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  • The Playlist
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    McG Teams With Richard Branson For '300'-Style Christopher Columbus Film

    Oh, McG. Our favorite pteromechanophobic vowel-free director hasn't had the easiest time of things since "Terminator: Salvation" landed with a firm thud last summer -- his version of "20,000 Leagues Under The Sea," with Sam Worthington, fell apart, and despite circling a number of projects, including "R.I.P.D," "The Girl Who Conned The Ivy League", "Spring Awakening" and the teen comedy "The D.U.F.F," nothing's quite made it before cameras.

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Eleven Docs that Shook the World

    Inspired by the surprisingly successful education expose Waiting for Superman (which is backed by massive marketing dollars for a doc), USA Today lists 11 documentaries that shook the world, that made a big difference in their time.

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  • Peter Bogdanovich
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    They Were Expendable

    Most war films are, ultimately, about winning. In 1945, however, as World War II was ending, John Ford made probably the finest U.S. war picture, about one of America’s greatest defeats—-in the Philippines—-the title of which alone is devastating in its implications: THEY WERE EXPENDABLE (available on DVD). Ford, who had entered the Navy in 1941, at age 47, was closely involved in numerous missions and operations all through the War, serving with the O.S.S. (forerunner of the C.I.A.) and making several war documentaries, including this country’s first one, The Battle of Midway (1942), which mostly he himself shot hand-held and during which he was wounded. It received the Oscar as Best Documentary, as did another that Ford supervised, December 7th (1943). Although he rarely spoke of his war experiences, records recently have come to light that he also was there on D-Day, and shot some of the most significant color footage in various campaigns. Certainly his intimate involvement with all aspects of that terrible conflict is apparent in his sensitively unadorned, elegiac handling of They Were Expendable. “What was in my mind,” Ford told me once, “was doing it exactly as it had happened.”

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Weekend Box Office Goes to Record-Breaking Jackass 3D; Red Ensemble Scores in Second

    Two escapist comedies launched at Comic-Con surged to unexpected box office heights for October as Jackass 3D and ensemble action comedy Red grossed an estimated $50 million and $22.5 million, respectively, reports Anthony D'Alessandro:

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Beaver's Billingsley Gone at 94

    The Cleavers were the suburban family I grew up with on black-and-white TV, and Leave it to Beaver's Barbara Billingsley, who played June to Hugh Beaumont's Ward, was my idea of the perfect Mom. Well, she's gone, at 94. I can still hear her soft, high plaintive voice: "Ward, I'm worried about the Beaver."

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    More: Obit, TV
  • REVERSEBLOG: the reverse shot blog
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    NYFF: Views from the Avant-Garde, 2010

    The 14th annual and newly expanded Views from the Avant-Garde opened and closed this year in the Furman Gallery, a smallish room off to the side of the Walter Reade Theater, where the bulk of the program’s experimental films were shown. Repurposed for 8mm projectors and outfitted with folding chairs and free beer, the gallery invited a looser, more casual encounter with the films shown there, a kind of rec room to unwind in the after-hours of the festival-within-a-festival. Different films demand different kinds of viewing situations, and for the psychedelic Pierre Clémenti film journals discovered after languishing in a dusty corner of the Pompidou Center for twenty years, the taut, urban superimpositions of Paul Clipson, or Bruce McClure’s aggressive, minimalist projection-performances, the gallery space offered a comfortable closeness, both in terms of intimacy and proximity to the screen. It also helped being seated cross-legged on the floor next to filmmakers, festivalgoers, and all the other faces that had become welcomingly familiar by the weekend’s final program.

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  • Week of Wonders
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  • eugonline
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    Cannes Snapshot: Edgar Ramirez

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    More: people
  • Leonard Maltin
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    A Gemma Arterton Interview

    | Tamara Drewe | Leonard Maltin | Maltin on Movies | Movie Trailer

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Video: Obama Talks to Waiting for Superman Kids in Oval Office

    Paramount isn't marketing the education expose Waiting for Superman all by itself. The studio is orchestrating the marketing efforts on behalf of the film of some powerful partners--Participant Media, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Walden Media--that are building support and getting out the word across multiple platforms. They even arranged a meeting Monday October 11 with the White House in which President Obama met with the five kids in the film:

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