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  • Shadow and Act
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    Gugu Mbatha-Raw Joining Danny Glover In New TV Series From "Heroes" Creator

    When this new series was announced yesterday, the news was that Danny Glover had signed on to co-star, alongside Kiefer Sutherland and David Mazouz, in the Fox TV drama pilot titled Touch, which is being written and produced by the creator of the once popular sci-fi TV series Heroes, Tim Kring.

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Sundance, Redford and Fukunaga Tribute Satter on the 30th Anniversary of Institute Labs

    The Sundance Institute mounted an A-list fundraiser in the dark woods at Franklin Canyon last week, complete with music by Fitz and the Tantrums. Sundance founder Robert Redford gave his trademark speech--which he delivers charmingly--about how he saw the need to counteract the prevailing studio trends with a support system for indies, starting with mentor workshops that eventually lead to a place to showcase the work--the Sundance Film Festival.

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  • The Playlist
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    Review: Dense And Oblique, Monte Hellman's 'Road To Nowhere' A Welcome Return

    The reemergence of a well-respected filmmaker will always draw the eyes of cinephiles everywhere; these once-master auteurs come out of hiding, hoping to recapture the energy and attention they once had. "The Godfather" auteur Francis Ford Coppola is currently enjoying a second career in film, and though he isn't making serious bank ("Youth Without Youth" couldn't even muster up $250,000 domestically), his latest output is some of his best work since the early 1980s. Few are as successful critically as that, and though we all have our dream lists (this writer can't be the only one hoping for a new Nagisa Oshima), some filmmakers can't restart the fire they once had -- often it feels like they're trying too hard to either keep up with current stylistic trends or forcing out a passion that they no longer have. Either way, these artistic resuscitations are often only ever seen as complete travesty or modern masterpiece, regardless of how detrimental those extremist labels truly are. Which brings us to this unfortunate question: which camp does "Road to Nowhere" by Monte Hellman (director of the great "Two-Lane Blacktop," absent from features since 1989) fall into? Depending on your affinity for David Lynch/Claire Denis-type narrative puzzles, it could go either way.

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Academy Presents 30th Anniversary Digital Screening of Raiders of the Lost Ark June 17 (UPDATE)

    It's hard to believe that I sat in a screening room at Paramount's New York headquarters 30 years ago to watch Steven Spielberg's Raiders of the Lost Ark. Needless to say, it blew my head off. I made my first trip to the west coast to interview producer George Lucas at his Lucasfilm headquarters in Marin, California, for Film Comment Magazine (the archives don't go back that far, alas). The Lawrence Kasdan/George Lucas/Steven Spielberg original turned into a blockbuster and spawned a franchise. The concept of remaking a 40s adventure serial was novel; so was producing an action-packed period romantic comedy (with 6,000 live reptiles). And Harrison Ford nailed Indiana Jones, needless to say.

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  • Shadow and Act
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    Craig Brewer Says He's Sensitive To The Racist Elements Of The "Tarzan" Story He's Adapting

    Talking to Collider about all his upcoming projects, including the Tarzan reboot I've mentioned twice on this site, Hustle & Flow/Black Snake Moan director, Craig Brewer had this to say, with regards to the sensitive, potential explosive racial nature of the material... “I don’t want to give too much away of what I’m doing, but that is something I have thought about, and something I am addressing, and I can just say that “Tarzan” is a love story really, the movie I want to tell, that’s on the backdrop of this adventure, where Tarzan has to reconnect to his love, Jane, and to Africa itself. I know there’s probably going to be some concerns, in terms of racial attitudes toward the original films, and towards the books, but it’s territory that I’ve been in before… I don’t want to say I’m comfortable in it, because I think it’s best to stay a little uncomfortable, and be mindful of things that need to be sensitive, but I think it’s important to tell a great story from one of the most famous literary characters of all time.”

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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  • The Playlist
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    Paul Rudd Is A Smiley Moron In First Poster For 'Our Idiot Brother'

    Even though the film received respectful, rather than rave, reviews on its Sundance bow (our own review was one of the more positive), you can't cast Paul Rudd, Elizabeth Banks, Zooey Deschanel, Emily Mortimer, Rashida Jones, Steve Coogan, Hugh Dancy, T.J. Miller, Adam Scott and Kathryn Hahn in a comedy together without leaving us begging to see the finished film, and that's why we've been firmly looking forward to "Our Idiot Brother" all year long.

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  • SydneysBuzz
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    Film Movement Launches the First Jewish Film Club in North America

    Award-Winning Jewish Content Made Available for Streaming and DVD OwnershipBrought to you by Film Movement, the Company Behind the First DVD-of-the-Month Club for Independent and Foreign Film Festival Gems

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  • REVERSEBLOG: the reverse shot blog
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    Will the Circle Be Unbroken?: Genevieve Yue on Migrating Forms

    In Kristin Thompson’s essay “The Concept of Cinematic Excess,” she discusses those elements of a film that don’t fit into a critic’s narrative or thematic framework, shots and details that destabilize an otherwise homogenous whole. These odd lots can also appear among groupings of films, whether by genre or curation, as loose ends that unravel the seams of tidy categorization. Even in something as expansive and variously defined as experimental film, it’s possible to find oneself suddenly stranded in a cinemat hinterland; indeed, that’s kind of the point, the sharpened edge of the avant that the practice aspires to, at least in theory. In this way, Migrating Forms, formerly the New York Underground Film Festival, allows itself considerable experimental drift, programming an impressively broad range of contemporary avant-garde films, vintage video art, schlocky revivals and remixes, and esoterica to satiate the rarest of cinephagic appetites. I doubt anyone could love everything that screened in Anthology Film Archives’s Maya Deren Theater during the ten-day run—I’m sure there’s plenty that was hated outright—but that speaks to the accomplishment, not the detriment, of Migrating Forms, a moving target of a festival composed almost entirely of these disquieting, startling, and sometimes sublime moments of excess.

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  • The Playlist
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    Interview: 'Viva Riva' Filmmaker Djo Tunda Wa Munga Hopes To Usher In A New Wave Of Congolese Cinema

    Director Talks His Roots and What Brought Him Back Home For His Feature DebutWe won’t give you a history lesson here (there are other corners of the Internet for that) but as anyone privy to a newscast for at least the last decade knows, the Democratic Republic of the Congo has had a tumultuous and violent political life following their independence from Belgium in 1960. For filmmaker Djo Tunda Wa Munga however, his home country, rife with such violence and change, presents an interesting perspective to bring to the cinematic scene.

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