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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Rum Diary Reviews: Mild Diversion, Vividly Average, Wildly Indulgent, Idiosyncratic

    Johnny Depp is on the promo trail for the long-delayed literary adaptation The Rum Diary (October 28), his second run at his fave writer Hunter S. Thompson--although reportedly, the star of Pirates of the Caribbean and the upcoming The Lone Ranger can't talk about the movie on Disney-owned ABC affiliates. While FilmDistrict did not take the film to early fall film fests, they're spending heavily on outdoor ads and TV spots. Depp did a Q & A at the opening of Elvis Mitchell's Film Independent series at LACMA on October 13, and the film played the Austin and Hamptons Film Festivals. And after an invite-only UC Berkeley screening and Q & A for The Rum Diary, Depp took over music club Shattuck Down Low and served up Hunter's punch cocktails and live music (here's more). And Depp sat down with Fandango.

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  • The Playlist
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    Matt Damon & Ben Affleck Team For Whitey Bulger Biopic By 'Boardwalk Empire' Writer Terence Winter

    Casey Affleck To Co-StarGranted, they've got some competition for this one, but you can bet Matt Damon and Ben Affleck have taken the lead on getting a biopic on famed Boston mobster Whitey Bulger onto the big screen.

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  • Leonard Maltin
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    For Love Of Celluloid

    While watching the new Criterion DVD release of the exquisitely creepy Island of Lost Souls (1932), some of the black & white images photographed by Karl Struss took my breath away. There are scenes with Charles Laughton in almost complete darkness, where all we see is a tiny glint in his eye, or his face is illuminated by a cigarette match. The film is full of incredible moments like this. Talk about chiaroscuro…

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    More: Journal
  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Film Independent Names Producers Lab Participants, Sloan Award Winners

    After their weekend-long Film Independent Forum (where Werner Herzog gave the keynote Q & A), FIND announced eleven filmmakers and nine projects for their 11th annual Producers Lab, and named Brent Hoff and Malcom Pullinger the winners of the 5th annual $25,000 Sloan Producers Grant. Hoff and Pullinger will participate in the Lab with their film, El Diablo Rojo, the story of a marine biologist and his team, who risk their lives to prevent ecological disaster after discovering a super swarm of El Diablo Rojo squid. FIND's director of Artist Development, Josh Welsh, says; “Two of the films we’ve awarded this grant to in the past, Future Weather and Valley of Saints, are in post-production now. I look forward to seeing El Diablo Rojo follow the same path.”

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  • The Playlist
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    Book Review: 'Pauline Kael: A Life In The Dark' Is A Compelling Look At The Famed Critic

    Pauline Kael famously once said that people keep asking her to write a memoir, but she had to stress to them that she already had – her life was in her work, in her vivid, long-form essays and critiques (most notably for The New Yorker) on her favorite subject: film. As Brian Kellow's new biography, thrillingly written and exhaustively researched shows, there was a whole lot more to Kael that what was in her reviews.

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    More: Review
  • Shadow and Act
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    The “Queen Hussy” Chronicles w/ Pete Chatmon: Issue 5

    We just dropped our first "Anatomy of a Webseries" for Queen Hussy, Episode 1. Conversation about the process is always valuable and in this video you'll hear from actress Jenn Pinto, cinematographer Antonio Cisneros, production designer Thomas Michael Ferguson, as well as yours truly about the process of directing the piece.

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  • Shadow and Act
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    Watch Trailer For Gritty Drama "Junkhearts" Co-starring John Boyega Of "Attack The Block"

    Here's a film getting major buzz on the festival circuit. It's called Junkhearts and it's a gritty, psychological thriller dealing with drugs, homelessness and alcoholism.

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    More: Trailer
  • Spout
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    Short Starts: Watch "Like Crazy" Director Drake Doremus's "The Shirt"

    Short Starts is a column devoted to kicking off the week with a short film, typically one tied to a new release. Today we look at an early film by Drake Doremus, director of “Like Crazy,” which opens in limited release this Friday.

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    More: Full Films
  • Women and Hollywood
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    What Up With Hating on Madonna?

    I've been watching the roll out of Madonna's film W.E. with a lot of interest. Aside from the fact that it is a film about women directed by a woman, Madonna is a huge celebrity and I can't think of any female directors who have as big a profile as she does. Women directors are not stars like male directors. Kathryn Bigelow has a high profile now because of her Oscar win, but most women directors operate under the radar screen.

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  • The Playlist
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    Review: Steven Spielberg's 'The Adventures Of Tintin' Is A Gloriously Enjoyable Mo-Cap Marvel

    Across his 40 year career as Hollywood's most beloved filmmaker, Steven Spielberg has tried his hand at many different things -- the blockbuster thrill ride, the family film, the comedy, the war film, hardcore science-fiction, serious dramas and whatever it was that "The Terminal" was, a diverse range of pictures united by that certain Spielberg je-ne-sais-quoi. But there's something he's never tackled directly himself; the animated film. Sure, he's produced TV cartoons like "Animaniacs," and even the occasional big-screen one, like "An American Tail" and "We're Back," but for the most part, the Bearded One has always preferred live action to ink and pixels.

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