 24th YouTube users uploaded footage from around with the idea of telling future generations of what life was like on the planet on that single day. Against All Odds Productions j...

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  • The Playlist
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    Thomas Lennon & Robert Ben Garant Re-Writing 'The Wee McGinty'; Garant To Direct, Lennon To Star

    "'The Bourne Identity' but with a leprechaun." So goes the logline for "The Wee McGinty," a script from Mark Gibson and Phil Halprin. Summit Entertainment saw enough in the script to make the purchase, but apparently they've decided it just doesn't suck enough to get made, and so Thomas Lennon and R...

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