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  • The Playlist
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    Cannes Review: Nicolas Winding Refn's Low-Slung '80s Crime Drama 'Drive' Has A Dark Majesty

    Why is "Drive" -- a seemingly trivial affair about a stuntman and part-time getaway driver, played by Ryan Gosling, pulled into deep and bloody waters on the neon-and-streetlight lit streets of L.A. -- even at Cannes, let alone in competition? It's not merely because of the bloody-but-brilliant background of director Nicolas Winding Refn, whose films (the "Pusher" trilogy, "Bronson," "Valhalla Rising") have demonstrated both an eye for composition and a taste for the jugular. It's not merely because of the film's cinematic roots, with the production seemingly crafted as a clear tribute to '80s-era Michael Mann and other synthesizer-and-faux-leather action-crime stories. Rather, you can make a case that "Drive" is here because action cinema and genre cinema are too important -- and too exciting, enthralling and, yes, artful when well made -- to be merely dismissed as suitable only for hacks to make and dolts to watch. French enthusiasm for American crime cinema from the '40s and '50s gave us the vocabulary and value set to truly appreciate film noir -- and anyone who can truly appreciate film noir will appreciate "Drive."

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    If The Numbers Keep Going Up A 'Bridesmaids' Sequel Is A Possibility Says Paul Feig

    While this year has seen movies like "The Roommate," "Diary Of Wimpy Kid 2" and "The Rite" top the box office, every now and then, America gets it right and puts quality at the top of the pack. While it didn't beat the mighty "Thor," the Judd Apatow produced, Paul Feig directed ensemble female comedy, kicked some ass over the weekend, surprising everyone with a number two slot and as it headed into this week, overtook the Marvel movie with weekday ticket sales. This is a huge step towards greenlighting female comedies around town (finally) but moreover, proof that if you give audiences quality options, generally, they'll go for it.

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  • The Playlist
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    Cannes Organizers Sink To Lars Von Triers' Level, Ban Director From Festival With Immediate Effect

    Wow, Lars-Von-Trier-Is-A-Dick-At-A-Press-Conference-Gate just keeps running and running, doesn't it? The troublemaking director managed to totally overshadow the quality, or otherwise (the film's attracted the most divisive reaction of a festival that's already seen little consensus on its films) of "Melancholia" by behaving in his usual provocative manner at the film's press conference yesterday. The headline-happy helmer told assembled reporters that "Ok. I’m a Nazi... For a long time I thought I was a Jew and I was happy to be a Jew... I found out I was actually a Nazi. Which also gave me some pleasure. My family were German. What can I say? I understand Hitler…I sympathize with him a bit... I don’t mean I’m in favor of World War II and I’m not against Jews, not even Susanne Bier. In fact I’m very much in favor of them. All Jews. Well, Israel is a pain the ass but…"

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Paramount, Fox, Cameron Relaunch Titanic Again in Retro-3-D

    I know that James Cameron is invested in the future of 3-D, but it pains me that having set the highest possible 3-D standard with the glorious global blockbuster Avatar, the filmmaker is making Paramount and his home studio Twentieth Century Fox happy by retro-fitting the second-highest-grossing film of all time, 1997's Titanic, in 3-D. The studios plan a worldwide rerelease on April 6, 2012 to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the ship's sailing.

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    Cannes Review: 'Bonsai' Is A Chilean Slacker-Romance Of Love & Language That's Small, Swift & Smart

    Cannes, more so than other film festivals, feels like the 10 days of nutrition offered in the hopeful attempt to make up for the other 355 days of dessert modern movie going offers us. Abandonment, murder, suicide, prostitution -- these are the concerns of all too many films in the competition and sidebars here at Cannes. A film like Christián Jiménez's "Bonsái," in the Un Certain Regard selection -- seemingly slight, seemingly light, small in scope and scene -- is exactly the kind of film that whispers when other films shout and gets overlooked in the hue and cry. But that doesn't mean that it doesn't speak the truth, or that what it's saying isn't heartfelt, articulate and funny. You have to lean into a film like "Bonsái" so you can see how intricate, simple and elegant it is, even at what seems like a smaller scale.

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Cannes Festival Censures Von Trier For Nazi/Hitler Comments; Melancholia Eligible for Palme d'Or

    Cannes Festival Censures Von Trier For Nazi/Hitler Comments; Melancholia Eligible for Palme d'Or

    The Cannes Film Festival has banned Danish filmmaker Lars von Trier for saying at Wednesday's press conference (video below) that he sympathizes with Adolf Hitler, which he later apologized for. The Fest released a statement that von Trier is "persona non grata" at Cannes because of his comments. Thus far there seems to be no precedent for this sort of censure by the Cannes Fest. UPDATE: Here's AFP's round-up on the story.

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Cannes Video: Gibson Talks Foster's The Beaver, Acting, Directing, But Not His "three-ring circus"

    Cannes Video: Gibson Talks Foster's The Beaver, Acting, Directing, But Not His "three-ring circus"

    Mel Gibson walked the red carpet at Cannes, shunned the press conference, but sat down for his only U.S. Cannes interview with a friendly interlocutor, Variety editor Tim Gray (on video below).

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  • The Playlist
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    First Look At '21 Jump Street' & 'Blackbird' With Eric Bana & Olivia Wilde

    Yep, studios are hustling their films earlier than ever these days and after the first look at "The Hunger Games" was unveiled before shooting has even started, we now have looks at one film currently in front cameras and another which only recently wrapped.

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  • SydneysBuzz
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    International Sales Agent of the Day: Arclight's Darclight

    Horror films have exhibited more staying power this time around than during their usual arc, as in Cabin Fever in 2002 which sparked a horror wave that lasted less time and did not spread internationally as this time.

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  • The Playlist
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    Cannes Review: Byzantine, Bloody Almodóvar Takes A New Direction With 'The Skin I Live In'

    But Will His Fans Follow Him?It is almost a given that detractors of the newest from Pedro Almodóvar will blurt out the film's baroque twists in their contortions to craft the glibbest dismissal possible; at the same time, a reluctance to spill those strange story points shouldn't be taken as an unequivocal endorsement. Of all the great modern European filmmakers, Almodóvar has recently felt like the one in most peril of turning his groove -- sumptuous surfaces, a tone between the operatic and the soap-operatic, each frame glossy with the delight of cinema like a lipstick smear from an ardent lover -- into a rut. With "The Skin I Live In," he's clearly jolted and wrested himself out of any potential rut; the concern is now, rather, what to make of the new territory he, and we, are in.

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