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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Film Independent Filmmaker Forum Keynote by Lionsgate's Joe Drake: Put In Your 10,000 Hours

    Film Independent Filmmaker Forum Keynote by Lionsgate's Joe Drake: Put In Your 10,000 Hours

    Lionsgate motion picture group president Joe Drake kicked off Film Independent's weekend Filmmaker Forum with the keynote speech at the DGA on Saturday. Film Independent executive director Dawn Hudson introduced Drake (the full text is at indieWIRE, which is a sponsor of the event), who began with how he called about six folks in Film Independent's Film Talent Guide to find out what people were thinking about. Herewith some highlights of the speech. Drake is a smart exec; there's some strong nuts and bolts advice here. And some fascinating nuggets, like: studios and indie distribs are releasing 40% fewer movies in 2010 than four years ago--even fewer are expected in 2011--so there's less competition. The declining demo is males 18 to 24. The increasing one is males over 55. Put that in your pipe...

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  • Eric Kohn
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    On Pirates and Piracy.

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  • REVERSEBLOG: the reverse shot blog
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    A Few Great Pumpkins V—Sixth Night: Empire of Passion

    When an established auteur breaks away to make his or her first—and in many cases, only—horror film, watch out. Film history is full of such instances, from old masters (Clouzot's Diabolique, Bergman's Hour of the Wolf, Kubrick's The Shining, and, to a certain extent, Pasolini's Salò) to contemporary art-house arbiters (Claire Denis's Trouble Every Day, Bruno Dumont's Twentynine Palms, Lars von Trier's Antichrist); these are films in which the director's concerns don't get displaced but rather find a pure outlet of expression. Utilizing horror tropes can give filmmakers free reign for extremes, whether in terms of extraordinary content, stylistic flourish, or, of course, violence. (Don't we wish Bresson had made a horror film? I suppose L'Argent does come awfully close...) One of the great one-off horror auteurs is surely Nagisa Oshima, although considering the way it was marketed for years, his 1978 Empire of Passion has not long been widely known as the gruesome ghost story it is. Consistently paired with In the Realm of the Senses (even released here as In the Realm of Passion), Empire may have contained echoes of that prior film's obsessive, destructive eroticism, but it's a different beast altogether—a kaidan about supernatural vengeance.

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    More: Halloween
  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Lena Dunham Talks Tiny Furniture, Writing for Hollywood, Rudin, HBO

    Lena Dunham Talks Tiny Furniture, Writing for Hollywood, Rudin, HBO

    The discovery of this year's SXSW (and best narrative feature winner) was 24-year-old New York writer-director Lena Dunham, who shot her semi-autobiographical micro-budget film Tiny Furniture at her family's Tribeca loft with herself, her sister Grace and her artist mom Laurie Simmons (The Music of Regret) in leading roles, along with indie professionals Jemima Kirke, Alex Karpovsky and Merritt Wever, who she met at SXSW when she debuted her first film Creative Nonfiction there. Dunham's painter father Carroll didn't want to be in the film, she admits during our flip cam interview during LAFF at L.A.'s Four Seasons (below, with trailer). "I was exploring a more female-centric thing." Her family worked their butts off during fifteen days of filming (Jody Lee Lipes is her cinematographer) and are "quite proud of it. We all went through that artistic process together."

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  • The Playlist
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    Nicolas Cage Will Be Playing Two Parts In 'Ghost Rider: Spirit Of Vengeance', But Won't Be Villain

    One of your most eagerly-anticipated films of 2012, if you recently suffered a significant injury to the brain, or have only ever watched films with the words "Rider" and "Ghost" in the title, is probably "Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance," the sequel to the disastrous 2008 Marvel Comics adaptation "Ghost Rider." Nicolas Cage will once again be playing stuntman Johnny Blaze, who makes a deal with the devil to become the fiery-headed demon-hunter Ghost Rider, and the plot will involve the hero in Europe, going up against his employer, who's trying to possess the body of a child.

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  • Eric Kohn
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    "Monsters" Unleashed.

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    MGM Lenders Approve Spyglass Takeover Bid

    The MGM lion has had many lives--the fabled studio has run through many chiefs over the decades, but Carl Icahn is not going to be one of them. Mary Parent is gone, and so is Harry Sloan, as well as UA's Tom Cruise and Paula Wagner. Finally, we know, the newest chieftans are the Spyglass duo Roger Birnbaum and Gary Barber; their plan to take over the studio after it emerges from bankruptcy has been approved by MGM's lenders, reports the LAT. The vote was delayed when Lionsgate's largest shareholder, agitator Carl Icahn, tried to mount a rival bid to buy MGM's debt for 53 cents on the dollar. Icahn also owns about 12% of MGM's debt, or $500 million.

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    More: News, Hollywood
  • The Playlist
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    Not Fit To Print: New 'Scream 4' Images, 'Step Up 4Ever' Announced for 2012, 'Disturbia' Suit Filed

    New 'Footloose' Images, A Miley Cyrus Film With Demi Moore Gets Picked Up By Lionsgate, An Acme Looney Tunes Spin-Off, & More Junk We Couldn't Bother Writing Full Stories AboutIt's the weekend, content dump time! We've been talking about our old "Short Cuts" franchise title which was essentially short takes on news. Maybe we'll bring it back, maybe we won't. But we're gonna try it here. Let us know what you think and maybe we'll listen. ;) So yeah, a lot of stuff happened this week and there's only so much time in a day. Here's some interesting, "not fit to print" items that broke that we'll cover very briefly.

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  • The Playlist
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    Liev Schreiber & Samuel L. Jackson Circle Brad Anderson's 'Jack'

    Last spring, a new film from "Machinist" director Brad Anderson was announced. Titled, "Jack," the project had John Cusack set to star in the film that told the story of a doctor who falls in love with the titular character who they have been assigned to rehabilitate after an accident. When memories begin to surface of his murderous past though, the man must decide whether to make a new start with his new love or embrace the killer within.

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  • Enzian Theater
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    BEACHWATCH Takes October FilmSlam

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    More: General