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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Eisenberg & Zuckerberg & Samberg Face Off on SNL; Eisenberg Talks Oscars, Confidence, Ladies

    Watch Jesse Eisenberg explain his female expertise and "freight-train of confidence" on SNL while Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg calls the movie that got him on the cover of Time, The Social Network, "interesting."

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  • REVERSEBLOG: the reverse shot blog
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    The Party's Over: Gregg Araki's "Kaboom"

    Even more than Pedro Almodóvar, Todd Haynes, and other former enfants terribles of the queer filmmaking world, Gregg Araki seems caught in the double bind of maintaining outré street cred while simultaneously showcasing a more “mature” vision. His Nineties-era oeuvre has become both generational touchstone and lost utopia, with such unapologetically rambunctious and incensed films as The Living End, Totally Fucked Up, and The Doom Generation remembered as much for their promise of an aesthetically and politically engaged queer cinema as for their individual quirks and ragged edges. Araki’s “homo pomo” flippancy, down-and-dirty eroticism, and inchoate dread and rage have become so central to the collective idea of the New Queer Cinema (an idea by no means immune to the warping power of nostalgia) that, for some, any film he makes will be judged mostly by its extremity: how much it fans the “fuck you” flame that Araki helped to light some 20 years ago. But one person’s good fight is another’s lost cause, and Araki’s continuing identification with a largely moribund film movement can give his entire career a perhaps unwarranted but understandable feeling of arrested development. His predilection for youthful protagonists and elbow-nudging visual flourishes only contributes to the notion of Araki as a somehow immature artist, more concerned with flipping you off than pointing the way.

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  • The Playlist
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    The Small Screen: Aaron Sorkin's HBO Drama 'More As The Story Develops' Gets Pilot Pick Up

    Jake Kasdan Teaming With Liz Meriwether For 'Chicks & Dicks,' Mark Wahlberg Sells Sports Pilot 'Home Game'After acclaimed but short-lived runs for two behind-the-scenes shows with "Sports Night" and "Studio 60 On The Sunset Strip," who would have thought Aaron Sorkin would have a third chance at a show with a similar concept? Well, thanks to David Fincher and "The Social Network" the writer gets his shot with HBO now ordering a pilot for his cable news show drama, tentatively titled "More As The Story Develops."

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  • The Playlist
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    Watch: Trailer For Aaron Katz's Excellent Indie Noir 'Cold Weather'

    We're at an interesting tipping point in contemporary independent American cinema, one where directors are starting to take the aesthetics and low-key character drama of the mumblecore scene, and marrying them with genre film, and it's producing some of the more original, innovative low-budget works in recent years. From The Duplass Brother's slasher pic "Baghead" and Gareth Edwards' creature flick "Monsters" to Brit Marling's Sundance one-two-punch of "Another Earth" and "The Sound of My Voice," it's a good time for anyone with an interest in the way that genre can be played with onscreen, and one of the best examples to date is Aaron Katz's "Cold Weather."

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  • Women and Hollywood
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    Sundance Deals and Award Winners

    Sundance 2011 is over. The week started off with the NY Times article declaring that Sundance is a welcoming place for women directors, and it ended with a couple of women getting deals and awards. But let's be real, the women still don't get the deals the guys get.

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  • SydneysBuzz
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    AFFRM: A New View of Distribution

    On Sunday, January 25, 2011, AFFRM hosted the third of a trio of dinners for black filmmakers and filmthinkers at Sundance Film Festival. Filmmaker and publicist Ava DuVernay created these dynamic group conversations on "all things black + indie + film" at Cafe Terigo, overlooking Main Street in Park City. I like to think of myself as a filmthinker because I have been rethinking distribution of films along with everyone else in the business, but have been especially concerned about underserved audiences in the Latino and African American sectors. I have been reframing my own ideas (with such a coach as Tom Bernard leading the way) as I teach my course on the international film business at UCLA Extension, Deutsche Welle Akademie, the Berlinale Talent Campus and Woodbury College. I hope that I elucidate the issues in this blog and that that is why I was invited to partake in one of these very special dinners. With five African American film festivals curating, the best of African American films will receive theatrical releases through AMC theaters in five top markets along with national reviews. From that point on, it will be up to the filmmakers to use the existing services of such entities as their own ingenious use of social networking, The Film Collaborative or Distribber's new Cable VoD initiative to maximize their theatrical runs and the attendant marketing, to distribute their films to obtain the maximum returns. Even further theatrical exhibition can be considered through Emerging Picture's network of some 95 theaters.Read the New York Times article for more information on AFFRM.And see below the jump which festivals are the founding five.

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  • Spout
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    On the Anglification of Superman: Reactions to the Casting of British Actor Henry Cavill

    Interesting that Warner Bros. announced the casting of its next Superman on the last day of Sundance. The studio revealed some big casting news for "The Dark Knight Rises" as many of us were in the air heading towards the festival. Yesterday this report came while some were returning home. Talk about counter-programming. But the contrast between Sundance and superheroes isn't what people were talking about today. It was the fact that yet another British actor has been chosen for a superhero role. Christian Bale is Batman, Andrew Garfield is Spider-Man and now Henry Cavill ("Stardust") is Superman in Zack Snyder's "Superman: The Man of Steel." But let's not forget that in the past we've also had to endure Brits as Mr. Fantastic, Professor X and Magneto, Australians as Wolverine, Hulk and Thor, a Canadian as Colossus, a Canadian-Kiwi as Rogue, a Dutchwoman as Jean Grey, an American as Storm, an actor with sight as Daredevil and non-turtles as the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Oh, and a lot of people without super powers playing people with super powers. It didn't take long for one or two bright people to point out that Superman is an alien from another planet and therefore not technically American. Sure, but he did grow up from infancy in the heartland and until recently (in "Superman Returns") he stood for "the American way."

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  • The Playlist
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    We're So Over Jennifer Lawrence: 5 Actresses Who Broke Out At Sundance 2011

    Every year, the Sundance Film Festival serves not only as a showcase of the best of independent cinema from around the world, but as a strong indicator of some of the rising talent likely to make waves in future years. As much as the festival showcases young writers and directors, it's for its instant creation of movie stars that it's perhaps become best known in recent years.

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    SAG Awards Go to The King's Speech and Firth, Black Swan's Portman, The Fighter's Bale and Leo

    SAG Awards Go to The King's Speech and Firth, Black Swan's Portman, The Fighter's Bale and Leo

    The Screen Actors Guild's best ensemble award is the equivalent of the Oscar best picture. The King's Speech wins it, along with Colin Firth for best actor. The Fighter's Melissa Leo and Christian Bale win the supporting category. And best actress goes to Black Swan's Natalie Portman. It will probably be thus on Oscar night. But the races can shift over time. Firth and Bale can't lose. And The King's Speech is backed by the wily Harvey Weinstein.

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  • The Playlist
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    Sam Mendes Producing TV Thriller 'Grand Hotel'; Oliver Hirschbiegel Directs 4 Episodes Of 'Borgia'

    Call it "Prison Break" set inside a swanky hotel, but we have to admit we're curious about this one thanks to the talent aboard. Variety reports that director Sam Mendes is set to produce "Grand Hotel" (not to worry, classic film buffs, it's not a remake of the John Barrymore/Greta Garbo pic) along with Canal Plus and BBC Worldwide.

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