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  • SydneysBuzz
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    U.S. Distributors Are Popping Up Like Mushrooms: Film Desk

    I first saw a notice of this up-to-now-completely-unknown distributor in connection to the release of Antonioni's The Girlfriends (1955) which was written up in a fascinating article in L.A. Times, and so I did some investigating. I discovered a film lover, Jacob Perlin, 35 years old, living in New York whose day job is associate programmer for BAM's Cinematek, a program somewhat similar to LACMA plus the American Cinematheque which programs films every day, in 35mm: classic films, premieres, festivals, and retrospectives, plus special appearances by filmmakers and critics. Jacob Perlin's Film Desk is a one man show which Jacob runs out of pure love. The money he makes from one film goes into funding the next film. How much could Antonioni's The Girlfriends make with 2 days at LACMA and 2 days at the Beverly Theater in L.A.? (It got great press coverage here however.) The company is two years old and showcases revivals of personally beloved films, great films, internationally acclaimed, with no U.S. distributor for which he strikes new 35 mm prints and then showcases them in cinematheques across America, at LACMA, Film Forum, Pacific Film Archives, in art houses in Portland, Seattle, DC, Philadelphia, etc. Sometimes he works with Janus/ Criterion. The only other distributor like him or Janus/ Criterion is Rialto, founded by Bruce Goldstein. As in days of old, these three idiosyncratic distributors all work closely together congenially rather than as competitors. Occasionally Jacob will bring out a new film which he loves though he does not actively seek these out. Currently the new film is Zero Bridge which will be released February 11 at the Film Forum. The current revival film is Godard's Every Man For Himself (Sauve qui peut) starring a young Isabel Huppert, a younger Natalie Baye and Jacques Dutrong.Isabel Huppert in Godard's Every Man for Himself I loved discovering the Film Desk and finding someone is still able to work out of sheer love, in New York, the land of the independents.

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  • The Playlist
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    Review: 'True Grit' An Old-Fashioned Oater Only The Coens Could Make

    Judging by some of the early reviews of "True Grit" you would think that the Coens had left their bag of tricks at home when making the film, delivering a respectful if overly formal western. However, it seems those reviewers who got an early look forgot that the Coens are often found at the height of their creative powers when operating with a genre milieu. Take "Miller's Crossing," "The Hudsucker Proxy" or "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" -- all films with giant nods to filmmakers of yore, yet each imbued with the Coens' own distinctive thematic obsessions: this all continues with "True Grit." Wickedly funny, undeniably compelling and yes, touched with a less cynical heart than some of their most recent efforts (though hardly "sentimental" as some critics have suggested) the picture finds the Coens pushing all their usual techniques to the fore, while at the same time keeping them constrained by the genre they're working within and for most part, it works wonderfully.

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  • The Playlist
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    First Sundance Looks: 'My Idiot Brother,' 'Like Crazy' 'Son Of No One,' & 'The Ledge'

    The update of the Sundance website every year brings with it the release of plenty of first looks at the latest batch of films set to premiere at the upcoming festival. This year is no different.

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  • The Playlist
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    'Clash Of The Titans' Sequel Will Hit Theaters March 30th, 2012, Two Years After Original

    Tom McCarthy's 'Win Win' Also Gets A Date "Clash of the Titans" was a fairly big risk for Warner Bros. The swords-and-sandals genre had faded since its "Gladiator" revival a decade ago, and the Greek myths have never really been box office manna, plus it was the first test of freshly-formed star Sam Worthington after the massive success of "Avatar." But it was a risk that paid off handsomely, commercially if not creatively, with a near $500 million dollar haul worldwide.

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  • The Playlist
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    Nicolas Cage To Try On Some Bling-Bling For 'Medallion'

    Nicolas Cage's well-documented tax problems have made him the bitch of shady production company Milennium Films. The company's protocol seems to be to make cheap exploitation pictures before selling off the rights to individual territories, a touch-and-go philosophy that produces the occasional gem ("Leaves of Grass") alongside output that, dictated by the law of averages, ends up going straight to DVD. While the studio has few consistent collaborators, Cage starred in their "Wicker Man" remake and now has "Trespass" and "Drive Angry" slated for 2011. Joining that fleet is the upcoming "Medallion," making that four collaborations between Cage and a company that, very likely, pays quickly, and in cash.

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  • The Playlist
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    Jon Favreau Explains Why He Left The 'Iron Man' Franchise

    Don't Expect Any Marvel Trash TalkingSo why did Jon Favreau leave the "Iron Man" franchise, confirming earlier today that he won't be directing "Iron Man 3" which was already set for a May, 2013 release? Let's recap, Marvel had already nearly lost him on "Iron Man 2" when they offered him an insultingly low fee for the sequel, they also low-balled Mickey Rourke and were so sick of Terrence Howard's demands that they axed him and replaced him with Don Cheadle.

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  • The Playlist
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    Ralph Fiennes' 'Coriolanus,' Miranda July's 'The Future' & Wim Wenders' 'Pina' Added To Berlinale

    Sundance is obviously a great festival, and sets the pace for the rest of the year, as far as domestic indie cinema goes. But for more international fare, it's sometimes a little bit lacking, and fans of subtitled cinema tend to cast their eyes to the Berlinale in February, which, while often featuring highlights from the Park City line-up and premieres from American auteurs (last year saw the likes of "Please Give," "Greenberg" and "Shutter Island" make the schedule), also features the highlights from European cinema that'll do the rounds at festivals for the rest of the year -- the 2010 version saw Polanski's "The Ghost Writer," "Submarino" and "A Somewhat Gentle Man" all make their debuts.

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  • The Playlist
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    Exclusive: Bill Hader Says He Knows Nothing About His Alleged 'Ghostbusters 3' Role

    Judd Apatow-Produced 'House Of Joel' Comedy Project Is Still Very Much Alive, Has A 'Human Giant' Writer OnboardAt the red carpet premiere for "True Grit," we took the opportunity to ask Bill Hader about a certain impending project, a certain big-time sequel that may reunite a certain beloved cast. Less than a month ago, word got out that Sony was eying Hader, Will Forte and Anna Faris as potential proton-pack wielders in "Ghostbusters 3." And then Dan Aykroyd himself confirmed that Hader was one of the "strong possibilities."

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  • The Playlist
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    Larry McMurtry & Diana Ossana To Adapt 'The Color Of Lightning' For Ridley Scott

    Also Penning Comanche Drama 'Empire Of The Summer Moon' For Scott CooperLarry McMurtry and Diana Ossana, the Oscar-winning co-scribes of Ang Lee's "Brokeback Mountain," are set to reunite to adapt two separate period Westerns novels, both being produced under the Scott Free banner with Ridley Scott himself attached to helm one and "Crazy Heart" director Scott Cooper attached to the other.

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  • The Playlist
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    Exclusive: Joseph Kosinski Hopes Daft Punk Will Be Down For More Adventures In The 'Tron' Universe

    Filmmaker Says He Would Absolutely Direct A "Tron: Legacy" Sequel If He's "Lucky Enough To Get The Opportunity"Yesterday we spoke with "Tron Legacy" mastermind Joseph Kosinksi about a lot of things regarding his wild, $300 million video art installation that masquerades, quite handily, as a holiday season blockbuster.

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