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  • Shadow and Act
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    "Pumzi" Director Wanuri Kahiu Talks Female Lead Characters & Telling *Our* Own Stories

    A reminder that Focus Features' Africa First short films are currently available to "watch instantly" on Netflix. So if you have a Netflix account, as I know a lot of you do, you really should check out this compilation of short films by up and coming African filmmakers - one of them being a sci-fi short titled Pumzi, from Kenyan filmmaker Wanuri Kahiu.

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  • The Playlist
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    Venice '11 Review: 'Shame' A Fascinating Follow-Up To 'Hunger,' With A Tour-De-Force From Fassbender

    As English-language directorial debuts in the last few years go, Steve McQueen's "Hunger" ranks up there as one of the most uncompromising. An award-winning, sometimes controversial British artist, McQueen chose to move into feature film by examining the life of IRA hunger striker Bobby Sands, managing not to flinch from any of the grim details, using takes of up to 20 minutes in length, and showcasing a tour-de-force performance from the now firmly-planted-on-the-A-list Michael Fassbender. It picked up an enormous amount of critical support, including the Camera D'Or at Cannes in 2008, and signified both director and star as major talents to watch.

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  • Press Play
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    SLIDE SHOW: Looking back at the cultural impact of 9/11, part 2

    Remembering the years after the attacks, when everything felt filtered through one September morning

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  • eugonline
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    Telluride 2: Class of '11

    Telluride 2: Class of '11

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  • The Playlist
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    Telluride '11 Review: Jennifer Garner's 'Butter' Churns and Churns But Doesn’t Produce Cream

    Ostensibly an edgy satire that fancies itself having a wicked bite, Jennifer Garner’s pet-project “Butter,” instead employs long and broad satirical strokes that never land many effective laughs or blows. You know a comedy is seriously in trouble when there are long, uncomfortable stretches where not a soul laughs in a jam-packed theater - such was the case with the sold-out house screening of “Butter” at the Telluride Film Festival Saturday night.

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Venice Film Fest Review: Steve McQueen's Shame is Graphic, Transgressive, Full Frontal

    David Gritten reviews Steve McQueen's Shame from Venice; the film also screens at Telluride Sunday en route to Toronto, where it seeks a brave distributor willing to take on its NC-17 content.

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Telluride Day Two: From Nick James and German Silent Expressionism to Goodbye First Love and Clooney

    Meredith Brody continues her Telluride diary.The problem with writing about your day’s worth of movies and serendipitous festival sightings and conversations is that distance lends charms; yesterday I may have felt slightly cranky exiting Bela Tarr’s shaggy post-apocalyptical shaggy-horse-story The Turin Horse and running into people laughing and crying after seeing hot-off-the-presses The Descendants, or slightly jealous of the blissed-out audiences levitating down the hill from seeing Wim Wenders’ Pina, in the beloved Galaxy theater that is specially kitted out this year with a state-of-the-art sound system as well as 3-D with top-of-the-line glasses (one friend complains that they’re so heavy they wear a groove in her nose). I’ve wanted to see Pina since it premiered at the Berlinale in February and several people told me it was their favorite movie of the festival.

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Weekend Box Office: The Help and The Debt Throw Sharks, Apollo 18 Out of Orbit

    Adults are saving the Labor Day Weekend box office, reports Anthony D'Alessandro:Similar to last year's Labor Day box office when The American ruled, adults flocked to the holiday cinema once again with DreamWorks/Disney's The Help taking No. 1 with $14.2 million over three days and Focus Features' critically acclaimed The Debt paying off in second with $9.7 million.

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    More: Box Office
  • The Playlist
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    Weekend Box Office: Three Straight Weeks At #1 For 'The Help'

    There are all sorts of qualifiers to this summer becoming the most financially robust in box office history. Chief amongst them are both the inferior product, but also the illusion of 3D prices, which do an excellent job of covering up the consistently-dropping attendance numbers. In other words, money is money, inflated or otherwise, and not enough people balked at the enhanced prices, even though a number of 3D films loudly flopped this summer.

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  • The Playlist
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    Venice '11 Review: Al Pacino's 'Wilde Salome' An Oddity Dominated By Titanic Jessica Chastain Turn

    When did Alfredo James Pacino, Greatest Actor Of His Generation, turn into Shouty Al, Star Of "Righteous Kill" And "Jack and Jill"? The exact moment that the transformation took place is debatable, but it's hard to deny that, aside from some occasional good HBO work, Pacino has become a grotesque, bellowing inflation of former glories more often than not. But we live in hope that it's not a one way street, and that the star may find his way back to subtler movie work that he actually cares about. After all, he does, unlike many of his contemporaries, continue to return to the stage frequently, for much-praised performances, in the likes of "Orphans," "The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui" and, most recently, "The Merchant of Venice." And it's one of these stage turns that forms the center of Pacino's second film as director, "Wilde Salome," which like his debut "Looking For Richard," is a documentary examining one of his favorite plays, and the writer behind them.

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