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  • Press Play
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    Press Play video series MAGIC AND LIGHT: THE FILMS OF STEVEN SPIELBERG to debut Dec. 15, 2011

    Press Play is proud to announce our first video essay series in direct partnership with IndieWire: "Magic and Light: The Films of Steven Spielberg." Set to premiere Dec. 15, 2011 on this blog, this series will examine facets of Spielberg's movie career, including his stylistic evolution as a director, his depiction of violence, his interest in communication and language, his portrayal of authority and evil, and the importance of father figures -- both present and absent -- through

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  • Shadow and Act
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    African Diaspora International Film Fest 2012 - Review Of Psychodrama "David is Dying"

    When I think of a character being diagnosed with a terminal illness in a movie, especially HIV/AIDS, I think of sorrow. I expect to see the illness take center stage, to spend the rest of the film rooting for the victim to overcome whatever physical and personal obstacles lie ahead, and to weep when he or she finally passes (think Philadelphia, And the Band Played On, Rent, even Precious). Maybe it’s because HIV/AIDS has become such an epidemic within the black community, or because of the way it’s typically portrayed on film. But when I recently attended the NYADIFF screening of David is Dying, the second feature film by UK director Stephen Lloyd Jackson, it quickly became clear that this wasn’t going to be a typical HIV-themed film, and that David was definitely not a typical patient.

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  • The Playlist
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    Rest Easy, People Of Earth, Director Tom Hooper Says ‘Les Miserables’ Won’t Be In 3D

    For those of you who have been greatly concerned that Tom Hooper's upcoming big screen version of "Les Miserables" will be filmed with an extra dimension, you can breathe a sigh of relief. The BBC is reporting (because, really, who else would care?) that while director Hooper, who we've all been trying to forget beat David Fincher for the Best Director Oscar last year, was "very tempted" to use the new technology, his 'Les Mis' will be incredibly flat. Yes, that was a joke.

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Meryl Streep & Phyllida Lloyd Talk The Iron Lady

    Watch Meryl Streep and director Phyllida Lloyd talk "The Iron Lady" at this post-screening Q & A, held December 6 at NYC's Director's Guild. THR's Scott Feinberg moderated the conversation. Streep says "to capture how someone speaks is to capture them." Asked what she wants people to get from this film, Streep says she wishes that everybody that got on the subway and sees an old lady would realize that "a whole huge life lay beind all those wrinkles and those seemingly non-descript, forgettable [women]. There is nothing less exciting in our consumer society than an old lady, [but] the whole panoply of human experience is in there, to just imagine that--that's what I would hope [when people watch this film]."

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Awards Circuit: Octavia Spencer Gets PSIFF Breakthrough Performance Award; Dujardin and Bejo Share SBIFF Cinema Vanguard Award

    Film festivals play a key role in highlighting Oscar contenders during this crowded and noisy awards season. The Santa Barbara International Film Festival will honor "The Artist" actors Jean Dujardin and Bérénice Bejo with their Cinema Vanguard Award on February 4. The award recognizes "an actor who has forged his/her own path - taking artistic risks and making a significant and unique contribution to film." Past winners include Christoph Waltz, Vera Farmiga and Ryan Gosling. SBIFF's exec director Roger Durling states: "In an age of sight and sound spectacle, there is great risk in a silent film. Jean and Bérénice's acting is an amazing pas des deux both physically and emotionally - recalling classic Hollywood pairings like Hepburn and Tracy, and of course indelibly Ginger and Fred." Dujardin notes the rest of the film's ensemble -- James Cromwell, John Goodman, Penelope Ann Miller, Missi Pyle and Malcolm McDowell --and adds, "This award is just as much for them as it is for us.”

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  • The Playlist
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    Daniel Craig Says Writer's Strike "Fucked" 'Quantum Of Solace' & He Rewrote Scenes With Marc Forster

    There's no doubt about it, Daniel Craig is one of the best actors to have ever worn the 007 mantle. And as the lead in the "Casino Royale," an entry which in many ways revitalized the franchise and brought it kicking and screaming into the 21st century, Craig gave us the grittiest take we'd seen on the world famous spy yet. That was followed up quickly with "Quantum of Solace" two years later, and to put it kindly, it was a much lesser effort.

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  • Shadow and Act
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    Sundance 2012 - Watch Trailer For "Fishing Without Nets" (Film About Somali Pirates Told From The Perspective Of The Pirates)

    What happened to all those "Somali pirate" movies that were announced when Somali pirate stories were seemingly all the rage 2 years ago, in what I thought would likely be the beginning of a deluge of pirate movies, all fashioned after the recent stories the media fell in love with, but failed to properly vet.

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  • Caryn James
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    Gary Oldman Talks About "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy" (Video Interview)

    How do you take a 1974 spy novel, already famous as a 1979 miniseries, and make it new without changing the setting? The key to Tomas Alfredson’s fresh take on Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy is Gary Oldman’s powerfully solid yet edgy performance as George Smiley, the British intelligence agent forced into retirement, only to be brought back to hunt down a mole in his own service.

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  • The Playlist
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    Review: 'Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy' Is A Remarkable, Quietly Devastating Spy Movie

    The spy genre, is generally speaking, a euphemism for 'action movie' -- look at the explosions, fistfights and car chases of the Bond films, of the 'Mission: Impossible' series, of the 'Bourne' franchise, none of which have much in the way of actual tradecraft. The business of being a spy is hard, boring work, made up of listening and talking and without a lot of glamor. One of the men who best understands this is novelist John Le Carré, himself a former spy, who for close to half a century has been behind some of the most acclaimed literary examples of the genre. But aside from the much-loved "The Spy Who Came In From the Cold," and the more recent "The Constant Gardener" (the latter not strictly speaking an espionage picture), his works haven't had a huge amount of success on the big screen, lacking the speedboats and fireballs of Ian Fleming or Robert Ludlum.

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  • Shadow and Act
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    Watch: Kim Wayans Talks "Pariah," Taking On Dramatic Roles, What She's Been Up To Since "In Living Color," And More...

    Video number 2 from my time with the Pariah cast and crew last week on the film's NYC press day... this one features Kim Wayans, who was a lot of fun to chat with.

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