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    First Listen: 3 Clips From Alexandre Desplat's Haunting Score For 'The Tree Of Life'

    While the overblown Lars Von Trier-Nazi-gate has quickly raced to the top of the Cannes headlines, you might recall that earlier this week a guy named Terrence Malick finally unveiled his highly anticipated "The Tree Of Life." Even days later, for those bumping into each other around the Croisette, the first question seemed to be, "What did you think?" Well, in addition to our review from the festival we had a lot to more to say about the film that though a bit a uneven, still contains pockets of brilliance, awe-inspiring visuals and a thematic reach that simply is unlike anything being attempted in mainstream or indie cinema. In short, it's still an event and a film that must be experienced on a big screen. Part of the film's power comes from its extensive use of classical pieces as well the incorporation of Alexandre Desplat's stirring score.

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  • The Playlist
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    Cannes Review: Takashi Miike's 3D 'Hara-Kiri' A Tired Merchant Ivory-Esque Samurai Flick

    The prospect of the first 3D competition film ever to screen at the Cannes Film Festival directed by the ridiculously prolific Japanese madman Takashi Miike sounds too good to be true. And unfortunately, that's the case. "Hara Kiri," Miike's remake of Masaki Kobayashi's 1962 film, is the complete opposite of what you might expect from a three-dimensional samurai movie from the director. Lethargically paced, visually dull and with an emphasis on drama over action, "Hara Kiri" plays like a bad Merchant Ivory film with a lot of sonorous or off-key acting building up to very little.

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  • Shadow and Act
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    If You Missed It... Listen To Our Conversation w/ Tracey Edmonds, Producer "Jumping The Broom"

    In a live-cast "extra" session... I spoke for about 45 minutes to Tracey Edmonds, long-time producer, and now president and chief operating officer of Our Stories Films Inc, the mini film production studio founded by Bob Johnson back in 2006. Our Stories Films Inc is the company behind the recent Jumping The Broom by the way.

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    'Take Shelter' Takes Top Prize At Cannes' Critic's Week

    Australian Serial Killer Flick 'Snowtown' Gets Special MentionThe 2011 Cannes Film Festival is just stumbling on its last legs, with the final big film of the festival, Sean Penn starrer "This Must Be The Place," bowing this morning (watch for our review in a few hours). The festival's main awards won't be revealed until Sunday, but a select few awards have already been given out, focusing on films in the Critic's Week, the sidebar which highlights first and second films from directors, and celebrates its 50th year in 2011.

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  • The Playlist
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    Jessica Chastain Talks Malick & 'Wettest County,' Martin Campbell Won't Return For 'Green Lantern'

    Nicolas Winding Refn Producing Icelandic Gangster Thriller 'Black's Game,' Summit Pick Up Dwayne Johnson Vehicle 'Snitch,' & More News From The Cannes BacklogMore news seems to break during Cannes than at any other time during the year, as you might have noticed. And, while we've done our darndest to cover everything, a few things have slipped through the cracks. But because we're completists, and because our loved ones abandoned us a long time ago, we're going to try and run everything down quickly below, and in our post from earlier this afternoon. So, with no further ado:

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  • The Playlist
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    Cannes Review: Nicolas Winding Refn's Low-Slung '80s Crime Drama 'Drive' Has A Dark Majesty

    Why is "Drive" -- a seemingly trivial affair about a stuntman and part-time getaway driver, played by Ryan Gosling, pulled into deep and bloody waters on the neon-and-streetlight lit streets of L.A. -- even at Cannes, let alone in competition? It's not merely because of the bloody-but-brilliant background of director Nicolas Winding Refn, whose films (the "Pusher" trilogy, "Bronson," "Valhalla Rising") have demonstrated both an eye for composition and a taste for the jugular. It's not merely because of the film's cinematic roots, with the production seemingly crafted as a clear tribute to '80s-era Michael Mann and other synthesizer-and-faux-leather action-crime stories. Rather, you can make a case that "Drive" is here because action cinema and genre cinema are too important -- and too exciting, enthralling and, yes, artful when well made -- to be merely dismissed as suitable only for hacks to make and dolts to watch. French enthusiasm for American crime cinema from the '40s and '50s gave us the vocabulary and value set to truly appreciate film noir -- and anyone who can truly appreciate film noir will appreciate "Drive."

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  • The Playlist
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    If The Numbers Keep Going Up A 'Bridesmaids' Sequel Is A Possibility Says Paul Feig

    While this year has seen movies like "The Roommate," "Diary Of Wimpy Kid 2" and "The Rite" top the box office, every now and then, America gets it right and puts quality at the top of the pack. While it didn't beat the mighty "Thor," the Judd Apatow produced, Paul Feig directed ensemble female comedy, kicked some ass over the weekend, surprising everyone with a number two slot and as it headed into this week, overtook the Marvel movie with weekday ticket sales. This is a huge step towards greenlighting female comedies around town (finally) but moreover, proof that if you give audiences quality options, generally, they'll go for it.

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  • The Playlist
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    Cannes Organizers Sink To Lars Von Triers' Level, Ban Director From Festival With Immediate Effect

    Wow, Lars-Von-Trier-Is-A-Dick-At-A-Press-Conference-Gate just keeps running and running, doesn't it? The troublemaking director managed to totally overshadow the quality, or otherwise (the film's attracted the most divisive reaction of a festival that's already seen little consensus on its films) of "Melancholia" by behaving in his usual provocative manner at the film's press conference yesterday. The headline-happy helmer told assembled reporters that "Ok. I’m a Nazi... For a long time I thought I was a Jew and I was happy to be a Jew... I found out I was actually a Nazi. Which also gave me some pleasure. My family were German. What can I say? I understand Hitler…I sympathize with him a bit... I don’t mean I’m in favor of World War II and I’m not against Jews, not even Susanne Bier. In fact I’m very much in favor of them. All Jews. Well, Israel is a pain the ass but…"

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Paramount, Fox, Cameron Relaunch Titanic Again in Retro-3-D

    I know that James Cameron is invested in the future of 3-D, but it pains me that having set the highest possible 3-D standard with the glorious global blockbuster Avatar, the filmmaker is making Paramount and his home studio Twentieth Century Fox happy by retro-fitting the second-highest-grossing film of all time, 1997's Titanic, in 3-D. The studios plan a worldwide rerelease on April 6, 2012 to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the ship's sailing.

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  • The Playlist
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    Cannes Review: 'Bonsai' Is A Chilean Slacker-Romance Of Love & Language That's Small, Swift & Smart

    Cannes, more so than other film festivals, feels like the 10 days of nutrition offered in the hopeful attempt to make up for the other 355 days of dessert modern movie going offers us. Abandonment, murder, suicide, prostitution -- these are the concerns of all too many films in the competition and sidebars here at Cannes. A film like Christián Jiménez's "Bonsái," in the Un Certain Regard selection -- seemingly slight, seemingly light, small in scope and scene -- is exactly the kind of film that whispers when other films shout and gets overlooked in the hue and cry. But that doesn't mean that it doesn't speak the truth, or that what it's saying isn't heartfelt, articulate and funny. You have to lean into a film like "Bonsái" so you can see how intricate, simple and elegant it is, even at what seems like a smaller scale.

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