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  • Hope for Film
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    25+ Things I Want To Know From New Filmmakers

    When I moderate a panel, I get to ask some questions that aren't the kind I often get to ask in a regular meeting. The questions are as much, and maybe perhaps more so, for the audience. Still though, I am generally trying to get at something: the how and why of creativity at this time in the world.I learned a lot from moderating the "New Faces Of Indie Film" panel at Lincoln Center on Saturday June 11, 2011. Yes, in the future when I am involved on a panel I will insist upon diversity, and yes, I will set a limit to the number of people on the panel. But I also learned from the answers folks gave. I didn't get to ask all of them, but had I, I had the list prepared. These are those questions.

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  • The Playlist
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    Review: Catherine Breillat's 'Sleeping Beauty' Tackles Fairy Tales Through The Prism Of Sex & Class

    A little girl who dreams of being a boy. A boy who wishes to be seduced by an Ice Queen. High fantasy and tangled sexuality dovetail in “The Sleeping Beauty,” a fantastical retelling of the popular folklore involving the little girl brought to an eternal slumber. Like the original Brothers Grimm fairytale, this version differs sharply from the public’s greater awareness of the Disney-fied version. But where it takes the familiar-seeming tale differs greatly from the source, as it emerges from the fertile mind of French provacateur Catherine Breillat.

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    More: Review
  • The Playlist
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    'Dragon Tattoo' Director Niels Arden Oplev Ready To Delve Into 'Game Theory'

    While Noomi Rapace has quickly capitalized on the success of the Swedish language "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo" films, with roles in "Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows" and "Prometheus" on the way, director Niels Arden Oplev's steps into Hollywood have been a bit more tentative. Last fall he was attached to direct the thriller "The Keep" for CBS Films though there hasn't been much movement since; he's also potentially got the Afghan war drama "The Last Photograph" with Christian Bale and possibly Sean Penn in the lead roles and he's also stepped over to television, directing the pilot episode of "The Rememberer" (yes, that's the name) a CBS procedural that sounds terrible. Well, one more project has been stacked up as his possible U.S. debut.

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  • The Playlist
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    Johnny Depp Looking Likely To Walk The Plank Into 'Pirates 5' As 'Stranger Tides' Crosses $1 Billion

    “It boils down to story, script and filmmaker,” Johnny Depp said back in the halcyon days of early May in the run up to the release of "Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides." “It’s not something where I would say, ‘Let’s shoot it next month to get it out by Christmas 2012. We should hold off for a bit. They should be special, just like they are special to me.” But it's amazing what $1 billion dollars can do.

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  • The Playlist
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    First Look At Abbie Cornish In The Indie Drama 'The Girl'

    For Abbie Cornish, stardom seems to be just out of reach but is something that is undeniably on the horizon. She broke out in the Aussie drama "Somersault" opposite Sam Worthington, garnered well deserved acclaim for her turn in Jane Campion's "Bright Star" and used that good word to land roles in the sleeper hit "Limitless," the disaster "Sucker Punch" and perhaps most intriguingly, Madonna's potential awards season bait "W.E." Well, she hasn't forgotten her indie roots and as you might remember, last fall she replaced Emily Blunt in "The Girl" and now we have our first look at her in the film.

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  • Women and Hollywood
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    Guest Post: Raven Symone Plays Georgia...Sticky Issue for Feminists? by Emilie Spiegel

    Last week, the Raven Symone series created by chick-lit author Jennifer Weiner, State of Georgia, premiered on ABC Family. Symone plays Georgia, a young woman who’s recently moved to NYC to pursue an acting career. As written, the character of Georgia is meant to be voluptuous -- a quality she embraces yet one that some casting directors reject.

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  • The Playlist
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    Watch: Another Depressing 'Johnny English Reborn' Trailer To Ruin Your Day

    It’s been three months since the first trailer for “Johnny English Reborn” debuted online, and we’ve all managed to continue on with our lives since then, suppressing the memory like a national trauma we wished would go away. Although we’d had eight long years to prepare for the character’s return, the western world had perhaps grown complacent that the buffoonish pratfallery of leading man Rowan Atkinson would ever again threaten to engulf our collective consciousness. No such luck: much in the way unexpectedly chucking a hastily-bandaged assault victim into a hot bath is a bad idea, the second tease of the venerably dumb Johnny English franchise has cropped up online, reopening old wounds we hoped would stay healed forever.

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  • REVERSEBLOG: the reverse shot blog
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    Out of the Shadows: Cristi Puiu's "Aurora"

    Even more so than his much heralded The Death of Mr. Lazarescu, Cristi Puiu’s Aurora is a monument to the quotidian. Or is it the quotidian made monumental? Everyday life seems at once faithfully recorded and amplified in Puiu’s films: carefully observed studies of average men—Lazarescu’s eponymous ailing sixty-something; the terse loner at the center of Aurora—whose prolonged running times and sheer accumulation of detail force us to consider the complicated undercurrents churning beneath what we might dismiss as “commonplace” happenings. In Lazarescu, this attentive gaze became a spotlight, illuminating the defective inner workings of Romania’s post-Communist health care system as seen through the experiences of one dying man. Too attentive to the contradictory flux of human experience to churn out a simplistic “exposé” of medical and bureaucratic dysfunction, Puiu’s camera remains interested in everything that passes before it, expanding its view to note the precise way a long-married couple bickers over household tasks, or recognizing the oasis of relief that comes from finding a trusted colleague amidst a whirlwind of professional chaos. Nevertheless, the film’s argumentative thrust feels clear, and intrinsically tied to Puiu’s detail-oriented eye. The depth of the medical establishment’s ineffectiveness—and the inability of well-meaning individuals to break through its inertia—becomes clear through the ever-growing cavalcade of arrogant physicians and dismissive nurses that Lazarescu encounters over the course of one long night. Maddening structural failures get refracted through the lens of familiar human failings, making them feel at once revelatory and recognizable. Read Matt Connolly's review of Aurora.

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  • The Playlist
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    'Curb Your Enthusiasm' Star J.B. Smoove Bags A Role In Sacha Baron Cohen's 'The Dictator'

    Star's Brother Erran Baron Cohen To Compose The MusicMore or less everyone involved in long-running HBO comedy "Curb Your Enthusiasm" has done pretty well out of it outside of the day job: creator/star Larry David toplined a Woody Allen film (albeit a terrible one...) and bagged a supporting turn in "The Three Stooges," Jeff Garlin's become a Pixar stalwart second only to John Ratzenberger, while Cheryl Hines got to make her directorial debut on "Serious Moonlight." But perhaps the biggest breakout seems to be the actor who's behind one of the most seminal supporting characters on the show: J.B. Smoove, who's played Leon Black on the last couple of seasons of the sitcom.

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  • The Playlist
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    New Look At Tintin & Snowy In 'The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn'

    Will 2011 be the year Steven Spielberg is no longer given a free pass from fans and critics? It would seem so. The early trailers for "The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn" were not widely embraced and we were surprised by the blowback the first spot for "War Horse" got. Well Spielberg still has some time to right the ship on both movies and we're only at the beginning of the campaigns for both, but this new look at 'Tintin' won't quiet the dissenters.

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