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  • Spout
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    TIFF11: "The Forgiveness of Blood" Is an Impressive and Nuanced Work of Global Cinema

    “The Forgiveness of Blood” must have been an incredibly troublesome film to make. I don’t mean technically, financially or logistically, though filming in Northern Albania with mostly first-time actors can’t have been easy. The extraordinary difficulty here lies in the treacherous waters of global cinema. Joshua Marston is an American filmmaker who decided to go make a film in Albania about their oft-publicized blood feud problem. The very idea is already riddled with potential concerns, only some of which are mundane. Beyond the language and cultural barriers, how do you craft a universal story in that context so that it appeals to international (and specifically, American) audiences? And, perhaps more importantly, how do you make a film that is not at all exploitative but rather honestly tells a tale that is neither exoticized nor disrespectful?

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  • Women and Hollywood
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    TIFF: Interview with Malgoska Szumowska - Director of Elles

    Elles tells the story of a journalist - Juliette Binoche - who interviews two young female students about their lives as prostitutes. This is bound to be a controversial film because for one it deals with female sexuality and how these young women use their sexuality to survive. They made this choice but each time they meet a date there is always the fear factor attached. Binoche character develops a strong affinity for these young women and it bleeds into her family life where she lives with her husband and two sons. She becomes unnerved and starts losing her grip all the while she is in the midst of preparing a big dinner for her husband's boss (the writer mentioned the reference to Mrs. Dalloway in the Q and A). This film pushes many buttons and what bothered me is that it made it seem like prostitution is one of the choices for your women today. It should have to be a choice for a woman to get an education, but the film said (and it was sparked by an article on student prostitutes) that this is the reality we live in.

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  • The Playlist
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    Another Great 'We Need To Talk About Kevin' Poster

    Lynne Ramsay is back. Nearly a decade since her last film, "Morvern Callar," the Scottish director has delivered what is easily her best work to date, "We Need To Talk About Kevin." It absolutely blew people away on the Croisette when it premiered in Cannes this spring and the momentum for the movie continues to build after hitting both Telluride and TIFF in recent weeks to equally strong acclaim.

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  • The Playlist
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    Director Justin Kurzel Talks About The World Of 'Snowtown' & His Dark Comedy Followup

    Despite taking a short film called “Blue Tongue” to Cannes Critic’s Week in 2005, Australian director Justin Kurzel isn’t a member of the Aussie collective Blue Tongue Films, which includes “Animal Kingdom” writer/director David Michôd and star Joel Edgerton (also of acclaimed MMA drama “Warrior”). Comparisons will be inevitable, however, in that like “Animal Kingdom,” Kurzel’s debut feature is an uncommonly accomplished crime drama about a naive teen corrupted by the poisonous, sociopathic tutelage of a deranged father figure. The two films also share cinematographer Adam Arkapaw who spent time behind the camera for both productions. If there’s a key difference, though, between Kurzel’s film, “Snowtown,” and Michôd’s "Animal Kingdom," it’s that the former is based on a horrific true story. Specifically, “Snowtown” dramatizes the events of Australia’s notorious Snowtown murders (also called the “Bodies in Barrels murders”), perpetrated by John Justin Bunting and three accomplices, one of whom was teenager James Vlassakis. "Snowtown" is a grim, hard-to-watch chronicle of how Vlassakis was lured into Bunting's world, eventually participating in his brutal, vicious murders.

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Fall/Holiday Preview: Five Glorious VFX Films to Watch, None Set in Present

    Bill Desowitz lists five VFX films to watch this fall and winter season, and the reasons why:With all due respect to the highly-anticipated The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn-- Part 1 and Mission: Impossible-- Ghost Protocol, in which Edward and Bella and Tom Cruise's Ethan Hunt spiritually go to hell and back, the real VFXy films to look out for this fall/holiday season are Hugo, Real Steel, Immortals, Anonymous, and Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows. They possess the necessary CG eye candy and potential Oscar prestige, plus there's not a contemporary story among them.

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  • Shadow and Act
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    Watch: In-Depth Look and Commentary From "Porgy and Bess" Revival

    Here's a special video feature from WGBH.org of The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess Revival.

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  • The Playlist
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    Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ryan Gosling & Alexander Skarsgård Reportedly Wishlisted For 'Man From UNCLE'

    Plus Our Five Suggestions For Potential Replacements For George Clooney In The FilmWith his virus thriller "Contagion" riding on top of the box office (and causing an epidemic of O.C.D. hand-washing from anyone who's seen it), Steven Soderbergh's about to shoot his next film, the male-stripper drama "Magic Mike." But talk has already turned to his next, next film, "The Man From U.N.C.L.E," the second of three he plans to shoot before taking a sabbatical. That film, slated to go in front of cameras in February, hit something of a roadblock a few weeks back when Soderbergh's regular collaborator George Clooney was forced to drop out of the lead role.

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  • The Playlist
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    Gus Van Sant Says He's Still Working Out How To Make 'The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test'

    But 'Restless' Helmer Was Never Going To Direct Artist Drama 'The Golden Suicides'Gus Van Sant is not an easily predictable director. His films are always instantly identifiable, but can vary between experimental, difficult pictures like "Gerry" and "Last Days," to more nakedly commercial fare like "Finding Forrester," and, occasionally, as in "To Die For" and "Milk," a sweet spot in between. His latest, "Restless," is another left turn, a quirky teen romance from a first time screenwriter, Jason Lew, that stars Henry Hopper, son of Dennis, and "Alice in Wonderland" lead Mia Wasikowska.

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  • Shadow and Act
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    NBC Orders Pilot For Women's Prison Drama "Bad Girls" Based On Award-Winning UK Series

    Well look at NBC trying to up its edgy programming game :)

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  • Women and Hollywood
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    Trailer Watch: Breaking Dawn - Part 1

    Trailer Watch: Breaking Dawn - Part 1

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