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  • SydneysBuzz
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    Out with the Old Part 2: Secrets of Spain

    Spain is a country full of secrets. Thirty-six years after the death of Generalisimo Francisco Franco, Spanish general and dictator of Spain from 1936 until his death in 1975, the secrets of Spain's history are just beginning to emerge from the shadows and merge with the flow of the Eurozone. From the outside, Seville seems flawless. The city is superb, its commodities, its amenities and its people could not be more comfortable and pleasant. I was invited by Margaret von Schiller, ex Berlinale Panorama programmer on behalf of Extenda, the export arm of the Andalusian government, to The Sevilla Festival of European Films to participate in their Industry Forum (Il Foro) on a panel, “Festivals: What is their use and at what moment in production?” and to speak one-on-one with filmmakers about the international film business, its players and the place of festivals as acquisitions and distribution mechanisms.

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  • Shadow and Act
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    U.S. Premiere of South African Drama "Lucky" at Palm Springs Int Film Fest This Friday, Jan 13th

    A film that I've profiled on the site a couple of times in the past few months, and that I'm eagerly looking forward to any domestic distribution news...

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    More: Festivals
  • Shadow and Act
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    Trailer For Ensemble Cast Dramedy "Dysfunctional Friends" Arrives (In Theaters February)

    A quick recap for those not familiar with the film...

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  • The Playlist
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    Review: In 'Contraband' The Humans Aren't Nearly As Compelling As The Bullet Holes

    Chris Farraday, the protagonist of “Contraband,” is a popular movie construct. Handsome, wide-shouldered, and with a movie-star smile, he’s tough enough to have done some Very Bad Things, but also principled enough to be retired by the time we meet him. Chris is an ex-drug smuggler, and the life doesn’t seem to have done much for him. Clad in form-fitting jeans and tee-shirts, he still hangs out at the same ratty bars with his low-life former criminal acquaintances. It’s a character as walking, talking movie shorthand: we know what he was, what he is, and, likely, what he’ll have to become again.

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Indie Distributors Target Foreign Oscar Entries for Specialized Gold

    Distributors are changing their usual release patterns for this year's batch of foreign film Oscar contenders. They often wait until after the nominations to release the films. But this year more are going out early, ahead of the noms January 24.

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  • Shadow and Act
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    Early Details On That Next Tyler Perry "Madea" Movie You Asked For...

    Recall my November post highlighting the 4 Tyler Perry movies that are scheduled to be released in 2012, wondering whether he should be concerned about overexposure?

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  • Shadow and Act
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    MLK Day Screening of "Nothing But a Man" at Museum of the Moving Image

    One of the benefits of MLK Day - beyond the celebration of Dr. King and his work, beyond a day off from work even - is the entertainment.

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  • SydneysBuzz
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    The Secret of 'Black Bread'

    Black Bread (Pa Negro), Spain's submission for Best Foreign Language Oscar Nomination, reveals the power of secrets upon succeeding generations once again. This multi-award winning film takes place in a poor village where an otherwise principled and loving father acts to help his son in life by succumbing to the fascist and greedy victors of the Spanish Civil War. The story's shocking mysteries must be seen rather than explained here. I was so interested in the director's motivations for this and his earlier film In a Glass Cage, that I ventured to ask him about his own personal life which made him who he was. His own story would make a most fascinating movie, but that is not the subject of this blog.

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    IN THE WORKS: Disney Rewards 'Pirates' Helmer Rob Marshall with Sondheim's 'Into the Woods'

    For once a studio is matching director Rob Marshall with an assignment for which is he is well-suited. Marshall moved from Broadway choreographer/director (Tony-winning "Cabaret") and television musical director (Emmy-winning "Annie") to inconsistent Hollywood filmmaker--from Oscar-winning "Chicago" to over-budget flops "Memoirs of a Geisha" and "Nine."

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  • The Playlist
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    'Drive' Star Albert Brooks Reflects On His Career & Working With Martin Scorsese, Sidney Lumet, James L. Brooks & More

    Over the weekend, the Film Society of Lincoln Center put on a special event, hosted by Scott Foundas, centered around "Drive" star Albert Brooks, who is earning strong Oscar buzz for his role as menacing mob boss Bernie Rose. The night took a unique (and, it should be noted, unexpected) approach by focusing on the roles that Brooks acted in, instead of the ones where he appeared in something that he had both written and directed. The night kicked off memorably with the beginning of "The Twilight Zone: The Movie," a clip that still plays well today (you could tell that much of the audience either hadn't seen the movie or had forgotten about it completely), and from there it was a wonderful look back through the years, from his breakthrough performances to his role in "Drive." 

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