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  • Shadow and Act
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    Viola Davis Also Developing Film Based On Vivian Carter, Founder Of Vee-Jay Records (+ Promo)

    Read THIS recent profile of Viola Davis in the Taipei Times to learn that, since forming her new production company with her husband, in addition to an adaptation of Ann Weisgarber’s novel The Personal History of Rachel DuPree (which we told you to about a month or 2 ago), she's also developing a film based on the story of Chicago record label Vee Jay Records and it's owner and founder, Vivian Carter. The short story goes... Vivian Carter started the label after she won a contest to be a DJ on legendary Chicago DJ Al Benson's show.

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  • The Playlist
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    Review: 'Norman' A Well-Observed, Tender & Moving Ode To Adolescence & Loss

    Being a teenager is hard enough, but for Norman (Dan Byrd), the minefield of emotions he is forced to navigate is almost absurd in its proportion. Certainly not popular, but not a total exile either, Norman seems to exist in his own bubble at high school, one that keeps his pervading depression and suicidal thoughts as a close companion. But if this weren't enough, Norman, still reeling from the tragic death of his mother in a car accident, is also bearing witness to his father (Richard Jenkins) wasting away in the final stage of stomach cancer, with this painful experience compounded by the worry that the bills around the house are starting to pile up. But with all of this comes a shining ray of light in Emily (Emily VanCamp), a classmate who shares Norman's oddball sense of humor (and is the rare girl who loves Monty Python) but more importantly, shows a genuine interest in the outsider.

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    More: Films, Review
  • The Playlist
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    Watch: Trailer For Christian Bale & Zhang Yimou’s Oscar Contending ‘The Flowers Of War’

    After winning his first Oscar last year for "The Fighter," can Christian Bale make it a repeat this year? Judging by the first international trailer for Zhang Yimou's Oscar-contending "The Flowers Of War," we somehow doubt it, but the scale of the film does look impressive even if the tone seems somewhat uneven.

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  • Shadow and Act
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    Rooney Mara Declines Lead Role in Spike Lee's Classic Cult Remake "Old Boy"

    Quick casting note, looks like OLDBOY is still looking for that female lead as Rooney Mara has passed on the part. --Words tweeted by Variety's Justin Kroll

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    More: casting
  • The Playlist
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    ‘Jupiter Ascending’ Will Be The Wachowskis Next Film, Shooting To Start Spring 2012

    First cropping up in the middle of the summer, the mysterious "Jupiter Rising" (now being called "Jupiter Ascending") was added to the already lengthy list of movies being eyed by The Wachowskis. And since 2008's eyeball-melting "Speed Racer," they've certainly had no shortage of movies to choose from. While "Cloud Atlas" is now in front of cameras, “Hood,” an “urban retelling” of the Robin Hood mythology with Will Smith sought to star, and the R-rated Iraq War gay romance picture “CN-9” (aka “Cobalt Neutral 9”) were also tossed around as possibilities. But the former sounds, frankly, pretty terrible and latter is not going to get financing from any major studio ever, so it looks like the sibling duo will go back once again to their comfortable sci-fi territory for their next flick.

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  • Peter Bogdanovich
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    The Sopranos

    About ten years ago, I was talking with critic Matt Zoller Seitz, and he said that one of the things he thought which made the HBO series THE SOPRANOS (all six seasons available on DVD) such an exceptional show was the makers’ willingness to let certain scenes play in continuous action, without a cut, allowing audiences simply to observe the actors minus any manipulation via editing or noticeable camera pyrotechnics. (Full disclosure: I had a recurring role on the show starting with the second season, playing Dr. Melfi’s—-Lorraine Bracco’s---shrink, Dr. Eliot Kupferberg. I also directed an episode for season five.) Matt’s underlying point was that this way of working hardly exists any longer in features, and its unfortunate lack has a lot to do with the off-putting nature of so much current mainstream product, most of it cut like music videos or commercials, no shot allowed to last more than a few seconds at most.

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  • The Playlist
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    Review: 'Le Havre' Another Hilarious, Humane & Moving Film From Aki Kaurismaki

    The following is a reprint of our review from Cannes.

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  • The Playlist
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    'Bad Teacher' Trio Director Jake Kasdan & Writers Gene Stupnitsky & Lee Eisenberg Team For New Film

    While it wasn't the funniest R-rated comedy of the summer, "Bad Teacher" was certainly one of the most successful. Made on a slim budget of around $20 million, the film went on take in over $200 million worldwide, so no surprise that Sony are eager to get the creative team behind that film back together. And it looks like it's going to be another tale of jilted love.

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  • Shadow and Act
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    Gotham Independent Film Awards Nominees Announced ("Pariah," "Gun Hill Road," Others Make The Cut)

    Congrats to Dee Rees on being nominated in the Breakthrough Director category for her much-buzzed about feature film debut, Pariah. Although I was surprised that the star of that film, Adepero Oduye, wasn't nominated in the Breakthrough Actor category.

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  • REVERSEBLOG: the reverse shot blog
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    "Martha Marcy May Marlene" plus an interview with director Sean Durkin

    Like Jeff Nichols’s Take Shelter—its only real rival for the title of Fall’s Best American Film—Sean Durkin’s Martha Marcy May Marlene concludes on a shot that’s either totally declarative or sneakily ambiguous. In both cases, it’s up to the viewer to decide whether the filmmaker has placed all of his cards on the table or is still holding a couple close to the vest. The comparisons between the two films don’t end there, either. While largely dissimilar in terms of style and subject matter, Take Shelter and Martha Marcy May Marlene are movies that warily examine gender roles—flipped mirror images of characters looking for a way out to find themselves ever more tightly constricted. Read Adam Nayman's review

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