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  • The Playlist
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    Carey Mulligan To Star In Nicolas Winding Refn's Sex Thriller 'I Walk With The Dead'

    If you need an indication that the colorful A-list cast of Nicolas Winding Refn's hotly-tipped genre noir "Drive" got on with the Danish filmmaker like a house on fire, look no further than Refn's next few projects for proof. Shooting next, the Bangkok-set neo-Western "Only God Forgives" will also star lead "Drive" actor Ryan Gosling (alongside Kristin Scott Thomas), the "Half Nelson" actor is also developing a "Logan's Run" remake with Refn, and there's even been talk of a romantic comedy for the duo that would be written by "Drive" heavy Albert Brooks.

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Telluride Reviews: Payne and Clooney Score Big Wins with The Descendants

    Telluride Reviews: Payne and Clooney Score Big Wins with The Descendants

    Fox Searchlight's first trailer for The Descendants made Alexander Payne's return to the screen, after winning best original screenplay (with Jim Taylor) for 2004's Sideways, look like a well-meaning family drama. It's far more than that. "Alexander should make more movies," said George Clooney at the Telluride patron's brunch Friday. Of course he should, but this is the one he was able to get made, and it's well worth the wait. Clooney wasn't right for Sideways, but wanted to work with Payne, who gave him the script two years ago in Toronto. They were shooting in Hawaii by March. At the Q & A after the rousingly received first public showing at Telluride, Clooney admitted that he "worried about my ability to be such a schlub." While Payne deflected Clooney's compliments--"you write and you direct really well"-- he did admit: "I cast well."

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  • Shadow and Act
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    Trailer Watch: Gbenga Akinnagbe in Romantic Comedy "Brooklyn Shakara"

    Written and directed by Femi Agbayewa, Brooklyn Sahara is produced by Adam Pray. The film stars Gbenga Akinnagbe (HBO's The Wire), Ebbe Bassey (Nikyatu Jusu's African Booty Scratcher), Chike Johnson, Esosa Edosomwan and Rena Anakwe.

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Telluride Day One: Brunch, The Artist, Pierre Etaix, Trip to the Moon, Becoming Bert Stern

    At the Telluride FIlm Fest, I'm tracking more mainstream titles that folks may actually see in theaters, while Meredith Brody is the lucky one who tracks the rarer events here.At the Press Office I run into assorted Festival attendees and guests; director/film buff Allan Arkush downloads an app called NeoReader that can scan a Nabokovian figure complete with butterfly net placed around the Festival to learn updates such as TBA slots and whether there are seats available or not in a screening. We run into Nick James, editor of the British Sight and Sound, who's here to receive a Special Medallion for a “hero of cinema – an organization or individual – that preserves, honors, and presents great movies.” He’s still vibrating from a first-ever trip through the desert to Telluride that included Monument Valley. Whereupon Allan shows him the shot of himself in Monument Valley that is the screensaver on his iPhone.

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  • eugonline
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    Telluride 1: Patience

    Telluride 1: Patience

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  • Shadow and Act
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    Watch: "The Burma Boy" (On The African Soldiers Taken From British Colonies To Fight In WWII)

    Feel free to include this in the ongoing conversation about the largely ignored contributions by blacks (in this case black Africans) in WWII... an almost hour-long worthwhile documentary courtesy of Al Jazeera:

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    More: Watch Now
  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    No New Strike Back Episode Friday -- Mini-Marathon for Labor Day

    No New Strike Back Episode Friday -- Mini-Marathon for Labor Day

    Don't take anything for granted, warns David Chute, as you wait an extra week for the resolution of the latest Strike Back cliffhanger.No new episode tonight of TV's new best action series. Instead, Cinemax is running a mini-marathon of the first three episodes of Strike Back, beginning at 10 p.m. Those already watching will have to continue gnawing their fingernails until Friday, September 9. Only then will they find out if Damien Scott has been blown to bits by the bomb strapped to his chest in a barn somewhere in South Africa by ex-IRA-turned-freelance terrorist Daniel Connolly.

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    More: Reviews, TV, HBO
  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Venice Reviews: Soderbergh's Contagion, Alps, Chicken with Plums, That Summer

    Brit correspondent David Gritten reports from Venice: Traditionally, weekends are the busiest time in Venice, but today has felt quieter -- perhaps because of the lack of high profile competition films on offer.

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Post-42West, Cynthia Swartz Launches Own Praisery

    As expected, it has not taken long for 30-year Oscar campaigner and indie strategist Cynthia Swartz to set up her own PR shop after disentangling her founding partnership since 2004 at 42West. Strategy PR/Consulting is open for business in New York and soon, Los Angeles as well. Swartz will not only do Oscar pushes but unit publicity, corporate representation, national PR campaigns complete with digital marketing, and film festival repping of acquisition titles. Swartz is importing her key NY-based 42West lieutenants as VPs: fest and awards maven Michael Kupferberg and film PR strategist Elena Zilberman. Strategy is also adding NY staffers Chanelle James (director of national publicity) and Katelyn Bogacki (manager).

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  • The Playlist
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    Venice '11 Review: 'Persepolis' Follow-Up 'Chicken With Plums' Is Amiable & Pretty, But Twee & Thin

    It can be difficult to shift from animation to live-action direction; the processes are very different, and even an accomplished animation helmer can sometimes be undone once they're faced with cameras, actors and the breakneck schedule of a feature film shoot, as opposed to the multi-year process that produces a feature cartoon. Some have managed it, Tim Burton being the most obvious example (at first, anyway...) and Pixar dons Brad Bird and Andrew Stanton are both hoping to make the leap in the next few months. But it's got to be even harder to go from working in graphic novels, to animation, to live-action, but that's been the path for Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud in the last few years.

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