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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    SFIFF 54 Day Eight: The Redemption of General Butt Naked, Sound of Noise, Pink Saris, Master Critic

    San Francisco cinephile Meredith Brody continues to cut a swath through the SFIFF programme: Cheerful way to start the day: watching a famed “General” of the unbelievably brutal 14-year Liberian civil war, known as General Butt Naked for the attire (or lack thereof) of himself and his followers, metamorphize – or is it re-brand? – into Joshua Milton Biahyi, an evangelic preacher seeking forgiveness for his unspeakable crimes. I’m not much fonder of organized (or disorganized) religion than I am of war – noting in passing that many wars are fought on religious grounds. I’m repulsed by both of the General’s incarnations. What I think he’s mostly seeking is airtime, not redemption as in the movie’s title The Redemption of General Butt Naked. He’s playing to the cameras that I kind of wish were not following him around, despite the effectiveness and skill of the filmmakers. Even his mea culpa before the Truth and Reconciliation Committee, which might recommend his later prosecution for war crimes, smacks of hunger for the spotlight –“I Was Responsible for 20,000 Deaths” – longer time on the 15-minute clock. Once a patholgical narcissist, always a pathological narcissist.

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  • The Playlist
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    Anthony Mackie Courted For 'World War Z' & 'Gangster Squad'

    If Anthony Mackie isn't a household name yet, that's likely soon to change. The actor has been putting in solid work for years, first popping onto the radar with fine turns in "Million Dollar Baby" and "Half Nelson," before having a helluva year in 2008 with the double whammy of "Notorious" where he memorably played Tupac Shakur and of course, "The Hurt Locker." That latter film, naturally, opened some big doors. He was already seen earlier this year in the surprisingly solid "The Adjustment Bureau" and he's got two more films on deck: he'll flex his comic muscles in the Anna Faris vehicle "What's Your Number" and then he'll star opposite Hugh Jackman in the robot boxing flick "Real Steel." This isn't even mentioning the films slated for next year already: "Ten Year" and the thriller "Man On A Ledge" (recently announced for a January 13, 2012 bow). And if that doesn't prove just how in-demand this rising actor is, this next bit should convince you.

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  • Caryn James
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    Will Ferrell and Conan's Beardpocalypse: The Movie-Poster Parodies

    The funny publicity stunt called Beardpocalypse, with Will Ferrell threatening to shave Conan's beard when he appears on the show this coming Monday, has its own on-line component, including a photoshop contest featuring movie-poster parodies like the one above.

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  • The Playlist
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    Cliff Martinez Talks Scoring 'Lincoln Lawyer' & Nicolas Winding Refn's 'Drive'

    Says He Loved Alexandre Desplat's 'The King's Speech' Score & Was Hoping It Would Take The OscarFor years Cliff Martinez has been producing brilliant, but often times below-the-radar, scores, doing a lot of work for Steven Soderbergh. His first score was Soderbergh’s first film -- “sex, lies, and videotape” -- and from there the two have collaborated on a number of projects, including “Solaris,” "Kafka," "The Limey" and “Traffic.” That relationship is still going strong as they will be reteaming once again, on this fall’s virus thriller “Contagion.” On the occasion that Martinez does work for another filmmaker, the results are usually just as compelling (particularly his score for Joe Carnahan’s “Narc”). We recently spoke to Martinez about his work on the legal drama and sleeper box office hit “The Lincoln Lawyer,” his process, and about what he has in store for us with his work on Nicolas Winding Refn’s Cannes-bound “Drive.”

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Tarantino's Next Movie is Black Western Django Unchained CONFIRMED AND UPDATED

    Tarantino's Next Movie is Black Western Django Unchained CONFIRMED AND UPDATED

    Quentin Tarantino has handed in the final draft of his spaghetti western script Django Unchained to Weinstein Co., his agency WME confirms. According to Tarantino Archives, the title Django Unchained pays homage to both the Sergio Corbucci original Django, not to mention Takashi Miike's Sukiyaki Western Django, which features Tarantino (see clips for both below). UPDATE: Another long-rumored inspiration, once optioned by Miramax, was Elmore Leonard's 40 Lashes Less One.

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  • The Playlist
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    Mark Ruffalo Talks The Music & Method Of Making 'Sympathy For Delicious'

    Reveals The Flaming Lips & At The Drive-In Inspired The Sound Of The Band In The FilmMark Ruffalo is the kind of unbeatable character actor that there are too few of in Hollywood these days, free of pretentions and able to totally immerse himself in any character he takes on. His choices on camera have been as varied as they have been excellent appearing in films like "Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind," "Shutter Island," "You Can Count On Me" and of course, last year's acclaimed "The Kids Are All Right."

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  • Matt Dentler's Blog
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    HBO + iPad

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  • The Playlist
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    IFFBoston 2011 Review: 'On the Ice' Falls Through the Cracks

    It’s not often that we see an entire film taking place in the barren wilderness that is Alaska. When there is an Alaska-based movie, it’s usually a horror film manipulating the isolation and constant darkness factors for the ultimate scare. In Andrew Okpeaha Maclean’s “On the Ice,” Alaska is as stark as we’ve ever known it, but it’s the tight-knit community of people that cause the most trouble here.

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  • Shadow and Act
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    Who's Going To Star In Quentin Tarantino's Black Western?

    Admittedly, I'm not the greatest fan of Quentin Tarantino's work. He definitely knows how to put a film together, but I've always found him self-indulgent, too much in love with his own dialogue, and all his films have been nothing but pastiches, made entirely up of scenes from other movies. Everything in his movies is blatantly stolen from other films going back to even the 1940's. And since he knows that his main audience basically only knows movies from Star Wars on, his films look totally original to them.

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    More: casting
  • Shadow and Act
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    New On VOD - Gruesome French Zombie Flick “La Horde” Starring “Lumumba”

    I initially profiled this French zombie flick, titled La Horde, back in May of 2010.

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    More: New On VOD