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  • Spout
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    TIFF11: "Last Call at the Oasis" Director Jessica Yu Talks Big Issue Docs and Avoiding Fearmongering

    As I noted in my review of "Last Call at the Oasis," I'm not always for the big issue docs that try to save the world. So I was pleasantly surprised to really enjoy and appreciate how Jessica Yu worked with a grand-scale cause such as water. As in water shortage, water contamination and really any every other water-related problem affecting some part of the world today. I just had to talk to the Oscar-winning filmmaker, known previously for nontraditional docs like "In the Realms of the Unreal" and "Protagonist" and the fictional sports comedy "Ping Pong Playa," to find out her secret recipe for making a great issue doc that isn't heavy on scare tactics or boring fact sheets. The first part of this conversation is below. You can find the second part, about documentary immediacy, at the Documentary Channel Blog.

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  • REVERSEBLOG: the reverse shot blog
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    Simply the Worst: Jane Campion's "In the Cut"

    After establishing herself internationally with 1989’s Sweetie and then breaking out big in America with The Piano in 1993, New Zealander Jane Campion directed a string of arrestingly conceived if ill-received projects, including an adaptation of Henry James’s Portrait of a Lady and the Kate Winslet–starring whatsit Holy Smoke. But neither of these was as seemingly reviled as In the Cut, an impression supported, however unscientifically, by its critical and audience ratings on Rotten Tomatoes of 33% and 36%, respectively. When I saw the film upon its release, I fell in line with the consensus, yet also found the movie entrancing and affecting at moments, enough so that I later felt compelled to purchase it on DVD, not something I do lightly. Redeeming the film in full isn’t part of the plan—In the Cut remains upon repeated viewings something of a mess—but it’s still a fascinating work to examine. Read Kristi Mitsuda's entry in Reverse Shot's "Simply the Worst" symposium.

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    More: new issue
  • ReelPolitik
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    Fassbender Drama "Shame" Instills Fainting Spell in Toronto

    Fassbender Drama "Shame" Instills Fainting Spell in Toronto

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  • Shadow and Act
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    "Top Gun" Being Converted To 3D For 2012 Re-Release (Survey Time!)

    So... it was already announced that James Cameron mega-grossing hit Titanic is being converted to 3D for a spring 2012 release; now this news drops: Tony Scott’s 1986 classic Top Gun starring Tom Cruise is being converted to 3D for a theatrical release.

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  • The Playlist
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    '28 Weeks Later' Helmer Juan Carlos Fresnadillo Likely To Replace Justin Lin On 'Highlander' Remake

    Let's face it, for anyone who isn't a nostalgia-fuelled child of the VHS generation, the original "Highlander" only looks good in comparison to its string of extremely bad sequels and TV spin-offs. As such, it's somewhere near the bottom of the long list of remakes we don't give a shit about; neither a sullied classic threatening to be ruined, nor a property with enough potential to be reenvisioned by an interesting new talent.

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  • The Playlist
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    TIFF '11 Review: A (Mostly) Delightful 'Damsels In Distress' A Welcome Return By Whit Stillman

    From the moment the Sony Pictures Classics logo pops up not in the usual blue -- but in cupcake frosting pink -- you know that Whit Stillman's first film in 13 years (!) is going to be something special. While word from Venice -- where the film closed the festival before heading to TIFF -- was good, the question to be answered was whether or not Stillman's style and cinematic persona would stand up in a filmmaking landscape that has changed immensely since "Last Days of Disco." Well, let there be no doubt: Stillman is just as enjoyable as when we last met him those many years ago and "Damsels In Distress" finds the director with lots (and lots and lots) left to say.

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  • Women and Hollywood
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    TIFF- Albert Nobbs

    It was so great to see Glenn Close back on the big screen in Albert Nobbs. It's been too long. She, like many other actresses of her generation, have found TV to be the place where she can play richer characters than in film.

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  • The Playlist
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    Nick Nolte & Tom Waits Circling Drama 'The Low Road,' From 'Martha Marcy May Marlene' Producers

    A slowly creeping phenomenon of 2011 has been the indie drama "Martha Marcy May Marlene." Ever since its debut at Sundance in January, the psychological thriller, which has placed star Elizabeth Olsen as one of the hottest actresses around, has picked up some of the most glowing reviews of the year (read ours from Sundance here), and played virtually every major festival, currently unspooling at Toronto after cropping up at Cannes in the Spring. Joe Public will get their chance to see it when it's released next month, but the company behind Sean Durkin's film are moving onto pastures new, with two projects in the can, and one more gearing up that's attracting the attention of two veteran actors.

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  • Shadow and Act
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    Preview/Trailer Jamaican "Against-The-Odds" Boxing Drama "Ghett’a Life"

    In a recent post about Warrior I think it was, I made a remark about being over seeing inspirational dramas about white fighters (whether boxers, wrestlers, MMA, etc) that seem to have become fashionable again in Hollywood in the last 4 or 5 years - 2 of them have been Oscar contenders, one is likely going to be given the buzz, and another was recently announced with Eminem starring and Antoine Fuqua directing.

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  • The Playlist
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    R.I.P. Oscar-Winner & 'Spider-Man' Star Cliff Robertson (1923-2011)

    Sad news amidst all the film festival nonsense this morning, with the news breaking overnight that Cliff Robertson, the Oscar-winning star of "Charly," who found a new lease of life in recent years after playing Uncle Ben in Sam Raimi's "Spider-Man" trilogy, passed away yesterday at the age of 88. Robertson had a long and varied career, dating back to the 1950s, although thanks to his exposure of a embezzlement scam by Columbia Pictures boss David Begelman in the 1970s, faced brief black-listing from studios.

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