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  • The Playlist
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    Weekend Box Office: 'The Avengers' Crosses The $1 Billion Mark In 19 Days; Registers First-Ever $100 Million Second Weekend

    When a movie scores the biggest opening weekend of all time (by nearly $40 million, in this case), the expectation is that it should continue to smash records. So, at a glance, “The Avengers” scoring the largest second weekend in film history isn’t exactly newsworthy. Though most prognosticators pegged the film, following a stupefying opening act of $207 million, to level off in the vicinity of 70% or so. As it turns out, a lot of your friends missed out on the movie the first time around, and after losing a little more than half of it’s first weekend tally, it’s the first film ever with two nine-figure weekend grosses. That shit cray.

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  • Press Play
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    VIDEO ESSAY - Deceptive Surfaces: The Films of Christian Petzold

    Film history, class consciousness merge in the brilliantly no-nonsense filmmaking of Christian Petzold.

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  • Criticwire
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    This Week on Criticwire: "Avengers" Aftershock and Critics Who...Look Like Monkeys?

    A sympathetic plea for a re-evaluation of trailers, a look at the joys of multiple movies back-to-back and a call for young writers also dotted the busy Criticwire landscape over the past six days.

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  • Peter Bogdanovich
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    Hawthorn

    Hawthorn (also known as Whitethorn, May Tree, Haw-tree, Thorn-apple, Red Haw or Hog-apple) is a large genus of the Rose Family which flowers at this time with white (in some species, red or pink) blossom called “may;” its fruit, a small dark-red berry, is called “the haw.” The tree is generally considered the best plant for hedges. Turks use a branch of Hawthorn-blossom as an erotic symbol because its scent carries for many men a strong connection with female sexuality, a fact celebrated in medieval England by the May custom of plucking flowered Hawthorn-boughs and dancing around the maypole.

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    EL James Does 'Fifty Shades of Grey' Promo Tour (Video)

    Curious about EL James, author of erotic fantasy fiction "Fifty Shades of Grey"? The Twihard, who started out writing "Twilight" fan fiction before penning her own trilogy (which has been bought for the movies, under her control, by Universal and Focus Features), has been on a promo tour as her three Vintage books have sold 3 million digital and print copies in less than a month and top the New York Times bestseller list. They are also bestsellers in the UK, New Zealand and Australia. Translated books are about to hit other countries too.

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Trailer Watch: Pixar's 'Brave' Will Be One of the Summer's Top Performers

    Why isn't "Brave" showing at Cannes? Because it's set to open the Edinburgh Film Festival instead just after its June 22 stateside release. Pixar's 13th film and first fairy tale, "Brave," is sure to be yet another top box office performer by summer's end,

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  • The Playlist
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    Review: 'Norman Mailer: The American' Is A Cliffs Notes Look At The Life Of A Literary Icon

    Provocative, rebellious, a genius and an undeniable force on the American literary landscape, Norman Mailer was an author, social commentator, filmmaker and a personality whose outsized figure nearly eclipsed his two Pulitzer prizes. He had enough experiences and adventures for three lifetimes, and the job of trying to capture him in a documentary and uncover what made him tick is a monumental task. But Joseph Mantegna's (not the actor), less than 90 minute film "Norman Mailer: The American" barely scratches the surface, giving a superficial, fast-forward look at his life, with a focus more on the tawdry and salacious, than the influence and inspiration behind the writer that was equally celebrated and vilified throughout his career.

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  • The Playlist
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    Julianne Moore Now On Board 'Carrie' Remake; Gabrielle Wilde Also Joins

    With a release date slated last week, the wheels are now firmly in motion on the Kimberly Peirce's "Carrie" remake starring Chloe Moretz. With the lead actress now locked in, the task is now on hand to find someone to play the poor girl's deranged mother, and a name that has already been bandied about seems to be taking a more firm shape.

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Weekly Wrap: In the Works, Trailer Watch, Reviews, and Cannes Market

    The Best of TOH! this week starts off with the Weekend Preview from Steve Jobs and Paul Simon to France, Lebanon, and Japan. In you're in a retro mood this weekend, we have a review round-up for "Dark Shadows" on the latest collaboration between Depp and Burton. We also give a review round-up for "The Dictator" with Sacha Baron Cohen, in case you're up for some uncomfortable hilary. Interested in the box office last week? We give a thorough look to "The Avengers" effect: who comes out ahead? (Hint, it's nearly everyone). In our Weekend Box Office, we write how "Avengers" shattered North American Box Office Records with $200-million haul. In the Arthouse Box Office, we note 'Marigold' Is 'Avengers' for Seniors, 'First Position' and 'Bernie' Score. To prep yourself for a great Cannes release, check out our exclusive clip from Maiwenn's gripping Cannes winner, "Polisse." Another Cannes debut, 'Hemingway & Gellhorn' also debuts on HBO: Kidman & Owen talk sex and Hemingway's boots.

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  • Press Play
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    VIDEO ESSAY - In Praise of Maya Deren

    Happy 95th, Maya Deren. Scholar Livia Bloom offers thoughts on Deren’s legacy and MESHES OF THE AFTERNOON.

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