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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Comic-Con: "Casting is like Russian Roulette" and More on Drive, Don't Be Afraid of the Dark

    Why did FilmDistrict--making their Comic-Con Hall H debut--do a combo-panel of Don't Be Afraid of the Dark (directed by Troy Nixey, produced by Guillermo del Toro) and Drive (from director Nicolas Winding Refn)? According to Del Toro, it's because "I wanted to meet this insane mother fucker." He meant Refn. The two have lots of love for each other and each other's films. But Guy Pearce, witty Aussie star of Dark, insisted that "ours is better."

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  • Jared Moshé's Blog
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    The First Battle of Bull Run - 150 years ago

    While we were beating the heat yesterday, hundreds of reenactors took to the field to reenact the First Battle of Bull Run (or First Manasses if you're a Southerner). The first major battle of the Civil War shocked both sides by predicting the longer drawn out conflict and the high casualty rate that the Minie Ball would bring to the battlefield.

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  • Shadow and Act
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    Updates On "A Contract With God" Adaptation Which Barry Jenkins Is Attached To Co-Direct

    Announced about a year ago, the graphic novel, A Contract With God And Other Tenement Stories, published in 1978 by the late cartoonist, Will Eisner, is being adapted into a feature-length film with 4 directors attached to direct each of the four short stories the book tells: A Contract With God, The Super, The Street Singer, and Cookalein.

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  • Leonard Maltin
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    Friends With Benefits

    This movie wants you to know that it isn’t one of those stupid Hollywood romantic comedies. The characters talk about “those” movies disparagingly and even watch a parody of that kind of film on TV. What’s more, in the opening scenes of Friends With Benefits, the actors let forth a barrage of four-letter words and sexual conversation, just to make sure you understand that this isn’t some sappy, formulaic studio picture.

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  • Leonard Maltin
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    Sarah's Key

    If there is any justice this summer that’s not being meted out by a comic-book superhero, discerning moviegoers will find their way to Sarah’s Key, the moving adaptation of Tatiana De Rosnay’s international best-seller. It’s one of the year’s best films. Kristin Scott Thomas plays an American-born journalist who lives in France with her husband and daughter. While researching an article about the fate of French Jews during World War Two, she stumbles onto an incredible story involving a little girl named Sarah (played by newcomer Mélusine Mayance) who is separated from her family. An unexpected connection with Sarah turns Scott Thomas’ journalistic enterprise into a personal odyssey.

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Sundance Institute Brings Comedy ShortLab to Hollywood

    Robert Redford's Sundance Fest was born to be different, down to its roots in the Utah Rocky Mountains. This summer fest parent the Sundance Institute is moving one of its famed labs into the heart of Hollywood.

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  • REVERSEBLOG: the reverse shot blog
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    A World Apart: Mike Cahill's "Another Earth"

    At first, Mike Cahill's Another Earth appears to announce itself as a treatise on regret via the lingering consequences of a fatal car accident. Over its ninety-minute runtime, however, Cahill's film is gradually revealed to be more concerned with redemption and the possibility of a new start. This comes in the form of the title planet, a literally extraterrestrial body which, over the course of four years, drifts ever closer toward earth until it's a constantly looming presence in both the day- and nighttime skies. Despite serving as the backdrop of countless scenes, the uncanny sight of Earth 2 never quite loses its power. Almost immediately, it becomes inextricably linked to remorse and forgiveness; the above-mentioned car wreck occurs immediately after the discovery of the planet, when 17-year-old Rhoda (an excellent Brit Marling, who co-wrote the screenplay with Cahill) drives head on into a car carrying a family of three. Already her fate is interwoven with that of Earth 2: the faint blue dot that she's gazing at instead of the road changes her world well before it changes anyone else's. Contemporary celestial films such as Contact and Moon have proven best when their sci-fi trappings are a means of drawing us in to a more personal story rather than an end in and of themselves, and Another Earth distinguishes itself by being centered around a character who actually deserves the attention we’re asked to give her. This isn’t owed to the particulars of Rhoda’s situation as much as to her nuanced, largely internalized response to it. Read Michael Nordine's review of Another Earth.

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  • The Playlist
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    Imogen Poots Gets 'Greetings From Tim Buckley'

    Yes, believe it folks, one of the two Jeff Buckley movies in development is moving forward whether you like it or not, and production continues with its indie spirit as Deadline reveals that rising Brit actress Imogen Poots has joined the cast. While her name may sound funny and or not be familiar at all to you, that is likely soon to change. The actress impressed in last year's "Solitary Man" and this year, she was made her presence known in two period pieces, the criminally underseen Jordan Scott film "Cracks" and Cary Fukunaga's gothic "Jane Eyre." But her biggest exposure is yet to come as next month, she'll try not to get fanged by Colin Farrell in the "Fright Night" remake.

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  • Shadow and Act
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    "Attack The Block" Star John Boyega On Learning From "The Wire" + Hollywood Calling

    "Mr. Boyega said he learned to play Moses by watching the laconic drug dealers from Season 4 of “The Wire.” He explained, “I knew I wouldn’t have a lot of dialogue, so it means telling the story through your eyes all the time... The film has vastly increased his visibility, helping him land an agent at CAA... he is already making regular trips to Los Angeles to pursue new projects and fantasizing about a full-time Hollywood life...”

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Gosling on Clooney Pranks, Peter Jackson’s Vlog, Scientology’s Mega-Properties

    In an interview with Extra, Ryan Gosling exposes prankster George Clooney, who directed him in the political drama The Ides of March, which opens the Venice Fest: "He will come up to you and tell you something very serious ... and then he'll walk away and you realize your pants are wet. He's had like an Evian spray bottle. He's been spraying your crotch the whole time." Gosling's promo duties on his new film Crazy Stupid Love (July 29), with co-stars Steve Carrell and Emma Stone, kept him from attending the Drive panel at Comic-Con.

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